Caramel Apple Muffins

I found this recipe in this month’s Southern Living and decided to give it a try. It was well worth the effort! This is not something you will whip up on a Saturday morning before everyone gets up. Instead, make them for coffee with friends, a special after-school treat, or a special dessert!

First things first, and something I discovered while making this recipe, you are going to need 3 or 4 Granny Smith apples (depending on size. I used smallish ones and it took 4). Peel and dice the apples first. Don’t worry about them turning, you will use them fairly quickly.

 

Ingredients:

Cinnamon Topping (see following)

Stir together 1/3 cup firmly packaged light brown sugar, 1 1/2 TBsp all-purpose flour, and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 1 1/2 TBsp butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside, you will need it later.

 

1 (8 oz) container sour cream

1 cup of sugar

2 large eggs

1 TBsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples (those I told you to peel and dice earlier.)

Later you will need:

1 (14oz) bag of caramels (unwrapped, of course)

3 TBsp whipping cream

1 cup chopped lightly salted, roasted pecans

Wax paper

Completely optional:

Food-Safe twigs or craft sticks

 

So, first thing you are going to do is preheat your oven to 375*F. Prepare Cinnamon Topping.

Beat sour cream and the next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until blended.

Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating at a low speed (VERY IMPORTANT! YOU DON”T WANT FLOUR FLYING ALL OVER YOUR KITCHEN! Trust me on that!) just until blended. (Don’t overmix!!!) Stir in the diced apples. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 12 cup muffin pan. Sprinkle with the Cinnamon Topping.

Bake at 375*F for 18-20 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)

Now, after about 25 minutes, put all those yummy caramels into a microwave safe bowl (Make sure you take the wrappers off the caramels!) and add the cream. Microwave at High 1 -2 minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals. Let the mixture stand, about 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat the muffins.

Quickly dip the bottom of the muffin (about 3/4 of the way up) into the caramel mixture, and roll the bottom half of the caramel coated portion in the pecans and place muffins, caramel sides up, on lightly greased wax paper. (You can totally not do the pecans! My boys won’t eat pecans, so I did several without.)

If the caramel mixture starts to harden before you finish dipping the muffins, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.

That completely optional part:

Insert food-safe twigs or craft sticks into caramel covered portions of muffins.

 

Enjoy!!!

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