Monday, September 14, 2009

Apple Walnut Crumb Cupcakes

2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 item large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 ¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cup fried diced apples peeled
1 ½ cup caramelized walnut halves
1 item Wilton vanilla crème drizzle icing

1. Preheat oven 350°F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides as needed. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour mixture and sour cream, alternating, ending with flour until just combined. Finish by stirring with hand leaving a few streaks of flour.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups filling three-quarters full. Sprinkle the plain streusel topping over cupcakes, gently pressing it into batter. Using your fingers to maintain the crumbly effect, sprinkle the apple walnut streusel mixture for topping. Bake, rotating pans halfway through until golden brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Transfer pans to rack or counter to cool before removing cupcakes. To finish, drizzle Wilton vanilla crème icing.

Streusel Topping:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon coarse salt

¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt; cut in the butter using your fingertips or two table knives until combined, but still crumbly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. Reserve half to combine with apples walnut mixture.

Fried Apples:

1 ½ cups diced apples peeled

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Whisk together sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Melt butter in a sauté pan adding vanilla extract, once hot add diced apples with sugar mixture. Let soften and caramelize. Set aside.

Caramelized Walnuts: (available ready-made)

(Optional ingredient if have allergies; apple crumb cupcake)

1 cup walnut halves

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Toast walnuts in a 350°F oven on baking sheet 10-15 minutes until fragrant and golden. Shake the pan during toasting to encourage even browning. Combine honey, water and oil in large saucepan bring to a boil add walnuts stir frequently until liquid is evaporated. Remove walnuts place in a small bowl toss with sugar. Place sugar coated walnuts on cookie sheet to dry. Combine walnuts with streusel and apples for topping. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.