Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salted Caramel: Sooo 2012

Today was Andy's birthday.  Yaaay!  I told the guy at Starbucks, but he did not have the same enthusiasm. . .nor did he give Andy a free birthday drink-that two strikes, Starbies, two strikes.

Birthday time may not be an indication of anything special to the coffee mermaid, but here in the Hlushak household, it's time for a kitchen experiment!!  

Since Andy is a huge caramel fan (and requested it) I thought I'd make:  Salted "Party in my Mouth" Caramel Cupcakes

Birthday Treats.

Yeah, I guess "salted caramel" is all the rage, but if you're at Pink Berry, skip it.  But if you're here, I hope you have a few stick of butter because this is worth staying up till midnight to make.

Let me save you the pain of googling "homemade caramel cupcake" because I have found for you the unhealthiest, most deliciously satisfying recipe with easy shmeasy to follow instructions including the simplest way to make caramel (are there several?? probably).

Go get the butter out of the fridge before you read on, because, Yes you will want this.

Easy Shmeasy Vanilla Cupcakes:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (Why do we insist on pre-heating so early?  I'm still searching for the stupid teaspoon in the drawer when the oven hits the correct temp.  So, if I was a part of Team Cpt Planet, I'd be pre-heating around step 5).

1 cup butter (or 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup unsweatened applesauce-my one healthy contribution)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp baking soda (I made this step up on the fly-you may have a better handle on Baking Science 101)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk

Step 1:  Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until yummy.

Step 2:  Add the applesauce if you're using it as an oil substitute.  Watch your batter looked curdled.  Don't worry, all's well in the end.

Step 3:  Add eggs.  Mix

Step 4: Spend the next 5 minutes searching for the teaspoon.  Then, in a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and soda. 

Step 5:  Combine and mix.  (Now would be a good time to pre-heat the oven)

Step 6:  Add milk and watch the magic happen.  Mix well.

Step 7:  Line cupcake tins with papers and fill with mixture over 3/4 full.  Not good with fractions in-between 3/4 and whole.  So, feel free to express yo'self.

Step 8:  Pop in oven.  Check at 25 minutes.  May need up to 30 minutes.  Take out when, well, when it feels right in your heart.

Step 9:  Let cool.

I am adventurous when it comes to the kitchen.  Recipes are suggestions and I like to add twists that, in my mind, seem so wonderful I can't believe someone else hasn't tried it; or maybe it's because I'm not on Pinterest.

For my first try I loosely followed some blog lady's recipe and added my own idea of vanilla pudding and yogurt. There were some rising issues.  That, and the center was like vanilla lava.  Ew.  

This is NOT a Salted "Party in my Mouth" Caramel Cupcake-please don't be confused.
Like I said, there were some issues.

Round two went better and thus, an easy shmeasy vanilla cupcake recipe.  Oh, by the way, it makes 12 huge (well, ok, normal) sized cupcakes.  

Ready for the fun part!!  Today I learned how to make caramel.  All my stay at home mom friends are probably rolling their eyes and saying, "Oh sweet Lauren, homemade caramel was sooo 2011."  In that case moms, I bet you've never put it in icing!!  Or maybe you have.  Hmm.  Well, regardless, this icing is a winner and really easy.

Salted Caramel "This is so 2012" Icing

2 tbsp water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream

Boil water and sugar on medium high.  Stir sugar until dissolved and then let boil.  Once boiling, let it continue until a nice amber brown (or in my case it started to smell like burning; I figure that's a good indication that it's time for the next step).  Remove from heat and add whipping cream and stir.  Stir until nice and caramelly.  Let stand until cool (30 minutes or maybe 10 in the fridge).

Meanwhile, back at the kitchen aide,

1 cup of butter
2 cups powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt (don't get over zealous on the salt, this is dessert after all)

Whip butter into a frenzy-5 minutes on high. Add vanilla and whip some more.
Slowly add powdered sugar (note:  leaving whisk on high setting will cause Christmas all over your counter. . .choose speed settings wisely).  When caramel sauce is cool, add slowly to icing and mix. If caramel is not cool, it will melt the butter.  First hand experience, people.

When all is said and done, ice away and lick the bowl into oblivion.  It's a good good night.

Birthday cupcake never tasted so good.
Happy Birthday, Andy!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! Cheered me up just reading about your Inspired and Ground Breaking Cupcakes. Eating them might be even better.


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