Caramel Apple Cupcakes

| Sunday, February 6, 2011 | |
Mmmm...caramel apples. A tasty fair treat made even better by replacing the healthy apple with a sugar laden cupcake...haha. These are actually made in a mini cupcake pan, so the batter produces somewhere around 48 mini cupcakes. Whether or not you make ALL of those into "caramel apples" is up to you. You would just have to double the amount of caramel and crushed peanuts that the recipe calls for. Honestly, these things are a total pain in the ass to make...but they're worth least occasionally. You could even use the batter to make your 24 mini cupcakes and then use whatever is left to make some regular sized muffins. (Yes, I said muffins...the only real difference between the two is whether or not there's frosting right?) Those would be pretty good for breakfast.

From the book Fun Stuff Cupcakes - Taffy Apple Cupcakes

Makes 24, maybe up to 48 if you so please

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour (I actually used 3/4 c whole wheat all-purpose flour and 1 c regular all-purpose flour)
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 c applesauce
3/4 sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar)
1/2 canola oil
1 egg
1 1/2 c chopped roasted peanuts (I actually threw these bad boys in my food processor cause I'm lazy like that)
20 wooden craft sticks (I got these at Michael's. I suggest using the flat ones as opposed to the round ones I used. My cupcakes had a tendency to rotate when I tried to coat them with the caramel)
2 packages (14 oz each) of caramels - unwrapped (now you see why this is already starting out as a pain in the ass?)
5 T milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

1) Preheat oven to 350°. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray (I like Baker's Joy). Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, stir together applesauce, sugar, oil, and egg until well blended. Add flour mixture a little at a time; stir until blended. Don't use a hand mixer for want to be gentle. Spoon into prepared cupcake pan, filling about 3/4 full.

2)Bake about 16 minutes. Do the toothpick or the finger test for doneness. Cool in pan about 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

3) Line baking sheet with waxed paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place peanuts in a shallow dish. Insert craft sticks into the 24 mini cupcakes.

4) Place unwrapped caramels and milk in a large microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Now comes the pain in the ass part: Working with one cupcake at a time, hold over bowl and spoon caramel over the cupcake, rotating the stick until the cupcake is completely coated. Immediately roll in peanuts to coat the cupcake, pressing nuts lightly with your fingertips (so to speak) to adhere them to the caramel. Stand cupcake (stick side up obviously) on prepared baking sheet. Repeat. Caramel may need to be reheated a few times if it becomes to thick. Let stand at least 20 minutes until caramel is set.

I then moved these to mini cupcake liners. I will forewarn you that the caramel and peanuts will probably slide down the cupcake a bit, pooling at the bottom. If you see this happening, press the caramel up the cupcake a little. You'll still have the pool of caramel at the bottom of the cupcake, but still looks pretty good and tastes even better.

See that sneaky little hand...he only thought he was gonna steal one


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