Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

Pumpkin Ice Cream CupcakesI spent the last week in Seattle.

And, I’m fairly certain I fell in love.

I want to live there someday. It’s absolutely beautiful.

I’d never been to Seattle before, but it had always been a place I wanted to visit. Partly because I Love (yes, with a capital L) the rain. I’m a huge fan of cloudy days, cold weather, and jumping around in rain puddles (with rain boots on, of course). The other part, which you may have already guessed, is that Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks. And, we all know, how much I love my coffee.

I spent most of my time walking the streets in downtown Seattle. Window shopping with my mom. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee. Site seeing with my family. Jumping around in the fall leaves (don’t judge me…we don’t quite get all, or really any, of the fall changes in California. In fact, it’s still in the eighties where I live.). Watching the Seahawks’ fans proudly wear bright green and blue. And, eating more than my fair share of desserts.

There was one bakery, in particular, that I would gladly live in. It’s called Cupcake Royale, and it may just be the cutest little bakery I’ve ever seen. They have coffee, homemade ice cream, and adorably decorated cupcakes. Can you see why I want to live there?

They had Pumpkin Cardamom ice cream, which I obviously had to try, and I can’t even begin to explain how good it was. It had chunks of soft pumpkin bread swirled with a cardamom cream cheese ice cream that was literally like eating pumpkin pie in ice cream form. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. That ice cream was the inspiration for these Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes. And can I just say, these little bad boys taste pretty darn good.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

These Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes require a little bit more time and work than your normal cupcake, but trust me when I say, it’s soooo worth it. The cupcake portion, itself, is a graham cracker cupcake that is ridiculously moist and maintains that spicy graham cracker flavor that we all love. On top of the cupcake, is a thick layer of pumpkin ice cream, which is then covered in a cream cheese glaze. Finally, the cupcake is sprinkled generously with toasted pumpkin spice graham cracker crumbs. These cupcakes are a little messier than most (blame the delicious pumpkin ice cream), but I don’t think you’ll mind the sticky fingers after your first bite!

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yields: About 22 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (about 13 graham cracker sheets) of graham cracker crumbs (I used honey graham crackers and a food processor to make my crumbs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Ice Cream Layer
1 quart pumpkin cream (I used Trader’s Joe Pumpkin Ice Cream)

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
5 sheets of graham crackers, crumbled
1-1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice

NOTE: I had extra crumb topping at the end, so maybe try using 3 sheets of graham crackers instead of 5 and add pumpkin spice based off of taste.

Directions:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
Cream butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake tin. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely or put them in the freezer to speed up the process.

Ice Cream Layer
If you removed the cupcakes from the cupcake pan for cooling, return cupcakes to the pan once completely cooled.
Carefully and quickly spread a spoonful of pumpkin ice cream on top of the cupcakes—make sure to cover the whole cupcake and leave a little mound on the top of the cupcake so they aren’t flat.
If the ice cream becomes too soft to work with, return cupcakes and ice cream to the freezer until you can work again.
Freeze cupcakes for about 1-2 hours or until ice cream layer is frozen enough (I let mine sit over night).

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
Before making your cream cheese glaze, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin spice. Mix until well-combined.
Pour crumbs onto foiled cookie sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown—watch the crumbs carefully because they can quickly become burnt.

Cream Cheese Glaze
Once the ice cream layer has been set and the crumbs have been toasted make your glaze.
In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add milk and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Assembly
Remove cupcakes from freezer and pour a heaping spoonful of cream cheese glaze over each cupcake—make sure to cover the whole thing.
Once the cupcakes have been glazed, sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the cupcake.
Place cupcakes back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, and then finalllllly you can eat them :)

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

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Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker CookiesIt’s been a while since I ranted about peanut butter.

Remember those Peanut Butter M&M Cookies? The one’s that were so delicious, even my non-peanut-butter-loving brother ate? Yup, those one’s. Did you make them? If you didn’t, it’s okay, but you really should. They are totally worth it.

You know what else is worth it? These Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies.

Did I ever tell you that I don’t like jelly? As in I don’t eat it. Ever. Unless someone holds a whisk to my head and says ‘eat it or I will never let you bake again’—don’t worry that hasn’t actually happened yet. I just don’t like it. The texture, the flavors [yes, I’ve tried plenty of them], and the mushy appearance…really everything about jelly is a huge turn off for my tastebuds. Are you wondering if my dislike for jelly extends to peanut butter & jelly sandwiches?

The answer is that, yes, it does. When other kids were pulling out peanut butter & jelly sandwiches from their paper bag lunches, I would happily be pulling out a plain peanut butter sandwich. Usually half a sandwich. With the crust cut off. It wasn’t until much later that someone told me about peanut butter & honey sandwiches. I was skeptical. Honey with my peanut butter? Could it taste good? Or, would it be just a less chunky version of jelly?

Needless to say, it is not like jelly. And even though I still prefer plain peanut butter sandwiches, occasionally I mix in some honey. Because, in actuality, it’s not half bad. It’s actually kind of delicious, which is why I had to make it into a cookie.

Say helllllo to the tasty Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookie.

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies

This cookie tastes just like a peanut butter & honey sandwich. And that is in no way an exaggeration. The Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookie itself is graham cracker based and picks up the lightly sweetened honey flavor of a regular graham cracker. This super soft, moist, and melt in your mouth cookie is then drizzled generously with both peanut butter and honey. The creamy peanut butter drizzle and the sweetened honey drizzle combine perfectly with the graham cracker cookie to give you one mouthwatering dessert.

Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies
Yields: about 50 cookies

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Cookies
1 cup (two sticks) salted-butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (about 7 cracker sheets) honey graham crackers, crumbled into small chunks
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Drizzle
5 ½ tablespoons peanut butter, melted
5 ½ tablespoons honey

Directions:
Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Cream together butter and both sugars, until light and creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the honey graham cracker chunks.
Drop a generous tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto the greased cookie sheet.
Bake 6-7 minutes or until cookies have a light golden brown color.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

Drizzle
In a microwave safe bowl, melt peanut butter until it’s of drizzling consistency (I melted two tablespoons at a time and it took about 45 seconds).
Drizzle peanut butter using a fork or spoon over the cookies.
Once the peanut butter drizzle has set, then drizzle the cookies with honey.
Let cookies sit for about 8-10 minutes before eating.

 
Peanut Butter & Honey Graham Cracker Cookies