Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Birthdays are a big deal in my family.  My mother's birthday was the other day, and yesterday we had a picnic at one of the local state parks.  It was a beautiful day for a picnic!  As the baker in the family, I felt it was my duty to make some rocking birthday dessert, and as we were doing a picnic I wanted to take something picnicky.  Enter Caramel Apple Cupcakes.

Once in a while I have to break out of my usual mold and use a prepackaged mix.  When it comes to cooking and baking, I like to make as much as I can using "real" ingredients.  But when I found this, I knew I had an easy winner on my hands. 

What we do to the poor person with a birthday

1 package (18 1/4 oz) spice cake mix
2 c chopped and peeled tart apples
20 caramels
3 Tbsp milk
1 c finely chopped pecans, toasted

Prepare cake batter according to package directions.  Fold in apples.  Fill paper lined muffin cups three-fourths full.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a saucepan, cook the caramels and milk over low heat until smooth.  Spread over cupcakes.  Sprinkle with pecans.

Obviously I did not have the pecans, but I included them in the recipe because they would be so good.


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