If you know me personally (and even if you don't, you can probably tell by now), I really love air conditioning.
Like, I would rather be subjected to watching an all-day movie marathon of Tom Cruise's "mega-hits" from the late '90s (i.e., That Movie that Made no Sense, That Porno that Made no Sense, That Movie that Made no Sense II) than experience a hot summer day without a working A/C nearby. And that's saying something. I mean, have you SEEN any of those movies?! They're horrible. Simply terrible. I dare you to watch any of them without wanting to seriously injur the next person you encounter...I double-dog dare ya.
Anyway, the point is, I love not being hot, hence I love fall. It brings with it cool, crisp air, beautiful colors, Lady Gaga's new album, and of course, great flavors, namely pumpkin. Have you ever had a pumpkin-flavored beer?? Well, have you!?!
Look, I'm not telling you to go out and get drunk, but you should probably go out and buy a case of Sam Adams' Octoberfest, lock yourself in a room for the weekend and drink all of it. It's not called alcoholism, it's called having a healthy dose of autumnal spirit!*
To get into the autumnal spirit myself, I decided to make these Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Sam Adams Octoberfest Cupcakes:
If you think drinking Sam Adams is good stuff, wait till you eat it. The cake was a super moist chocolate gingerbread-style cake, topped with a Sam Adams-infused cream cheese frosting.
It started like any work of art: with two sticks of butter beaten with 3 cups of sugar.
Then you mix your wet ingredients:
Oh, yeah, babe.
Then combine your dry ingredients. By the way, making these cupcakes, I learned that using really good quality cocoa really does make a difference in the flavor of the end product. So I bought this organic cocoa from Whole Foods, that not only tasted great, but it came in this pretty packaging too...we should all know by now that looks are really all that matter:
Then you basically mix all that junk together, pour in cupcake liners, and bake. Then, if you know what you're doing, they come out like this:
Yes folks, that's right. We have a nearly perfect, slightly domed cupcake! This elusive creature has taunted me over the past few months, but alas, I have conquered this demon. HA HA!!
After they cool, you shelack your chocolate pumpkin spice Sam Adams Octoberfest cupcake with beer-infused cream cheese frosting and it's all pretty like this:
Am I drunk on Octoberfest or is this a beautiful cupcake? Maybe both...
Anyway, here's the recipe:
Adapted from Country Living
2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1 cup(s) good-quality cocoa
2 tablespoon(s) good-quality cocoa
1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup(s) buttermilk
1/2 cup Sam Adams Octoberfest
1 1/2 cup(s) pumpkin purée
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
2 1/4 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened
3 cup(s) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (we'll turn it down to 350 degrees once we pop the cuppies in the oven)
1. Beat butter and sugar together in a large bown until light, pale, and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.
3. In yet another bowl, combine buttermilk, pumpkin, vanilla, and beer until it resembles baby food.
4. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition. You should add the flour mixture in three parts, begining with the flour mixture and ending with the flour mixture.
5. Fill cupcake liner 3/4 full (that's what I did, anyway); bake for 28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.
1 package of cream cheese
1 package of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Sam Adams Octoberfest
Combine all ingredients until light and flufy. Top cooled cupcakes with gobs of frosting.
*No, actually, it is called alcoholism. Please enjoy all libations responsibly.