Friday, November 22, 2013

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

12 Salted Caramel Cupcakes
My four year old, Liam, and I were out shopping together and we came upon a little cupcake shop in historic Frederick, Maryland.  Liam was very distraught over the fact that we can’t buy EVERY toy we like, when we caught sight of the perfect thing to lift our spirits…Cupcakes!  We bought two.  Liam wanted chocolate on chocolate and I went for their most popular cupcake, Sea Salt and Caramel.  One word, WOW!  Well, I went to the kitchen the next morning and got busy!

 Home Made Caramel:
      ¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ cup water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter
Combine sugars, corn syrup, water, vinegar and salt in a small heavy pot.  Heat mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Continue boiling and cook to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Turn heat to low and stir in butter. Set aside and cool.

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup caramel (preferably homemade recipe from above)
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
In bowl of electric mixer whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, sour cream, caramel, egg, yolks and vanilla.  Wisk on medium speed for about 30 seconds.   Scrape down sides and stir by hand until no flour remains.  Prepare muffin tin with papers liners and spray with baking spray and fill with about ¼ cup batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes.  Testing center of cupcakes with a toothpick to check for doneness before removing from oven.  Cool completely before frosting with Caramel Buttercream Frosting.

                       Caramel Buttercream Frosting
6 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup softened butter
1 cup caramel (preferably homemade)
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In bowl of electric mixer, cream sugar, butter, caramel, milk and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Fill decorators bag fitted with a I inch mouth or round tip.  Pipe one dollop of frosting in center of the cupcake.  Now start winding a big thick strip of frosting around the outside of the cupcake. Swirl frosting towards the center overlapping as you go.  Finish frosting off in the middle of the cupcake.  Sprinkle wet frosting with a pinch of really coarse sea salt.  Let set uncovered in a cool location until ready to serve, even overnight if needed.

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