Ah, the Fall. Bright colors on trees, brisk sunshine-y air worthy of unpacking pretty handknit scarves and cute tall boots to wear with corduroy skirts. It's my favorite season, even though in Houston we really only get to enjoy it for a couple of weeks (if we're lucky) and it's not nearly as pretty here as in other more northerly states.
But now I'm just being ungrateful. I'll take the Fall in whatever shape, form, temperature or length I can get it. On a culinary note, it signals the arrival of a something quite welcome in my kitchen – thick stews and simmering chilis, posole with homemade chile (New Mexican style!), hearty savory souffles, vegan pot roasts and lovely squash and pumpkin temptations at the farmer's market.
In the cupcake world, these months give us the opportunity to explore an entirely new realm of spices, flavoring and garnishes. One of the more popular garnish medium around is Marzipan. Can you hear me practically start to salivate when I type that word? Marzipan Marzipan Marzipan. I could eat pounds of this heavenly almond paste in one sitting with nothing but me and a spoon, it's so glorious.
While it's certainly not a seasonal ingredient (eep! love this La Murier cupcake for a light summer treat), I love some of the cute Fall themed cupcake recipes out there. The sweet-but-not-too-sweet almond flavor also lends itself well to some of the heavier and more spice laden holiday recipes you'll be trying out this year too. Here are some helpful links to get you going:
- Marzipan recipe – although you can buy marzipan pretty inexpensively in your grocer's baking aisle, specialty food shops or at World Market Plus
- Martha's gold gilded marzipan acorns and leaves
- Pumpkin cupcake toppers (another Martha creation)
- Basic tips on making Marzipan shapes
- Lovely apple cupcake recipe with marzipan leaves
- Holy cow – chocolate squash cupcakes with marzipan centers!!
Photo thanks to Flickr user corypina