Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spiced Green Tomato Cupcakes

With the onslaught of darkness and cold, most of us gardeners out there have likely spent the last few weeks turning our gardens from summer wonderlands of bountiful fruit into leaf-covered, compost piles that will yield happy soil come spring. Picking the last of the green tomatoes is always a favorite time of year for me as I use the opportunity to come up with spiffy new recipes for using them up. No wasting around here!

This time around I decided to make a batch of cupcakes with my green tomatoes. Using two recipes as a starting point, I eeked out a delicious cupcake akin to carrot cake. To top things off, I opted for a low-fat cream cheese frosting which made the cupcakes outstanding.

Hands down, these babies have been the most popular baked good I've made all year. As with most of the tasty recipes, I had to gift away as many cupcakes as possible to prevent devouring them all. I think I stopped myself after I had consumed six cupcakes in a row...

Now, I highly encourage all of you to grab those last few green tomatoes laying around the house or yard and make a batch of these for the upcoming holiday. As you sit there, licking your sticky fingers, smiling at the delicious goodness of these cupcakes...you can thank me. Enjoy! 

Spiced Green Tomato Cupcakes 
Inspired by: Spiced Green Tomato Cake 
  • 2 1/2 cups pureed green tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Puree the green tomatoes in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Cream together butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes in a mixing bowl, until well incorporated. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Next add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix. Finally, add the pureed tomato mixture and mix.

Sift together flour, spices, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a separate bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, followed by the raisins and walnuts.

Pour the batter evenly into the cupcake pan, using 2/3 of a cookie scooper often works well.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
Inspired by: Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe 
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1 8-oz package of low fat cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.

Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate each cupcake. Refrigerate any leftover frosting for up to 4 days. It tastes especially delicious eaten by the spoon. 

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