I’m not much of a baker. That is until apple season comes along. For some reason every fall after an outing in the orchard, I’m compelled to make something sweet. Perhaps it’s the concept of picking something fresh from its roots and assisting in its evolution into a new form. Without a garden of my own, it’s rare I get to have my hand at this.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 small apples, peeled and shredded (I used Macs)
- 1 cup chewy caramel candies
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
Procedure for cupcakes:
- Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°
- Line a mini cupcake pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.
- Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples and hazelnuts.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely (note: if you’re making normal size cupcakes, you want to cook for 25-30 minutes)
- In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth.
- Let cool. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.
- Sprinkle with more hazelnuts.
Note: I’d try a different frosting if I were to make these again. The caramel was a little sticky to bite through at first, but then after 24 hours it started to soak into the cupcake and didn’t look quite as pretty. I’d recommend a light amount of cream cheese frosting.