Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 20 muffin tin wells with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each additional and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, add the applesauce and beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 19 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, or until cake tester comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3 tablespoons butter
4 tart apples, diced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Melt butter in a stainless steel pan over medium high heat and add the apples to the pan.
Add lemon juice and sauté for a few minutes until apples are tender. Add brandy or cognac to pan and using a long lighter, light on fire to cook out alcohol.
When the flames have died down, add salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon and brown and white sugars to the pan. Stir to coat the apples and allow the sugars to melt.
Turn heat to high and add in heavy cream. Allow to boil for 2 minutes or until thickened slightly then turn off heat and allow to cool on the stove.
Cook's note: The filling can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use it.
Take each cooled cupcake and cut a hole in the center with a melon baller or a grapefruit spoon. Be sure not to cut too far down to the bottom.
Add a spoonful of the caramel apple filling to the center and continue until all the cupcakes are filled.
Place buttercream into a piping bag with whatever tip you choose for decorating.
Top each cupcake with frosting and drizzle leftover caramel sauce on top for decoration.
Caramel swiss buttercream frosting
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 to 8 tablespoons caramel sauce from the filling recipe
Add the butter to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Set aside.
In a heat-proof glass bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Whisk to combine.
Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and, whisking constantly, heart until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar had dissolved. You can test by rubbing a bit between your fingers — it shouldn't feel gritty at all.
Using a hand mixer, start on low and gradually increase the speed to medium-high, beating the egg white mixture until stiff, glossy peaks form — this will take about 8 to 10 minutes, and the bowl should feel cool to the touch when you've finished.
Reduce the mixer to medium-low speed, and gradually add butter, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
With the mixer still on medium-low, gradually add 6 tablespoons of the caramel sauce making sure not to get any of the apple bits, and continue beating until it is completely incorporated. Taste the frosting, and if you want a stronger caramel flavor, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce.
— By Tia Morlock of Bunker Hill, W.Va.; cupcake recipe adapted from adapted from Martha Stewart Food