Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Help

I recently finished reading "The Help" and I loved it.  If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.  It was so good that I had a hard time putting it down.  Now I can hardly wait to go see the movie.
For those of you that haven't read the book, the author describes a very special caramel cake made by the character Minny.  It's probably because I was reading it late at night but I could hardly get through the chapter without getting up and making a batch of caramel cupcakes.
I first came across a recipe for salted caramel cupcakes last spring in a book that my mother in law gave me as a birthday gift.  The book is called Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski.  (A great cupcake cookbook by the way.)
 Salted Caramel Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour                  
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoons baking powder              
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt                  
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dark brown sugar       1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar                      

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Beat sugars and butter together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture alternating with milk.  Divide batter between 12 muffin cups and bake 20 minutes at 350.  Cool 1 hour.

Caramel Buttercream
10 Tablespoons butter
½ vanilla bean
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
24 kraft caramels

Beat butter until smooth. Scrape seeds of vanilla bean into butter.  Add powdered sugar and beat 45 seconds.  Add extract and cream and beat 4 minutes.  Melt caramels in microwave.  Fold caramel into buttercream until swirled slightly. 

I have been looking for an excuse to make Salted Caramel Cupcakes ever since I finished The Help.  Yesterday was my turn to bring snack to my daughter's soccer team.  I decided to seize the opportunity and make soccer themed salted caramel cupcakes.

I made the soccer ball decorations from marshmallow fondant.


It was a great game.  My daughter scored 2 goals to help lead her team to victory.  We're so proud of her.  She and her teammates enjoyed the cupcakes - they deserved them.   

Bon Appetit!

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