Pumpkin Poppers. Birthday. Getting Married.

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The three main topics in the title usually don’t go together. Pumpkin poppers? Appropriate, says the chill in the air. Birthday? Wait, why are you in the kitchen baking on your birthday? And GETTING MARRIED?!?! Why are you a) baking and not planning?!?! & b) eating pumpkin poppers with no abandon?!?! Watch that waist, girlfriend . . .I have been subconsciously craving donut holes lately, and my friend whom I know in real life as well as the blogosphere (Meli from Sugar, Spice, & Savor) and I needed a lady baking date. I’m getting married and moving to Canada in 2 1/2 weeks, and I’m squooshing all my quality time with my friends into the mere time I have left. Anyway . . . She found this recipe on Pinterest (Ya know, the thing that takes over people’s lives? Yup, that one), and we whipped some up last night over a good heart-to-heart. They were wonderful, addictive, and screaming to be made again.

So today, my birthday, I decided to bake some. Honestly, I needed a bit of a destresser. Or, decompressor.

Post-baking birthday eve set up. Love.

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Maybe I’m not stressed. I think it’s just a weird avalanche, of sorts; You know? You know. I was actually spoiled today.
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The amazing man I’m going to marry sent me these from Canada for my birthday.Best. Guy. Ever.

These treats have all the tenderness of a perfect donut hold, without the fried mess or oil. They’re baked into fluffy perfection. Everything that the start of autumn should be- light yet present, sweet but not overpowering;  these have just enough cinnamon and pumpkin flavor to hint at what you have to look forward to.
These are also one of the easiest things I’ve made. Simple deliciousness, perfect to bake and still have time to curl up with some tea and read while your loved one sits on your feet to warm them up.Because that’s real love and real life.

Pumpkin Poppers

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

For Coating
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking soda,salt, and spices in a bowl and whisk until combine.

In another bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk.  Pour in flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Side Note: At this point, after half the batch was already a’baking, I had the brill idea to mix in a few chopped pecans and a handful of dark chocolate chips. It’s a good thing, people. 

Fill mini muffin tins until almost full and bake 10-12 minutes.  Let cool a couple minutes in pan, then move them to a cooling rack

Melt butter in small bowl.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in a separate small bowl.  After popper cool for a few minutes, dip them in the butter and roll them in the sugar mixture. Place back on the cooling rack to let them set, serve right away, or store in an airtight container (just make sure they are completely cool before enclosing them). Will keep for up to 4 days (but most likely won’t last that long).

Source: adapted from Just the Little Things
Listening to: Florence + The Machine

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