Shami Crocker: The Holiday Edition

16 Dec

 This year I prepared my very first Thanksgiving dinner & it was… AMAZING!

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Peep the made from scratch goodness, LOL!

YASSSS BOO… I made an entire meal AND  dessert from scratch! Keep reading to find out how to make your own spiced apple cupcakes w/ salted caramel buttercream frosting…

Spiced Apple Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, shaken and at room temperature
  • 3 cups shredded baking apples (about 4 medium apples – gala, honey crisp or fuji)
 DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F & line muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
  3. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until very light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the mixture is airy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Prepare the apples. Peel, chop & grate apples on the large holes of a box grater OR (if you own one) shred apples using a food processor. Trust me, the latter is MUCH easier. The apple pieces will brown as they oxidize, but that won’t matter, as you will soon be adding them to your batter.
  5. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Set the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the buttermilk, and mix until combined, about 15 seconds (the batter will look curdled, but it’s fine). Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the shredded apples.
  6. Fill the muffin wells about three-quarters full. Place the muffin pans side by side on the rack and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. This should take 20 to 25 minutes total. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

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Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

First make salted caramel sauce…
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Salt (add to your own taste)
 DIRECTIONS
**IMPORTANT** This is not the kind of recipe that you can just walk away from. Sugar & dairy products burn fast, so you should assemble & measure your ingredients prior to cooking.
  1. Melt butter in saucepan.
  2. Add brown sugar & whisk.
  3. Slowly add the half-and-half & continue whisking.
  4. Add vanilla extract & continue stirring as sauce thickens.
  5. At this point you should add the salt, one pinch at a time, to suit your preference.
  6. Allow the sauce to cool prior to making the frosting.

Then use the sauce to make the buttercream frosting…

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 5-6 tablespoons of caramel sauce, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
 DIRECTIONS
  1. Beat butter on medium speed using an electric mixer.
  2. Add several tablespoons of caramel sauce & continue mixing.
  3. Add confectioners sugar & beat until the mixture is fluffy.
  4. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

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The garnish you see in the picture above is an apple chip, which happens to be the only part of this recipe I didn’t make myself. After piping frosting onto each cupcake, I stuck a Seneca brand Cinnamon Apple Chip on top… AND that was it! Piece of cake, no?

FYI… My family & I preferred these cupcakes served warm, so you may wanna store your frosting in a container & frost as you go. We also tried these cupcakes with the peanut butter buttercream frosting (from my last recipe) & it was JUST as delicious. 😉 HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!

Spiced apple cupcake recipe courtesy of chow.com
Salted caramel buttercream frosting inspired by ihearteating.com
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