Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Caramel Apple Muffins

Total time: 1 hr 30 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

Cinnamon Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Muffin & Caramel Ingredients:
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples (2 cups = 2 apples)
1 (14-oz.) package caramels
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup chopped lightly salted, roasted pecans
Wax paper
Food-safe twigs or craft sticks (if you grow mint in your backyard, twigs are perfect for this recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare Cinnamon Topping as directed.
2. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until blended.
3. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. (Do not overmix.) Stir in diced apples. Spoon into a lightly greased 12-cup muffin pan, filling three-fourths full; sprinkle with Cinnamon Topping.
4. Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
5. Microwave caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat muffins.
6. Quickly dip bottom three-fourths of each muffin into caramel mixture; roll bottom half of caramel-coated portion of muffin in chopped pecans, and place muffins, caramel sides up, on lightly greased wax paper. (If caramel mixture begins to harden before you've dipped all the muffins, microwave mixture a few seconds to soften.) Insert food-safe twigs or craft sticks into caramel-covered portions of muffins.

Recipe from Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2012. Find original post here.
Be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot caramel.

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