Oct 31

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting are creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! Homemade cupcakes don’t get much better than these!

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

I’ve been in an apple pie mood lately. Apple pie biscuits and now these apple pie cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. I have yet to bake an apple pie this season because I think that the perfect apple pie includes a few Mcintosh apples. I never knew that when I moved to Florida that it would be so difficult to find McIntosh apples. Every few days I head to a different grocery store searching for my favorite apple but have yet to find them this season. I love buying local and seasonal produce, but the New England girl in me is craving some McIntosh apples. I am hoping they make an appearance here in Florida soon.

These cupcakes originally came together on a whim. I needed to bake cupcakes for a party, but rather than just make chocolate and vanilla, I wanted something seasonal too. With apples in my kitchen and the remaining supplies in my pantry, I knew these cupcakes were exactly what I needed to make. Sometimes the best recipes come together last minute. After making a few batches and feeding them to my taste testers, these cupcakes were deemed a winner. They were a huge hit at the party and even Brad, my most critical cupcake tester rated these the best cupcakes that I have ever made.

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

Surprisingly, these cupcakes are actually relatively easy to make. I started with one of my favorite snickerdoodle cake recipes, added some additional seasonal spices and created a sweet, creamy and irresistible cupcake. The frosting is a simple vanilla buttercream. Why complicate things when the flavor combination is so decadent? And the apple topping comes together in a few minutes.

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy! Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 20 to 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • For the apple topping:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup water plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • For the cinnamon-sugar topping:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the apple topping. To make the apple topping, heat the butter in a medium-large skillet. Stir in the apples, sugar and cinnamon. Heat until the fruit begins to release its juices. Add ¾ cup of water to the pan and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Cook until the apples are just fork tender but not mushy. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of water with the cornstarch, and whisk lightly until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the apples and cook 1-2 minutes more, until the mixture has thickened. Let cool thoroughly before topping the cupcakes.
  6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  7. Whisk together the 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  8. Pipe frosting around the edge of each cupcake, leaving a well for the topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping. Divide apple topping evenly among cupcakes. Enjoy!
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Source: cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart, frosting and topping from Spoonful of Flavor

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting - creamy, sweet and surprisingly easy!

Try a few more apple recipes from my friends:

Caramel Apple Trifles from Life Love and Sugar
Cinnamon Waffles with Apple Topping from Recipe Runner
Apple Cinnamon Streusel Pull-Apart Bread from Girl Versus Dough

Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert, Fruit | Tagged , | 8 Comments
Oct 29

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Grab a few of these delectable cookies loaded with chocolate chunks, pretzels and stuffed with caramel! Warm and gooey salted caramel creates the perfect cookie!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel!

Do you know what is better than a chocolate chip cookie? A cookie stuffed with caramel and filled with pretzels! Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies combine the best flavors to create a delectable treat that everyone loves.

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Last I knew it was August and next week it will be November. So far, the best thing I heard this week was when someone reminded me that daylight savings time ends this weekend and we gain an hour of sleep, or an hour or fun! Either way, I’m excited for the extra hour. I’ll probably spend it baking cookies :)

Many people think of comfort food as a bowl of hearty chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese or creamy chicken pasta. For me, there is nothing more comforting than some warm cookies fresh out of the oven. When I’ve had a long week and I’m ready to relax, I bake a batch of cookies, heat a cup of chamomile tea and either sit on the couch and catch up on an episode of Scandal or flip through a magazine. For thirty minutes or an hour I do nothing but relax. It only happens every few weeks, so I try to enjoy it while I can. What do you do to relax after a long week?

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel!

Loaded with chocolate chunks, salty pretzel pieces and gooey caramel, these cookies are sure to please everyone. I love to sandwich a scoop of ice cream in the middle of two cookies and eat them as an ice cream sandwich.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel! Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel! Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel!

Are you a food blogger that loves cookies? There is only a few days left to sign up for the 4th Annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Last year I made my favorite Royal Iced Sugar Cookies and can’t wait to share what I am making this year. Don’t miss the chance to support a great cause and enjoy some cookies!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup crushed pretzel pieces
  • 18 - 20 soft caramel candies, unwrapped and cut in half
  • fleur de sel or sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chunks and pretzels. Cover and chill the batter in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Using your thumb, press into the center to create an indent, place the caramel into the center of the dough ball and then re-roll the ball to cover the caramel candy. Make sure the caramels are completely covered inside the ball. Repeat with remaining dough. Sprinkle tops of dough balls with fleur de sel or sea salt.
  5. Place the dough balls on the cookie sheet spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden but the centers are soft, about 11 to 13 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. Enjoy!
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Source: adapted from By Stephanie Lynn

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookies - chocolate chunk cookies pretzels and stuffed with caramel!

Posted in Cookies, Dessert | Tagged , , | 23 Comments