Monday, November 23, 2009

ICE: Apples

Apples, I can do. I love apples. My great grandfather had an apple orchard where my cousins and I used to tramp about and pick apples and run through the fields and the forests, and play on the railroad tracks (shh, don't tell my mom!). Then we'd go inside for Granddaddy's apple pie that was better than my grandmother's. And yes, I made the mistake of telling her so once. It wasn't pretty.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house, and on weekends, we'd have these big huge breakfasts with sausage, bacon, and best of all, apple pancakes. I loved those more than anything else. Grandma would even warm up the syrup so that it went and soaked into the pancake quicker, and tasted so good with the hot apple chunks. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

I came up with these cupcakes a while back for another contest, but they fit so perfectly here that I wanted to enter them today. These cupcakes remind me so much of my grandmother's apple pancakes that they just taste perfect. I also added some glazed maple walnuts, just because they tasted so good.

I've been lax about entering ICE lately, but I had to enter when I saw that it was apples this time around. Plus, I knew I had the perfect recipe, too :)

Check out the sponsors for ICE, and see what they're providing for their prize pack this time around. You can also get more information about ICE here at Iron Cupcake Earth. The winner will receive this prize pack.

Now go vote for me starting this Friday, November 27th, at No One Puts Cupcake In A Corner.

Our Generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:

Apple Pancake Cupcakes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (this can be adjusted to your tastes, I just sort of kept adding)
1 cup buttermilk
1 apple, finely diced

Preheat oven to 300⁰F. Place liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it looks creamy. Beat in the egg and the extracts until the mixture is smooth.

Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and stir, again, until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and the apples and stir until all the ingredients are mixed in.

Using a cookie scoop, fill the cupcake liners just under 2/3 full. You will probably have some leftover batter, and you can either fill more liners in another muffin tin to be cooked at the same time, or save it for the next batch. (**I am going to work on some of the ratios for this recipe and hopefully finish perfecting it. I will post changes then.)

Place the muffin tin into the oven and raise the temperature to 325⁰F. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, checking frequently during the last 5 to 10 minutes. Just take a quick peek, as they are a tad difficult to judge when they're done. They are very moist.

Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes, and then remove from the muffin pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Icing

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the ingredients with enough milk to the desired consistency.

To frost the cupcakes, place the frosting in a zip top bag, cut the tip off, and place a nice sized blob on top of the cupcake. It will spread out a bit over the next few minutes.

Maple Glazed Walnuts

2 cups walnut halves
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat a dry skillet over medium high heat. Add all ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until the walnuts are toasted and the syrup is caramelized. Spread out on waxed paper and allow to cool.

For garnishing the cupcakes, place one or two walnuts on top of the cupcakes in the center. Alternatively, you could also add some thinly sliced apples, and then top with walnuts.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Go Enter This Awesome Giveaway!

This looks like a really great giveaway, so go check it out :D