Caramel Apple and a Holiday Bubbly

Ethically, the day after Thanksgiving is the first appropriate in my mind for all things holiday. But as the Turkey Day celebrations multiply and scoot earlier and earlier this calendar year, it has only heightened my love for the holidays.

Kicking off the celebrations this week is a Thanksgiving Potluck at work. As the keeper of the contributions list, I know that there will be pumpkin and walnuts and all things classic and traditional. Instead of going outside-of-the-box, I wanted to jump on this train and bring ‘dem apples.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes… count as a serving of fruit 🙂 They are yummy and decadent and creamy and a bit spicy and pretty dang messy. Grab the napkins.

Recipe (makes 12):

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (cupcakes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (cupcakes)
  • 16 oz confectioners sugar (frosting)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (frosting)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (frosting)
  • caramel dipping sauce (you can make your own, but the store-bought-stuff holds a special place in my heart)
  • 2 apples, cut and quartered
  • cinnamon/brown sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 and line cupcake tin. Combine cupcake ingredients and beat until smooth. Fill liners and bake for 15 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients and mix until you feel like your arms are going to fall off. We’re talking frothy, fluffy goodness here. Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost using your favorite piping bag. Or two, if your over-enthusiasm rips the first bag. Dip the quartered apples in the caramel dipping sauce, place firmly on top of the frosting and dust. Share with others in the holiday spirit.

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to celebrate successes, both mine and others. There have been a few of those recently so I feel validated in my Champagne choice for the week. That’s right, we went with the real stuff.

Hi, Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV. Le noms. 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier. Long and luxurious texture that really stays with you. The notes were surprisingly fresh- lime, white cherry and nectarine, in addition to the usual suspects of spices and chestnuts. The acidity holds through, but the finish is creamy and sweet. As with the best nights, I have no pics of the bottle, so you’ll just have to take my word for it 🙂

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Cheers,
Jenna

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