Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

So my lastest addiction is PINTEREST!! There are so many awesome recipes on there and I several boards full of recipes!! You have to go check it out if you haven't caught the Pinterest craze yet!

OMG...these are amazing. These are so yummy. The salted caramel buttercream is AMAZING!! I cheated when making it because my stove cooks really hot and I kept burning the caramel...so after the 3rd attempt I just melted store bought caramels from my pantry into the cream mixture and it turned out PERFECT (so if you are lazy...do this!).

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream (pinned from this blog: http://www.madeinmelskitchen.com/2010/10/pumpkin-cupcakes-with-salted-caramel-buttercrea/)

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
2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

This next recipe isn't technically a cheesecake, but it does have a graham cracker crust and a nummy cream cheese layer...so it's close enough! I made this for work and everyone loved it. Also, I made it in a springform pan instead of a pie plate and it worked really well. Be sure to set it out to come to room temp before you serve it because when the caramel gets cold it tends to get gooey and make the crust hard to cut through.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie (Recipe from: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/best-pie-bakeoff-2008/candy-apple-pie-best-pie-bakeoff-2008-entry-19-069632)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans

Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 10-inch pie plate and up the sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden in color. Remove pie shell from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate pie shell while making apple filling.

In a large (12-inch) skilet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for about 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until fully blended. Pour over apple filling in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Let stand outside the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Top with whipped cream, caramel and pecans, and swirl with a knife. Slice and serve.