Thursday, March 3, 2011

Toffee Caramel Crunch

This week, I watched these two little bundle of joys.
Don't lie. These are probably the cutest pumpkin patch pictures you've ever seen...and cutest kids.
Meet Aubrey and Owen---my older sister's 16-month old twins.  While my sister and her husband were vacationing in the Dominican Republic this week, my mom and I took turns with these little tykes.  Not going to lie. I have a totally new respect for parenthood after this week.  After my first full day and night with them, I felt like I was last year's self, working night shifts at the hospital---exhausted, sleep-deprived, and chugging caffeine.  
I semi-baby-proofed my new house, but nothing gets by these two.  Remote controls placed 6-feet off the ground---they'll just climb.  Try to do something not involving them---they'll pull your computer off the table to get your attention.  Despite all the running around and sleepless nights, I thoroughly enjoyed having them here.  (But not enough to have my own, so don't ask)
Anyways, after dropping them off at my mom's for their last hurrah with her before the 'rents come home, I didn't know what to do with myself.  But wait, yes I do.  Make cupcakes.  
This is my attempt to make my friend's third and final cupcake flavor for her wedding.  
Months ago, Lucy described a cake to me that she and her fiance' had had when they were visiting a small diner in Oregon.  She said it was their favorite cake and they always talked about it, but had never been able to find anything like it again.  We attempted a version of it a while back, but came up with something sticky and overly sweet.  I knew I would have to try to recreate this cake somehow for their wedding and here's my 2nd attempt.  I give you Salted Caramel Crunch Cupcakes. 
Chocolate cake with toffee bits, salted caramel frosting, and a drizzle of caramel and toffee bits on top.
You can do it with or without the drizzle if you prefer. They both look pretty yummy. 
I'm little bit embarrassed to admit that this is a glorified box cake mix.  It's doctored up and delicious, but a box nonetheless.  Not going to lie though, Betty Crocker does it right. It's hard to go wrong with a box cake mix.  
I adapted the recipe from My Baking Addiction for her Snickers cupcakes.  
In other news, I ordered new frosting tips and so begins the practicing.  :)

Toffee Caramel Crunch Cupcakes
1 box Devil's Food Cake mix
1 box Instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup veggie oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup toffee bits

Mix together all ingredients until combined.  Fill cupcake tin with liners 2/3 of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter---room temp
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup caramel sundae topping (and extra for drizzling)

Cream together butter and shortening. Add vanilla, salt, and caramel until well mixed.  Add in powdered sugar a little at a time until combined.  Frost cupcakes and garnish with caramel drizzle and toffee bits. 

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