Monday, October 03, 2011

31 Days of Holiday Baking - Day 3 :: Pear Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes

Pear Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes

Today I have a real treat for you! This is a variation of the Apple Caramel recipes from the past couple days. For this one, I'm using fresh, juicy pears in place of the apples and adding just a small sprinkling of kosher salt to the tops of the mini cupcakes. The salt totally balances off the sweetness of the caramel and is a nice surprise in your mouth.

To serve these cuties, I used upside down eggcups on teacup saucers. Both items were thrifted finds! I'm always on the lookout for neat, vintage looking turquoisy and white items. I even have my kids trained to know exactly what types of things I'm looking for in a thrift store or at a garage sale. It's awesome!

Anyway, I digress... back to the recipe at hand!

Pear Salted Caramel Mini Cupcakes
2/3 cup real butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
¼ tsp ground ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 cups chopped pears (chop them fairly finely since the cupcakes will be so tiny)

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Measure in the flour, baking powder, salt and pears, and stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Spread batter in a greased mini muffin tin (or use liners - it'll be way easier to get them out of the pan if you do!) and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 12 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Caramel Icing

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup milk
2 cups icing sugar

Kosher Salt

To make the icing, melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the brown sugar and milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and stir in the icing sugar.

Use a small spoon to ice the cupcakes and then sprinkle on a few grains of kosher salt. These keep very well in the freezer and are delicious eaten frozen. Don't ask me how I know. :)

See how the use of cupcake liners could have really improved the outcome?! I bought some super adorable  ones from Liquidation World yesterday, so my next mini cupcake experiment will have even better results.

Another thing I've done with this recipe using apples or pears (or both together!), is a sheet cake. Just pour the batter into a 9" x 13" or double the recipe and use a jelly roll pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, maybe a little less if you're using a jelly roll pan cuz the cake won't be as thick. Then frost with the above icing recipe.

Please note, the Caramel Icing is also GREAT all by itself. You can call it fudge then. It's the easiest fudge in the world to make, too.

In a few days I'll be hosting a Holiday Baking Link Party here, so get out your favourite Autumn/Thanksgiving/Halloween/Christmas recipe and get ready to play along! This link party will be open until Christmas, so feel free to add your link!

Also, be sure to keep up with all of the other 31 Dayers by visiting The Nester's blog!

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  1. YUMMY!!! Love it! I just signed up to follow you. I don't want to miss any of these recipes! :) Thank you.

    I blog at 'Only A Breath', and I'd love for you to stop by when you have time. I'm writing about "31 Days to Love Your Neighbor". :)
    Have a great day!
    Melanie :)

  2. @Melanie

    Thanks for following, Melanie! I'll check out your blog as well. Your series sounds interesting.