Apple Pie Cupcakes - With A Tutorial On How To Frost Them

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WOW HOW EXCITING! A CUPCAKE THAT LOOKS LIKE A PIE! ...and they taste like both! These cupcakes have a cinnamon cake base, filled with yummy apple pie filling and topped with a Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting. Perfect for a Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving get together. Gotta love the holidays, right? Okay let's get going.

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***In addition to the cinnamon cupcake ingredients and the salted caramel buttercream ingredients, you will also need 2 frosting tips: #7 & #12 AND apple pie filling. You can make the filling yourself or buy it from the store- I chose store bought because it's so darn good and saves plenty of time!

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INGREDIENTS:

For the cupcakes:

6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, at room temperature

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Large Eggs, at room temperature

1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt (I used non-fat)

1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

1+3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1+1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

 

For the Salted Caramel Frosting frosting:

1 Cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

1 Teaspoon Butter Extract

5 to 6 Cups powdered sugar, depending on how stiff you like your frosting. I used 5

1/4 Cup Salted Caramel Sauce (I used Trader Joe's Brand)

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

For the cupcakes: (Makes about 16 cupcakes)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for at least 1 minute, until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Then add the the yogurt, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. 

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Careful not to over-mix.

4. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer cupcakes to a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

 

NOTE*** If you want to make this batter into a cake, bake for 20-22 minutes for 2 8-inch rounds.  

 

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For the Salted Caramel Buttercream frosting:

1. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter until creamy. Add the butter extract and salt. Then, slowly add one cup of powdered sugar at a time- whisk on low so it doesn't blow up in your face. Then once it's all incorporated, add the salted caramel sauce. Whisk for at LEAST 3-5 minutes. This helps the frosting become light and fluffy. Set aside.

 

NOW FOR THE EXTRA FUN PART!!

Here is how to frost these bad boys:

Step 1: Grab a beautifully baked cinnamon cupcake- make sure its completely cooled!

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Step 2: Core part of the top off- I tilted my knife slightly down while cutting and left about 1/4 inch of cake towards the liner for room to frost. 

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Step 3: Fill the cute little cake with about 1 Tablespoon of apple pie filling. I had to chop up the apples a bit because they came in large chunks.

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Step 4: Put your frosting in a piping bag with the smaller tip (#7) and draw three lines across the top of the cake. Then slightly turn your cupcake and frost three more lines so they make an X shape. NOTE** If you do not have piping bags or frosting tips- HAVE NO FEAR! You can use a plastic sandwich bag. Been there, done that!

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Step 5: Now use the #12 frosting tip and squeeze & wiggle the frosting around the rim of the cupcake until it reaches where you started. Easy as pie, right? 

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I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! Don't forget to share this recipe with friends and family!!  

Mini Apple Hand Pies

ITS ALMOST THANKSGIVING!! What are you making for tomorrow?! If you're not sure yet, you should definitely look into this recipe. It's perfect for those that want a taste of every kind of pie (me) at their thanksgiving dinner; especially kids! Every time I made these mini Apple hand pies, my little brothers go crazy. (Mainly because they can eat however many they want! Ha) They are flakey, buttery and taste exactly like an apple pie but without the hassle. 

I give you the option of making your pie dough from scratch OR using the already made and rolled frozen pie dough. Both will come out amazing but I always recommend making it from scratch like I did here. As you can see, The crust is soft and buttery and it melts in your mouth. 

Now all you need is some ice cream!  

INGREDIENTS:

For the pie crust:

1+1/3 Cups Vegetable Shortening

1 Stick (8 Tablespoons) cold salted butter

3 Cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons Ice Water

OR- you can use frozen pie crust (make sure it has 2 10-inch crusts) If you are using these, skip steps 1+2 for the pie crust directions.

 

For the apple pie filling:

2 Granny Smith Apples, chopped into very small pieces

2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

Squeeze of 1 lemon (about 1/3 Cup of juice)

1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of water, beaten together

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Set aside. 

For the pie crust:

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and sugar. Then using a pastry cutter, a food processor, or even two knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbles. There should be pieces no larger than your thumbnail. Then, continue cutting the butter while adding the ice water (it is important that you use ice water to keep the dough cold.) Once it is all mixed in, roll the dough into a ball. If the dough is still slightly crumbly, add in another Tablespoon of ice water. 

2. Split the dough into two balls. Slightly flatten them and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. While you are waiting for them to chill, make the apple filling. 

 

For the apple pie filling:  

1. In a large bowl, mix together all of your ingredients EXCEPT the egg. This egg will be used to brush over the pies to give them that golden color. Once all of your apple pieces are coated in the flour/sugar mixture, set aside.

2. Remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out with a rolling pin, rolling from the middle, out. Think of it as trying to get an air bubble out from the middle of the dough. Once the dough is about 1/2-1/3 inch thick, cut 5 inch circles using a large cookie cutter or a large cup. Place circles of dough about 2 inches apart onto your prepared baking sheet. Then, as seen in the photo above, place 1 Tablespoon of the apple mixture onto each circle, slightly towards one side but not too close to the edge. Fold half of the dough circle over and press the edges shut with a fork. Then brush the egg wash over each mini pie, making sure it does not spill onto the pan. Last but not least, cut two small slices into the top of the mini pies so air can escape. This is important because you do not want your mini pies over-filling with air which then causes them to open up and spill all over. Fail!

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes OR until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 5 minutes... That is, if you can wait that long. Enjoy!!

 

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! If you are looking to make a recipe that'll impress your family and friends, try this out! These mini pumpkin pies are perfect for passing out at a big party (or just for yourself) and they're incredibly easy to make. Seriously. So easy. These bite-sized babies are packed full of fall flavor. The pumpkin is so smooth and rich while the flavor is not too muttled and has just the right amount of sweetness. 

Normally, I prefer making a pie completely from scratch BUT I wanted to see how these would turn out with a boxed pie crust mix and WOW were they good. If you are in a rush, I recommend using Trader Joes' frozen pie crusts. They're very flakey and butter, which is how a good pie crust should be!

By the way, I will post my favorite pie crust recipe before thanksgiving in case you want to try it out with these! But for now, here is this gem of a recipe. 

Remember, a pie is a pie- no matter how small! (I think Dr. Seuss would agree)

INGREDIENTS:

1 Can Pumpkin Puree (NOT Pumpkin Pie filling)

1 15oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie spice

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will also need:

1 box of 2 pie crusts, thawed (I got mine from Trader Joes)

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Spray a muffin tin with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside. 

2. Once your pie crusts are completely thawed, use a large cup or a cookie cutter (about 5 inches in diameter) and cut circles of dough, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, depending on your preference. Place each circle evenly in each muffin tin, making sure there are no holes or tears. This step can be tricky so make sure you have greased the muffin tin well enough. You will need to re-roll the dough to make more circles. Then pour 3-4 Tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into each cup. There should be about 1/2 inch of pie crust still showing. Once they are all full, place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven to 350F and bake for 20-25 minutes. The crust should be browned and, once you remove them from the oven, the center of the pies are slightly jiggly. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.  Then place on a cooling rack until completely cool.