I love pumpkin. Something about it just signifies the change from summer to fall to me. While cruising the blogs that I read, I came across a recipe on Baking Bites for "Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes". They are described as a "recipe based on an impossible pie recipe. Impossible pie is a concept that is a popular "back of the box" recipe for baking mixes, like Bisquick".
I vaguely recall my mother making something called impossible tamale pie...or something of the sort, definitely was NOT my favorite, but I'd never even thought of using that recipe to make a pie sort of pie...if you could call it that. The photos on the blog are gorgeous, the cupcakes look just yummy...and, as I said, I do love pumpkin...and pumpkin pie is wonderful, so it seemed perfect for me to try.
For the first batch, I followed the recipe given on Baking Bites to the letter...or so I thought. Going back and reading the recipe again, I realize I only put in the brown sugar, and had totally left out the white. Still, they were not bad at all.
As many recipes I try, especially those with pumpkin in them, I wanted more spice. And, realizing I'd left most of the sugar out, I thought I'd add just a bit back. One of the key aspects of pumpkin, for me, when baked into a dessert, is that warm, spicy, fall sort of feeling. So, I tried them again...this time tweaking the recipe to fit what I like...
2/3 cup Bisquick
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and add liners to 12 muffin tins. My muffin tins once belonged to my Grandmother. I can remember baking with her when I was little, using them. (She had the patience of a saint by the way...I learned so much at her side...) At this point, I lightly sprayed the liners with Pam to make sure they released a bit cleaner.
Combine the wet ingredients together, then add the sugar, flour and spices, beating only until you see no streaks of the flour.
Put about 1/3 cup (see...I do sometimes actually follow my own directions, I'm using the 1/3 cup) of the batter into each of the liners, and bake. I baked mine for only 15 minutes rather than the suggested 20. Chill before serving.
Now, the only real difference in the recipes is the use of Bisquick vs. the plain flour, and the addition of more spice. I did delete the baking power as well...and shortened the baking time by 5 minutes.
Oh my goodness...if you like pumpkin pie, you will be crazy about these things. Either one of the recipes was great (even the one that lacked the full amount of sugar). I did enjoy the one with more spices a bit more...just a personal taste preference, like I said, I likes me spices...
I will be making these for Thanksgiving, and I will be adding the twist of making a thin broiled nut topping on them just before serving. A little like a creme brule topping, it's a thin layer of sugar, and a little bit of butter, along with some chopped nuts.
If that sounds good to you...to make the topping, combine 1/3 cup chopped nuts of your choice (I use a combination of walnuts, pecans and hazel nuts), a heaping 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 2 Tablespoons of butter. I toast my nuts prior to using to bring out their flavor...you can do this on the stove top in a cast iron skillet...heat on low and continually stir or shake the nuts so they don't burn, or toss them into a pie pan and stick them in the oven at 375 degrees until they start to toast...shake them from time to time to prevent burning. Cool them completely before using for the topping. Combine the butter and sugar and blend together until they are crumbly. Add the toasted nuts. Sprinkle on the tops of the cooked and cooled impossible pumpkin pie cupcakes, and broil just until the brown sugar melts and is bubbly. Cool a bit, to make sure they are not going to take off the taste buds on your tongue...serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
I'm just not sure it gets any yummier than this...