For Day 15 of #30DaysThankful, I am grateful for new recipes. In this blog post, I'm reviewing my favorite fall recipes that I have made these past few weeks. There's been a lot cookin' (and bakin') in the Heartland Lady kitchen, aside from my own experiments, and I wanted to share these great finds with you!
100% Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
from Genius Kitchen
Though I have much improved my skills at yeasted bread, I still appreciate a soda bread as my trusted fall-back. There's a lot less margin for error (i.e. killing the yeast, not activating the yeast, underproving, overproving, etc.) and it saves time (proving time that is!) I'm so pleased with this recipe which is wholly whole wheat, rather than the more common all-purpose/whole wheat flour combination. It is dense, but still has a tender crumb on the inside. I often bake it as one big loaf for around an hour. Before popping it in the oven, I add an egg wash and a sprinkling of seeds or oatmeal to the top of the loaf. When the crust starts getting really brown, I'll rub some butter on it to prevent burning.
Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger
When I was younger, I loved squash soup, but for a few odd years, it just didn't taste good anymore. I would only tolerate it with copious amounts of Parmesan and croutons. Enter this velvety smooth, almost sweet, soup recipe from Epicurious (they always have the most interesting and inventive recipes out there!) and my love of squash soup was rekindled. This smells like absolute heaven when it's simmering on the stovetop. We've had good success with both freezing and canning this soup. It's so convenient to pull out a canned soup on a busy night and nuke it in the microwave.
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream
Cupcake recipe from Brown-eyed Baker
These pumpkin cupcakes were one of my favorite desserts of the season. (Though of course, my trifle was pretty spectacular too.) They are so tender and moist, a truly perfect cupcake. I made a double batch and used half canola oil, half butter as the fats in this mixture. There was enough batter for a dozen normal-size cupcakes and 18 mini cupcakes. I decided against the standard cream cheese frosting, which I had already used on the Halloween cake, and instead created my own recipe.
So last, but certainly not least, I present my recipe for a rich, maple-flavored buttercream. I was so happy with how this experiment turned out. This frosting would go well with not only pumpkin, but perhaps a spiced chiffon. I also imagine a coffee-flavored cake would be quite good (coffee, maple syrup... anyone else thinking cake for breakfast?)
Eva's Marvelous Maple Buttercream
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. maple extract (or more, to taste)
To make the frosting: Beat the butter in a mixer until it becomes pale and lighter in texture, forming small peaks around the sides of the bowl. Add milk and extracts while mixing at a low speed to avoid splashes. Scrape sides of bowl to ensure that extracts are well incorporated. One cup at a time, add powdered sugar, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat until it reaches a smooth, spreadable consistency, yet firm enough to hold its shape. (Feel free to add more milk or sugar as needed to adjust the texture.)
'Til next time,