This weekend a group of my daughter’s friends gathered items (in lieu of a baby shower for our new addition that is due in November. My daughter decided she didn’t need anything for the baby since this is #3) and wanted to put together 20 Love Bags. These bags will be given to foster children who are removed from homes for various reasons and arrive with only the clothes on their backs.
Items were removed from sacks, laid out on the kitchen island and we began walking around filling the bags with toothpaste, a toothbrush, baby wipes, a blanket, Kleenex, coloring book, crayons, a photo album and a storybook. We saw the truth of how something bigger than ourselves had become a reality. It is the hope that these bags will not only be a comfort to the children but also the families that are taking in these little ones.
After we had completed our project we talked, laughed, shared and, of course, ate. One of the items I served was a Caramel Cupcake. I was a bit challenged because I wanted to make sure my daughter, who needs to avoid eggs, could enjoy them. The solution was found by substituting the egg with milk (I used almond/coconut milk) and apple cider vinegar. We also had Monster Cookies, Almond Joy Bites and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened or (your choice of milk)
- 2 cups white spelt flour, (or your choice of flour)
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- Caramel Liquid Stevia - 6 to 8 drops
- Caramel Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3-4 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/3 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 8 Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
- Caramel Liquid Stevia, 6 drops
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two-12-cup muffin pans with muffin cups. Spray lightly with a coconut oil.
- Combine the 1 1/2 cup almond milk and vinegar into a 2-cup measuring cup and whisk together. Let sit 5 minutes until curdled (little bubbles will appear on top).
- Add stevia in liquid mixture.
- In large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the almond milk mixture, oil and stevia.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and mix well.
- Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 full. (Do not overfill)
- Lightly bang pan against counter to even out batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes back clean, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Cool in pan on a cooling rack.
- Make frosting below.
- When cool – Top with frosting and sprinkles, caramels and chocolate.
- Caramel Frosting
- Place caramels in microwave-safe dish with milk. Heat in 20 second increments, stopping to stir until well combined. Add in liquid stevia
- Place butter in the mixer and whip until smooth.
- Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar.
- Add in caramel milk mixture.
- Continue to add sugar until frosting is the consistency you desire.
Ready to Decorate
Here are my favorite items for making cupcakes.
Kitchen Aid Mixer – I would consider going into debt if this kitchen tool broke but I’ve had mine for over 25 years and it’s still going strong.
Rachel Ray Cupcake Pans – I recently replaced my worn-out pans with these and enjoy how easily they clean up. PS – They are on sale.
Cooling Racks – It is important to cool your cupcakes down before frosting – a cooling rack helps speed the process. Tip: I often bake my cupcakes the day before I decorate. After they have cooled, i place in my cupcake storage containers and refrigerate.
Cupcake Storage Containers – These are my favorite holders because the tray can accommodate 12 regular size cupcakes or 24 miniature cupcakes or be removed entirely to hold a batch of cookies. They also stack on top of one another.
Disposable Frosting Bags – These are worth the money – cuts down on clean-up.
Frosting Decorating Tips – I am not an expert on decorating but these large tips make my cupcakes better than my skill level.
Large Tip Decorating Coupler – This is made up of two piece – one will go inside the bag and the other will hold your tip onto the outside of bag and connect everything together.
Go to the Thrift Store and buy a cylinder vase or use a large drinking glass. Place bag in vase/glass, fold the edge over vase/glass. This makes getting the frosting into the bag much easier.
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