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Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients :

- 1 3/4 cups (225 grams) all purpose flour

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

- 2 large eggs

- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

- 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

- 1 cup (200 grams) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)

- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water

- 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

- Cream Cheese Frosting:

- 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 1 1/2 cups (175 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Garnish :

- 1 cup (110 grams) pecans or walnuts

Directions :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the sugar and melted butter and whisk until blended.  Whisk or stir in the pumpkin, water, and vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until the ingredients are combined. (A few streaks of flour is fine.) Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the butter and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted and chopped nuts.

To toast nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Cool completely and then chop coarsely.

Makes about 12 regular-sized cupcakes.

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