October 26, 2009

Autumn! Miss Suzy's Acorn Cupcakes

I know that Halloween is Saturday and I should be doing a Halloween theme this week, but to tell you the truth I'm sick of bats and spiders, and I will be thrilled when our neighbor takes down the dementor she has hanging from her front porch, terrifying my children each time we drive by. Instead, I thought I'd get a jump start on my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving!) and do some fall-themed books and activities that will take us into November.

The Book - Miss Suzy by Miriam Young

Okay, so technically this isn't a fall book, but it has oak trees, acorns, and squirrels, all of which remind me of autumn. It's another classic, having survived forty years and still going strong. My mother read it to me as a child and she still has that copy. When she refused to part with it, I ordered our own and it's now a favorite of Little Page.

Miss Suzy is a little gray squirrel who makes her home in a tall oak tree. She lives a simple and industrious life and is happy in her little house until a band of red squirrels destroy her things and chase her out. She seeks shelter in an old dollhouse nearby where she meets a group of toy soldiers. She cares for them like a mother and one day tells them about her old home in the oak. The soldiers march off to seek justice for their friend, and in the end all is restored.

It's a quiet, gentle story of friendship, justice, and harmonious living. You'll enjoy telling it as much as your child enjoys the telling. So snuggle up in the covers, crack open the story, and delight in an old classic about a little squirrel!

The Recipe - Pumpkin Acorn Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Remember those awesome pumpkin cupcakes we made a couple weeks ago? I got the directions from my eldest sister who is an amazing artist. When Kim traded in her paintbrushes to raise her four (yes, four!) children, she turned to the medium of frosting. Her cakes and cupcakes are spectacular. My other sister Beth and I usually con her into make our kids' birthday cakes as well.

Because Kim doesn't blog, I get to steal her ideas and share them with you! Beth already beat me to the punch this time (the brat!), but I thought it was too good not to put out there again. As I've warned before, Kim is an artist so her definition of "easy" is not the same as mine. Still, these look do-able, and I know how fabulously talented you all are because I've seen your own blogs! So, without further ado.... here's Kim!

This is my adaption from a recipe I found on allrecipes.com (great site btw).

Mix the following 4 ingredients in a med. sized bowl:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl: (tip- I mix with wisk after each ingredient is added)
4 eggs beaten
1 can of canned pureed pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c milk

Add half of the dry ingredients in your med bowl to the large bowl and mix, then add the rest and mix to only combine (don't over mix or you'll have hockey pucks).

Spoon into 24 paper lined cupcake pans 3/4 full.
Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 25 min.
Frost when completely cool.

Cinnamon Creamcheese Frosting:
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar (add more if needed)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

With Electric beater mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, add vanilla and cinnamon, and one cup of sugar at a time until desired consistancy is reached. Place frosting into a freezer quart size bag, twist air out of top of bag, snip off a small amount off of a corner and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Caramel Acorns:
24 Brachs caramels
handful of chocolate chips, melted in microwave
chocolate jimmies

Microwave 2 unwrapped caramels at a time for about 8 seconds. Roll into a ball and shape into an acorn shape. Set aside. When all are shaped, dip caramel top into melted chocolate chips and then immediately into a pile of chocolate jimmies. Set onto plate. Voila! Acorns.

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  1. Oh my gosh! That acorn rocks! I'm kinda sick of bats and spiders, too. Shhhh...

  2. Goodness, if I brought those to Thanksgiving this year I'd get a crown.

    Love it.


  3. The book AND the cupcakes look like something my little ones would definitely enjoy. :) Your cupcakes are adorable. Visiting from Kimba's party. :)

  4. Oh My Goodness... these look heavenly. I will have to make these with the kiddos.

  5. Beware of Mayhem & Moxie. I got the exact same canned message on my post. Advertising ploy.

  6. They look seriously tasty! Hmm I can almost smell the cinnamon, sooooo good!

  7. Love the acorn toppers! I'm going to give it a try. Great for the sweet table at Thanksgiving.

  8. I am loving this site! My 22 month old is showing an interest in being read to now, so your suggestions are terrific! And the older two can either help read or participate in the creative activities. I can't wait to try out the cupcakes from today's post. Yum! Excellent site, Christianne! MIKI

  9. I love, love the acorn (and the recipe sounds yummy too)! Our nursery school's ministry newsletter is called the acorn so this will be a perfect treat for the staff :)!

  10. Yum! The cupcakes look fantastic and the book looks fabulous. I tried finding a few Thanksgiving books recently at the library and have been less than enthused . . .

    My son loves anything in cupcake/muffin form so these might be a hit!


    PS - I will be so thrilled once Halloween is over. My neighbor is a Halloween-a-holic and her decorations have been up since about the 24th of September. Me, on the other hand? I think my son will be the same thing this year as he was last year, at two, how will he know? I am not a big fan of Halloween.

  11. Now those are some cute cupcakes! Love them!


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