I want there to be 30 hours in a day, even if it's just to get a full night's sleep. And while I'm excited about hosting Thanksgiving, you know what I think my favorite part of the night will be? It'll be the cup of coffee at the end. Believe me, it'll be a cup well earned.
I always start out planning a modest dinner, after all, my family is small, but one thing leads to another, one blog post with amazing pictures and recipes leads to more and more items on my must try list. Before I know it, I'm planning three main entrees and at least a half dozen side dishes, not including soup and salad and a dessert or two. The big day will still be days away and you'll find me huddled in a pile of cookbooks rocking back and forth mumbling something about time and only one oven. Inevitably on the big day something will be forgotten or I will simply run out of time and scrap a dish or two, but there will still be a ton of food on the table and not a single person will walk away hungry, and I know that, but I still can't help scheming and planning.
The point of this is that while I'd love to share with you my Thanksgiving recipes, I still haven't quite decided what I'll be making and I try not to repeat dishes from year to year. So the recipes for the dishes I'll make won't really go up here until after the big day, right about the time when even the sight of turkey will have you running for the hills. And yet I feel like I need to contribute something to your menu plans, and so I give you these: Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes.
I won't take the credit for the idea, it wasn't mine. I was inspired by this post from Cupcake Project, and while I didn't use her recipes, the spark, that bit of genius, was entirely hers.
The first thing you'll need to do is go here and make this pumpkin pie, sans crust. Just pour the mess into a pie dish and bake as instructed. Go on, I'll wait. This, by the way, is my all time favorite pumpkin pie recipe. It has the perfect blend of spices and the dark rum adds just the right kick. I usually add a dash of nutmeg and cardamom to round things out too, but other then the one time I accidentally doubled the amount of rum, I make it as is. As a side note, the double rum version took a bit longer to bake, but tasted amazing, even if it was fantastically boozy. Once the pie is baked, let it cool completely, or even toss it into the fridge overnight.
Next you'll want to bake the pumpkin cupcakes. For this I went with the best source there is, Martha Stewart. Believe me when I tell you that these cupcakes are to die for. They bake up with those perfect little mounds on top and are amazingly moist. I added a few of the pumpkin pie spices to the cupcakes too, so that they match up to the "frosting" a bit better, otherwise I used this recipe as is as well. These days I have too many things going on to try and experiment or innovate, so I just went with what I know would work.
Once the cupcakes are cool, whisk the cooled pumpkin pie filling from before a bit to make sure the mix is uniform, scoop into a pastry bag fitted with your favorite tip, and pipe on top of the cupcakes. Feel free to squirt some filling directly into your mouth, it's kind of like a no-carb slice of pie. Plus a pumpkin is a vegetable, so that makes it healthy, right?
Place a perfect pecan half on top and marvel at your creation. Thanksgiving dessert in a cupcake! Something to be thankful for, no?