Monday, October 25, 2010

The $40 cupcake

October is one of my favorite months. When I was gainfully employed, I would spend the first week of the month on Cape Cod, quietly celebrating my birthday and taking advantage of the fact that the days were still warm enough to spend hours on the beach and the evenings quiet enough to actually enjoy the restaurants.

October and Autumn also usher in one of my favorite seasonal taste treats—Pumpkin. If there was a 12-Step Program for pumpkin eaters, that would be me in the front row proudly name is Larry and I am a pumpkin addict. I will eat anything pumpkin from seeds to lattes and am just as happy having a store-bought $5.99 Entenmann's pumpkin pie as I am a $19.95 Little Pie Shop version.

So when I spotted Ina Garten's Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting in the October issue of House Beautiful, I knew I was in trouble. Being a "builder" and not a "baker," making the commitment to follow any recipe can be a daunting—and expensive—prospect. By the time I filled my shopping cart with all the ingredients (very few of which I had at home, starting with the eggs) I watched the tab quickly rise to about $40. I was tempted to return everything and opt for the ready-made bakery goods visible in every direction, but stayed the course and took my purchases home to become a student of Ina's. When the room filled with the scent of fresh-baked pumpkin and I dipped my finger in the maple frosting to sample a taste, I knew the cost was worth it!

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