Friday, November 18, 2011

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I like to feature apples during the fall. There are lots of ways to enjoy them beyond the traditional apple pie. So I started flipping through my cookbook collection to find inspiration, which eventually came from Baking . . . Made Simple. I found the small cookbook at Marshall's, which often has great, cheap cookbooks.

I found a nice recipe for caramel apple cupcakes, which looked promising based on the picture. I could tell from the amount of sugar that they weren't going to be super sweet, which was fine by me. The twist that really caught my attention was the topping, which was made of apple slices and caramel and gave the cupcakes a pretty look.

Mine came out well, although they did not look as pretty as the picture in the cookbook.

They were good served at breakfast and as a snack-- probably not sweet enough for dessert. I would make them again.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Ingredients (serves 12)

2 apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
generous 1/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
scant 1/2 cup milk
scant 1/2 cup apple juice
1 egg, beaten

caramel topping
2 tbsp. light cream
3 tbsp light brown sugar
12/ tbsp butter

1. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan (preferably nonstick).

2. Core and coarsely grate one of the apples.

Slice the remaining apple into 1/4 inch thick wedges

and toss in the lemon juice.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, then stir in the sugar and grated apple.

3. Melt the butter and mix with the milk, apple juice, and egg.

Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients,

mixing lightly

until just combined.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan.

Put two apple slices on top of each cake.

5. Bake in a preheated oven, 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown. Run a knife around the edge of the each cake to loosen, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

6. For the caramel topping, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan

and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.

Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Cool slightly, then drizzle over the cakes and let set.

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