Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July Birthday 2 of 5: Apple Pie Cupcakes

Okay, so I made UGLY cupcakes.  They spread out all over my cupcake pan, they fell in and then when I was icing them, they just started to fall apart.  It was a disaster.  I almost threw them in the trash...really I did. 

Problem was I really did not have the time to make another batch, and I couldn't show up with out a homemade delicious apple cupcake for this particular person's birthday.  So I tried jazzing these up, I gave them a taste and decided maybe this time it doesn't matter how bad they look.  Hopefully people will overlook how they look this time, maybe just maybe they will taste good enough for this to happen. 

We all have bad baking days, not everything turns out how we always hope and imagine it will, but then we move on and say bake another cake or two next week.  Then you look outside, the sun is shinning, its summer, there may or may not be peach infused vodka in your future (thank you for the inspiration http://www.shutterbean.com/) and then you start to forgot about the ugly cupcakes and just start looking forward to the weekend.

Wet ingredients prepped and ready.

Apples, Apples, Apples

Wet and dry ingredients combined with canola oil.

Yum, crumble topping.  Really who doesn't like flour, sugar and butter combined?

Prepping the pie crust to make these cupcakes just a bit more fancy and not so ugly.

Cinnamon-sugar topped pie crust pieces.

Soo ugly. Just wait they will be look better, don't give up on me just yet.

Yay prettier!  Look, its like the outside is the crust of a pie and the middle is moist and appley.  These should really just be eaten with a fork though.

Apple Pie Cupcakes: makes approximately 24 cupcakes (adapted from Hoosier Homemade)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups + 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped

Steusel Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with liners and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until well combined.

3.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time until well combined, then mix in the vanilla extract.

4.  In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

5.  Starting and ending with flours, alternate between adding the flour and oil to the wet ingredients, mix just until combined.  Do not over mix. Fold in the chopped apples.

6.  Prepare streusel topping by combining all three ingredients using a fork.

7.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter.  Top with streusel and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool for two minutes then remove to cooling rack until cooled through.  Prepare frosting and pie crust pieces.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: (Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream frosting)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 - 8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.  On medium speed using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

2.  Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of a good spreading consistency.

Cinnamon-sugar Pie Crust Pieces:
1 store bought rolled pie crust from the refrigerator section
2 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees F.

2.  Unroll pie crust onto a cutting board.  Using a pizza cutter, slice the pie crust into strips (see picture above).  Lay pie crust pieces onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

3.  Combine sugar and cinnamon.  Spray the top of the pie crust pieces with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. 

4.  Bake for 7-10 minutes or until pie pieces are golden brown.

5.  Assemble cupcakes and enjoy!

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