Salted Caramel Cupcake Heaven….

I apologize for the lack of posts… the holidays have been so insanely busy and stressful. I enjoyed spending time with my family, but I’m relieved that it’s over.

I was working crazy hours at the grocery store because of the holidays and had extra hours. One day I had to work at the office 7 -3:30 and then work at the store 4 to midnight… never want to do that again!

My wonderful fiancee gave me a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas, so I’ve been baking up a storm! We were actually looking at the mixers at Kohl’s and he brought up the point that it’s just going to sit in the basement until we move out in six months and together we decided he wouldn’t get it for me, but he likes to surprise me, so he got it anyway. When we were at Kohl’s again to get his sister some perfume, he told me he had some Kohl’s cash and after he told me it was $75 in Kohl’s cash, I knew something was up and that he got me the stand mixer.

My parents also gave me lots of baking things like a cupcake tin/carrier with a stand, a cupcake filler, and a cupcake kit with liners… I was very busy on Wednesday!

I made two different cupcakes: Salted Caramel cupcakes and Rose-Scented Geranium cupcakes…

The Salted Caramel ones were quite the hit! The Rose-Scented Geranium ones were actually adapted from a recipe for raspberry cupcakes using raspberry jelly and I just substituted the rose-scented geranium jelly that my mom makes from her herb garden. I must say there is much work to be done to make that recipe jive… the jelly is really sweet on it’s own and using the same amount as the recipe called for was not the right call… and the cake part was less than satifying, more like dry and gross mess. But less about the failed experiment and more about awesome salted caramel heaven!

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Yes, you want to make these… like everyday!! Just don’t think about the calories because there is so much butter in them!

I was so excited to use my new stand mixer that I forgot to take more photos while I was making them! They are pretty easy to make, but they do take a good bit of time… they are so worth it though! I keep thinking about how delicious they were and I just want to make batches upon batches of them! I’m thinking for New Year’s Eve I will make a double batch!

I’m hanging out with my college friends Emily and Ashley on Monday, and Emily also just got a KitchenAid mixer! So we are going to have to make these together on Monday! I was planning on making these to take to Brian’s friend’s get-together, so a double batch would be very necessary!

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Brown Sugar Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk, stirring after each until everything is combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin until each liner is 3/4 full. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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This caramel sauce is just to die for… I can’t even stress this enough! I can’t believe how amazing this cupcake is, all three parts together and alone!

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Salted Caramel Filling

1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, whisking as it melts. When it turns a deep amber color, add the butter and stir until it is melted. Add the heavy cream and whisk until the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool. Using a large pastry tip or a paring knife, cut a small round piece out of the top of each cupcake. Pour in around 1-2 teaspoons of caramel.

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I think the frosting was the best part… mostly because of all the butter. So unhealthy, but you have to indulge sometimes!

And the pink frosting? That’s the Rose-Scented Geranium frosting on a salted caramel cupcake… I ran out of frosting for the salted caramel ones! oops! I think I loaded the other ones up a bit though!

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Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over medium-high heat. Boil without stirring until it turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly pour in cream and vanilla, whisking until it is very smooth. Let cool for around 20 minutes, until it’s just barely warm and still pourable. Meanwhile, beat butter and salt together until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until thoroughly combined. Pour in the cooled caramel and beat on medium-high speed until light and airy (around 2 minutes). Spread or pipe onto filled cupcakes (if frosting is too runny, the caramel was too warm when added – refrigerate for around 15-20 minutes until frosting is stiffer). Sprinkle each cupcake with a small pinch of fleur de sel.

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My dad had to “inspect” things… I think he just wanted a cupcake….

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I took them to my Mary Kay meeting and they were a hit! All of the Salted Caramel ones were gone by the end of the night! Not the case with the rose-scented geranium ones, but hey, I learned…

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