You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Add cob appeal: 10 things to try
    It's hard to improve on the delicious simplicity of summer-perfect corn on the cob slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt. But we figured we'd give it a try anyway.
  • Add cob appeal: 10 things to try
    It’s hard to improve on the delicious simplicity of summer-perfect corn on the cob slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt.But we figured we’d give it a try anyway.
  • Going above, beyond the watermelon slice
    Watermelon is one of those foods you really don’t need to overthink.Slice it. Eat it. Spit out the occasional seed. Done.Trouble is, the sweet, refreshing taste of watermelon is so appealing in ...
Scripps Howard News Service
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Mini Pumpkin-Maple Tarts with Toasted Pecan Streusel

Some pumpkin pie alternatives

Looking for “pumpkiny” alternatives to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Consider giving these recipes a try.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Maple Frosting

These taste almost like gingerbread.

1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing pan

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup canned pumpkin purée

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

Maple Frosting (recipe follows)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush top of muffin pan with oil and line with 10 paper liners.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and soda, spices and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, sugars and 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Scoop batter into prepared tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, spread cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle with chopped Heath bars.

Makes 10 cupcakes.

– “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust”

by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, October 2012, $35)

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream all ingredients except sugar on medium-low speed until very smooth. With mixer on low, slowly add confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Frosts 10 cupcakes.

Mini Pumpkin-Maple Tarts With Toasted Pecan Streusel

Don’t skimp on the streusel topping – it’s so good, you might be tempted to eat it with a spoon.

For filling:

1 cup pure pumpkin purée

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch table salt

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For dough:

1 package (7 ounces) premade pie dough

For streusel:

1/2 cup toasted pecans

2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make filling by putting pumpkin purée, maple syrup, cinnamon, spices and salt in bowl. Whisk until well-blended and smooth. Add egg and vanilla and whisk until just blended.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 24 mini-muffin cups. Unroll pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3 1/2 -inch cutter, cut out 24 rounds, reusing gathered scraps.

Working with 1 round at a time, use your finger to gently press the dough into a prepared muffin cup, making sure there are no air bubbles in the bottom and that the dough is pressed firmly and evenly up the side to within 1/4 inch of the top. Repeat with remaining dough rounds.

Evenly spoon filling into lined muffin cups. Bake until crusts are golden brown and centers jiggle slightly when the pan is nudged, 27 to 29 minutes.

While tarts are baking, make streusel topping. Put pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely ground. (Any leftovers are delicious on ice cream!)

Move muffin tin to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula or tip of a paring knife, remove tarts from pan and set on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle tarts with pecan streusel.

Makes 24 mini tarts.

– “Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets” by Abigail Johnson Dodge (Taunton, September 2012, $22.95)