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Salted Caramel-Chocolate-Bourbon Cupcakes

Salted caramel seems to be popping up all over the place. It’s certainly a trend in the food world at the moment. So when I was browsing cupcake recipes I decided to take on this one. The salty-sweet combination is truly delicious. The bourbon added here really doesn’t leave any alcohol taste. It just gives the chocolate cake a greater depth of flavor. I’ll be on the lookout for more salted caramel recipes after these cupcakes. I’m hooked!

Salted Caramel-Chocolate-Bourbon Cupcakes

Source: Adapted from BHG.COM

For the cupcakes:

1 cup butter, room temperature

3 eggs, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

1/3 cup bourbon

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Line thirty-two to thirty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine the water and bourbon. Set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl microwave unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate, uncovered, on high power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave, uncovered, for 30 seconds more; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until combined and scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.

Bake about 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean (tops of cupcakes may sink slightly). Cool the cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

For the Fudge Frosting:

6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sour cream

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large saucepan cook and stir chocolate and butter over low heat until melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.

Place Fudge Frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip; pipe a border around edges of cupcakes.

For the Salted Caramel:

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1 tablespoon bourbon

24 unwrapped vanilla caramels

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a small saucepan combine whipping cream and bourbon. Heat over medium-low heat until steaming but not boiling. Stir in caramels and sea salt. Heat until melted, stirring constantly.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon Salted Caramel into center of each cupcake. Sprinkle caramel lightly with sea salt.

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