Pumpkin Hat(s)

I made this hat twice:  it’s based on the same star hat pattern that I used for the newborn hat and matching big kid hats last spring, and the first version (despite my attempt at sizing up the pattern) was still newborn sized.  I gave that one away to a cute baby who came to a BWI meeting  and started over.

The second attempt was much better for my giant-headed baby.  When I got to 6 stitches, instead of binding off, I switched to brown and added a stitch every other, and then knit with 12 stitches per round for about an inch and a half, to make a little stem. If I’d been crocheting, I would have crocheted through back loops to turn and make a flat top,  but I don’t know how you do that in knitting so I left it open (which looks fine).  And it fits!!  I have gone back and forth about adding a leaf; I might do so someday or if it still fits next fall, but I have a lot of holiday crafting I want to do and it’s time to move on from pumpkins 🙂


Gingerbread Cake with molasses cream cheese frosting

I started with the King Arthur Flour gingerbread recipe, using my usual substitution of powdered buttermilk mixed with the dry ingredients and water added with the wet, because powdered buttermilk is always there for me, and I can never remember to buy fresh buttermilk.  The children insisted that the cake shouldn’t be super spicy, because “Daddy will want to share his cake with us!”, so we left out the optional black pepper. I had a lot of excellent pouring and stirring help, and we recovered most of the lost flour from over-enthusiastic stirring.

We made a double batch, floured my silicone square cake pans, and split the batter between them.  

I let them cool completely in the pans, and it paid off:  only one tiny little corner stuck and I was able to frost it back in place.  I probably would have gotten smoother sides if I had trimmed the edges of the cake, but I had a lot of help with the cake from the Junior Baking Squad and they’re very easily distracted by loose cake scraps; I think if they had started eating cake we might have had a frenzy.  

The frosting had some improvisation.  Despite being alerted days ago that I was out of powdered sugar, it failed to make my shopping list.  I put granulated sugar into the food processor, which did break it up a bit, but it was still a bit grainy.  I worked mostly from the frosting part of this recipe, but scaled down to accommodate the fact that I only had 6oz of cream cheese.  I think in the end I used 6oz cream cheese, 6 tbsp butter, 2c sugar (what I had was basically superfine granulated sugar) and 2tbsp molasses, plus a splash of vanilla.  The frosting was a little drippy straight from the food processor, which worked well for spreading, and I chilled some for using for piping and decoration. 

Rather than stirring little pieces of candied ginger into the batter, we used whole pieces for decoration, which meant I didn’t have to try to chop sticky candied ginger and the Junior Bakers could help decorate.  I also broke out my new cake decorating kit for the first time, which meant that the base frosting was smoother and I was able to make some nice piping.  Maybe next time I’ll even try writing with the tip designed for writing! But nonetheless, still my prettiest cake ever, and very tasty.