Caramel Apple Cupcakes

caramelapple

There is no reason for my lack of updates in the last month, except that I frequently suck at blogging. Life gets in the way sometime. And my computer died thanks to my cat and now I’m stuck using Windows 8.1 which makes me want to poke myself in the eyes.

A month ago I lamented about how AlphaBakes was meeting its end. However, luckily for me, there was a change of heart! This month, AlphaBakes and Random Recipes joined together to create a combined challenge of alpha-baking and picking random cookbooks off of my shelf.

So how does this challenge work? We were told to pick a random cookbook off of our shelves, go to the index and look under “A,” and pick one of those recipes to make.

The random number generator chose the book A Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes by Dede Wilson. This is a fun cupcake book, filled with seasonal cupcakes. When I made it to the index I was given the option to make these Caramel Apple Cupcakes or the April Fool’s Day “Spaghetti and Meatballs” Cupcakes. Perhaps the latter would have been appropriate, since it is April this month, but I wasn’t really in the mood for decorating cupcakes. Despite the caramel apple variety being in the Thanksgiving section, I opted to go that way!

These cupcakes are almost muffin-y. Perhaps a little sweeter than a standard muffin, but having the fruit in it felt so much more like a muffin to me than a cupcake.

Anyway, I’m glad to be blogging again. There’s more to come in the next few days!

AlphaBakes Logorandom

 

 

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Ingredients
2/3 cup peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
18 Kraft caramels
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
3 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. First make the streusel. Melt one stick of butter. Mix it with 2/3 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined. Then stir in 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and mix together, allowing it to clump together and form crumbs. Set aside.

2. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt together in a small bow. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the other stick of butter until creamy. Add 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp sugar, gradually beating until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tsp of the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat in the eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl after each addition. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the sour cream.

4. Fold the chopped apples into the cupcake batter.

5. Prepare a cupcake tin, allowing for this recipe to make approximately 18 cupcakes. Fill each paper liner one-quarter of the way full with batter. Top with some streusel. Fill with remaining batter and top with remaining streusel.

6. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

7. Melt the caramels in a double boiler on in a microwave. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the cupcakes.

* makes 18 cupcakes
* these cupcakes are also being shared with Mix It Up Monday

Advertisements

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

IMG_9372

 

This month’s Random Recipes challenged us to randomly pick a cookbook we received for Christmas. For the past two years I’ve been very lucky and have received cookbooks for Christmas. They are my favorite things ever. This year I received two. One book was filled with cupcakes. The other book is called Recipes Across America. Funny enough, though I made cupcakes this time, were not from the cupcake book but the other one instead. The book is filled with recipes from across this big country from Kentucky Grilled Chicken, Cheese Soup from Wisconsin, and Northwest Salmon Salad.

I opened the book hoping to get a savory recipe, but I was greeted by two different cake recipes: Devil’s Food Cake and Southern Lane Cake. Though the Southern Lane Cake intrigued me greatly (it’s essentially a glorified fruitcake,) I decided to stick with my favorite and do the chocolate.

This recipe appears in the “South sweets” section of the book. The recipe comes from Donna Carman in Tulsa, OK who shared that this recipe won the blue ribbon at several state fairs.

Though the recipe was for a cake, I decided to make cupcakes so I could more easily bring them to work. I’m not sure what I think about that option anymore, because the devil’s food made sort of weird cupcakes. It tasted good still, but they sort of drooped in the middle and shrunk.

Then when it got to the frosting, I realized I had a huge dilemma. The frosting recipe called for almost 4 cups of powdered sugar. I only had 1/4 cup!!!!!!!! (Which by the way, I need to buy more obviously.) So I found this recipe online for a frosting that didn’t used powdered sugar. It’s really more of a glaze and it hardened on top of the cupcakes.

They were super sweet, but pretty good and fluffy.

randomrecipes2

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Ingredients
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream

Directions

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, alternately with the water and sour cream. Transfer to prepared cupcake tins.

3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

For the Frosting

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a pot mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool partially and then beat with a mixer for three minutes.

2. When your cupcakes are cool, spread this glaze on top of them.

* makes about 2 dozen cupcakes