Sunday, May 6, 2012

Toasted Almond Caramel Cupcakes

It is birthday season at my office, so I whipped up these cupcakes for something a little different than the Brownie Buckeyes that have been recently become the most requested.  This recipe is a bit more work than I'm usually up for, but they are well worth it!  Super delicious!

Toasted Almond Caramel Cupcakes
from Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 box white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs as called for on cake mix box
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans).

In shallow pan, toast almonds 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup almonds for garnish. In food processor, grind remaining almonds until finely ground.

In large bowl, mix cake mix, water, oil, eggs and almond extract. Fold in ground almonds. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake and cool as directed on box for cupcakes.

In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.

Gradually stir powdered sugar into brown sugar mixture. Place saucepan of frosting in bowl of cold water. Beat with spoon until smooth and spreadable. If frosting becomes too stiff, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Frost a few cupcakes at a time with 1 tablespoon frosting each; press reserved almonds lightly into frosting. Store loosely covered.

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