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Friday, November 8, 2013

Spiced Rum Pumpkin Poppers

I made these awhile ago. Actually, I think I made them in September, the very moment the temperature dropped below 90, giving me the courage to fire up my oven. The novelty of the fall season and the brisk 80 degree weather inspired me to bake something with pumpkin, as you do in the fall. I don't really have a good reason for why it's taken me so long to post these, but I feel like my timing is actually impeccable. It seems like a huge chunk of our population needs a reminder: it's still fall! 

It's the first week of November, and we're (still!) in the middle of my favorite season. Even though we're in California, the weather is decidedly crisp, and someone wisely had the foresight to plant lots of Chinese Pistache, Liquid Ambers, and Maple trees so my neighborhood is (still!) awash in brilliant color. The days are getting shorter, but I'm just not in a hurry to rush right into the Christmas season. Holiday decorations are already popping up everywhere, the State Capitol's tree was delivered today, and I'll admit that I got a peppermint mocha, in a cute red cup, from Starbucks today. Technically, red is also a fall color, so I told myself I was celebrating FALL. I love Christmas, but fall is SO very lovely - can't we just enjoy it awhile longer?

Will these convince you?
Spiced rum pumpkin poppers. Sit down & stay awhile.

Seriously, make these spiced rum pumpkin poppers and I promise you'll want fall to stick around a little longer. My kitchen smelled divine after I made these - and they were pretty easy to make, too. They remind me of doughnut holes - the texture is very much like a cake doughnut, but they're baked, and since pumpkin is high in vitamin A, that makes these healthy - right?

Fresh out of the oven, just-glazed.
Here's how it's done:

Oven temp: 350
Yield: about 36 poppers (3 dozen, or 1 and 1/2 mini muffin tins)

For the poppers:

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp spiced rum
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk

(1) Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

(2) Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, and spices in a bowl. 

(3) In another bowl, mix eggs, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, rum, and milk until smooth. Mix in half the flour mixture until moistened, then add the rest and mix until just combined - do not overmix, or it will become glutenous and chewy, rather than fluffy and cakey!

(4) Scoop the mixture into mini muffin tins - the cups should be nearly full. 

(5) Bake for 10 minutes.

For the glaze:

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp spiced rum

(6) While the spiced rum pumpkin poppers are baking, melt the 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan, stirring constantly over medium heat, until it just begins to turn golden brown.  Add the salt and brown sugar, continuing to stir constantly. The mixture will start to bubble - keep stirring and let it bubble for about 5 minutes. It will thicken and become syrupy. By this time, your poppers should be just about done. Remove the glaze from the heat, and give it a couple more stirs. 

(7) Remove the poppers from the oven when they're done. While the poppers are still hot, and still in the muffin tin, brush (I like to use a silicone marinade brush, but you could carefully spoon it) the also-hot glaze over the poppers.

(8) You're done. Let them sit for a few minutes, and pop them out of the muffin tins to devour them ALL serve. 

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**Happy Fall! :) Jacqueline**
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  1. These look really good! I am in total agreement with you about not rushing into christmas celebrations. There's no point wishing the time away because it will be here before we know it!

    I am always wanting to try recipes that use pumpkin puree but I've never seen it sold here in the UK. I should try making my own so I can try some of these recipes out.

  2. Exactly, Janine! Let's enjoy these last beautiful fall days before icy cold, wet winter sneaks up on us! Pumpkin puree isn't hard to make; it's just a little cumbersome because you have to deal with the whole pumpkin. But the good news is that you end up with a lot, and it freezes well.

  3. I think I know what to christen my mini muffin tin with!! It sounds delicious! =)

  4. Have fun, Sheree! I hope you like them!

  5. Oh, yeah! I'm how about coming out and visiting so we can have them together, XOXO

  6. Wow, this is fascinating reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the great and unique info



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