Monday Morning Mmmm: Caramel Apple Cupcakes

For nearly 33 years I’ve avoided making cinnamon rolls. I’ve made them from a can a million times. But the kind you make with dough? And yeast? And I don’t even know what else? I have never been brave enough or what’s-the-opposite-of-lazy enough to attempt them.

My darling husband, however, has kindly asked that – out of all the dishes that I could take to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner – I make cinnamon rolls.

So, check back with me next week. Fingers crossed that I’m here to share The Cinnamon Roll Recipe That Worked – and not the Thanksgiving Dinner That Went Awry.

In the meantime, I can definitely share an apple recipe (from A Cook’s Quest) that worked! This is one of the fall recipes I couldn’t wait to try. Really, any baked good with apple or pumpkin is sure to make my must-bake list, and I’m glad these did.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp vanilla
2 cups applesauce
3 cups caramel candies (about 50)
4 tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In separate bowl, mix together eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla and applesauce. Combine wet and dry mixtures. Pour into 24 muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking, melt together the caramels and cream. I did it on the stove over medium heat and it took several minutes. You might try the microwave. Or you might be more patient than me. Either one.

Because the caramel is runny when it’s hot, it’s practically impossible to use it to “ice” the cupcakes. Instead, I picked up each cupcake and dipped it in the caramel sauce. It’s still messy but not as bad as if I’d been spooning or pouring it on.

Messy, however, is just part of the equation when it comes to these mini apple cakes. So if you’re averse to mess – or if you are wearing braces – these might not be for you. If, however, you love apple and caramel and don’t mind sticky fingers or chins, try these now!

How do you feel about messy treats and foods? Also – because I’m taking a poll – how do you pronounce the word, “caramel”? Care-uh-mell? Or car-uh-mell?

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, 33 Shades of Green, Sweet Tooth Friday and Foodie Friday.

Monday Morning Mmmm: Baked Apple Bites

Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, I have developed a burning desire to make donuts this fall. Apple donuts. Pumpkin donuts. Chocolate donuts. I mean – Donuts! Who makes their own donuts?

Clearly, a lot of people. Because they are all over the Pinterest.

Apparently, you can bake donuts (and, therefore, call them healthy). And you can use a donut tin that looks like a muffin tin (who knew?) or a donut cutter that is basically a donut-shaped cookie cutter (seriously! who knew?). I realize these are probably basic facts that any decent cook knows, but I’m telling you it has blown my mind.

I decided (despite my proclamation that I’d no longer be tempting you – and me – with recipes for delicious sweet treats) to try making donuts for my Bible study group. Last week was my turn to take the morning snack, and I thought these oven-baked apple donuts from Chocolate Shavings looked perfect.

And they WERE delicious. I mean, just look at that! One of the girls at Bible study actually said they “were like heaven in my mouth”! But I’ve got to tell you two things.

First, I just can’t call them “donuts.” I made them in a mini muffin tin, so to me, they’re muffins. Not donuts. And second, I wanted to believe that the apples and whole wheat flour I used would balance out the large amounts of butter included. But that’s not really true.

Mostly, though, I want you to know that yummy as these were, I don’t think they count as actual donuts. So I am now forced to try another donut recipe sometime in the future. [Consider that your unhealthy-but-delicious warning!]

These little apple bites (muffins? fritters? I don’t know what to call them!) are messy and a little bit bigger than bite-sized. So I won’t judge you if you just get down to business with a fork and a glass of milk. No, I won’t. You could also make three dozen instead of two, which would eliminate the bigger-than-bite-size problem. I can’t help you with the messy part, though. That’s just the beauty of food rolled in butter and cinnamon sugar.

Baked Apple Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1½ cups apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • To Coat:
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugars, salt and and nutmeg. Add the cold, chopped butter. Mix with fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (To be honest, though, mine never actually looked like crumbs.)
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk and apples. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with spoon (being careful not to over-mix). The batter will be thick. Place a spoonful into each mold of a buttered mini muffin pan. (I recommend using two muffin tins so they are smaller and more bite-sized.)
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from the tin and lightly brush each donut with the melted butter. Dunk in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon. Shake off excess sugar and serve warm.

I’ve got to tell you. As part of our conversation during Bible study, I was explaining to my [new] friends that I’m not comfortable in my role as stay-at-home mom. But the whole thing fell pretty flat when faced with these delicious “donuts” that I’d just happened (ha!) to whip up that morning.

No, I’m not bragging. I stand by the statement that I’m not all that domestic. But this recipe is easy and delicious, so what can I say? Maybe I’m getting something right? (Never mind my rededication to healthy eating. Just never mind it.)

Do you make your own donuts? Do you feel like you’re domestic? And have you ever heard of a donut cutter?

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, 33 Shades of Green, Sweet Tooth Friday and Foodie Friday.