FRUIT ‘N' NUT SPICED HONEY APPLESAUCE CUPCAKES
about 20 to 24 cupcakes
Sift together the first 5 or 6 ingredients; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy; gradually add honey, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating well. Alternately stir in flour mixture and applesauce, mixing well. Stir in dried fruits and coarsely chopped nuts.
Fill greased muffin pans, 2½ to 2¾ inches in diameter, individually lined with paper or foil baking cups, two-thirds full. Sprinkle the top of each with finely chopped nuts, dividing evenly, if desired. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out onto racks to cool thoroughly. May frost cupcakes without finely chopped nut garnish with Caramel or Cream Cheese Frosting ,if desired.
Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes may be frozen in sealed plastic freezer bags or wrapped and sealed in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Variations: Evenly divide batter into 2 greased 9-inch diameter round layer cake pans and bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the each comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool thoroughly before frosting.
In A Hurry? Use 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix, 3 jumbo or extra large eggs, at room temperature, 1 cup applesauce, ½ cup cooking oil, 1/3 cup water, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each nutmeg and ginger, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves. Prepare according to package directions and fold into the batter ½ cup each golden or dark seedless raisins, chopped dried cherries, chopped dates, and chopped dried apricots, and 2/3 cup chopped nuts. Bake as previously directed for cupcakes or layer cake. May top cupcakes with finely chopped nuts if desired. recipe continues on next page
enough to frost 16 to 18 cupcakes
In a small heavy saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Cook over moderate heat until mixture bubbles around edge of pan, then reduce heat and simmer ( bubbles will form around edge of pan but will not have large boiling bubbles throughout mixture) for 1 minute. Transfer hot mixture to a bowl and allow to cool for 30 seconds. Stir in half-and-half, vanilla, and salt. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until mixture is of desired spreading consistency(not too stiff and not too runny). Beat in caramel flavoring, if desired. Frost thoroughly cooled cupcakes, dividing frosting evenly.
Cream Cheese Frosting
enough frosting to frost 18 to 20 cupcakes
In a medium bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients, beating until smooth. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add additional cream as needed to achieve to desired spreading consistency.