Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Picking Day!

Apple picking to us means fun, family and food!

Jill: Apple picking has been a long-standing family tradition. I honestly don't know how long it's been going on, but I've gone almost every year since I was born! We often joke that family apple picking is the "biggest holiday of the year".

Christine: I have attended five of the annual apple picking days and each year I try and bring something fun and exciting to go along with the theme of the day!

We all have so much fun picking the apples, but the real fun comes later when it’s time to make the pies! As we all gather back into the house after selecting the most perfect apples in the orchard, we get right to work!

We work together to peel the apples, prepare the pans with pie crust, toss the apples in flour, cinnamon and sugar, and then baking the pies! We let the pies bake while we enjoy a wonderful feast!

Then it’s time for dessert, where we not only have fresh apple pies, but also some yummy treats that we have made for everyone!
I decided to make S'Mores cupcakes for apple picking this year. I used Martha's Stewart's recipe and, although it was a more challenging recipe, I was up for it.

The cupcakes were made using Graham flour, honey, and brown sugar as well as other ingredients. I had never worked with Graham flour before and was curious to see how it would affect the texture of my cupcakes.

The Graham flour cupcakes were very unique and definitely made the cupcakes taste like graham cracker. The cupcakes were then topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache to simulate the chocolate portion of a s'more.

Another reason I loved this recipe was because I got to make my own marshmallow to pipe onto the cupcakes! I had never made marshmallow before and it was really interesting to see how it was done.

After the cupcakes were piped with marshmallow, I used my kitchen torch to lightly toast the marshmallow and tie together the whole s'mores cupcake.

I love to make cupcakes and I especially enjoy making cupcakes that go along with a theme of a party. I was flipping through two of my new favorite cupcake books: “Hello Cupcake” and “What’s New Cupcake” and saw two ideas that fit perfectly into the theme of this party: apples and pumpkins.

Apple Cupcakes

I started out with one dozen golden yellow cupcakes that I made using Bakerella’s recipe.
After allowing the cupcakes to cool, I covered them with red buttercream frosting. I placed half of a mini donut on top and placed the cupcake in the freezer. After hardening for a few minutes in the freezer, I spread the red buttercream on top to cover the rest of the cupcake and the donut.

Then, I placed the cupcake, upside down, into a shallow bowl of red sugar to cover the top and sides completely.

A tootsie roll for the stem and a spearmint leaf candy on top completed the look!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
I started out with one dozen golden yellow cupcakes and covered them completely in a bright orange buttercream frosting.

I placed them, upside down, in a bowl of orange sugar.

Topped with a tootsie roll as the stem and a spearmint leaf, these were almost ready.

The last step was to add some orange frosting on top of the sugar. I piped on a few lines going from the stem to edge of the cupcake to create a more real looking pumpkin!

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