Anyway, on to the main subject matter of this post. These cupcakes are a blend of apple,caramel and spices. I wanted a cupcake with some caramel flavor but I did not want to try to incorporate caramel into the batter, so I used powdered vanilla caramel creamer. The cake part came out light and flavorful. The topping is made of pure caramel, just like the caramel on an apple, so it is a little sticky-hence the name of the cupcakes.
These flavors are a little off season for summer, but I will probably pull this recipe out and make again, once it gets closer to Halloween.
As usual, most recipes are guidelines, but there are two important things that are must do in this recipe. Both the powdered creamer and the baking soda cannot be part of the sifted ingredients. They each have to be mixed with water to dissolve and added in the batter as stated. Otherwise the cupcakes will be chalky and you will be able to taste the baking soda. This recipe makes 1 dz cupcakes.
Sticky Fingers Cupcakes
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of cooked chopped, peeled and cored apples**
1 egg (room temp)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
2 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp powdered vanilla caramel creamer
1/2 cup water (for creamer)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp water (for soda)
1-- 11 oz bag of caramel bits or caramels
First, prepare a cupcake pan by greasing the top edge of the cavities and lining with cupcake papers. Then preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take the chopped apples and place in a food processor and pulse about 10 times. This will result in a thick mass of apple chunks, but it will be drier than a puree because there is no addition of water to the apples. Set aside.
Take out 2 small bowls. In one bowl, stir together the powdered creamer and the 1/2 cup of water. In the second bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of water with the baking soda. Set both aside.
With an electric mixer, cream together shortening and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Then add the cooked apples. Beat for about 30 seconds on medium speed and then add the creamer/water mixture and stir until blended into the batter.
In another bowl, sift together the flour and all the spices. Fold into the batter until no more dry streaks remain. Then, give the baking soda/water mixture one last stir and mix into the batter.
Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling one dozen evenly. The liners will be full.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove and let cool in pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to rack to finish cooling.
After cupcakes have cooled, take out a saucepan and melt caramels with 2 tablespoons of water, stirring constantly. These were the directions on the caramel bits package, other caramels may have different directions for making the caramel for caramel apples.
Once the caramel is melted, remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Place a sheet of wax paper under the cooling rack. Then dip the top of the cooled cupcakes into the caramel, making sure that the top is not over coated. Let some of the caramel drip off and spin it a little before you sit it upright, or you will have caramel dripping everywhere. Place the cupcake right side up on the rack for the topping to set up. That should take 20-30 minutes and then they are ready to serve.
**I had one large granny smith apple that I used. I cooked the pieces in the microwave for about 3 minutes until fork tender and then placed bowl in the fridge to cool.