I’m back! Did you miss me?
Apologies if I had anyone wondering where I had disappeared to. I took a little week off and then it seemed I needed another week just to get back into the swing of things. As a newbie to the world of blogging, one definite struggle is making the time to write – an equally important part of the process (bells and lights going off)! I haven’t stopped experimenting in the kitchen but getting from ‘there’ to ‘here’ requires just as much attention. I’m learning!
I don’t remember when the salted caramel trend started but my love for the combination dates even further back. Then, when a famous coffee shop made my life complete with a beverage named, the Salted Caramel Mocha, I realized I wasn’t alone. Before salted caramel (let’s refer to that time as B.S.C), I would seek out all sorts of creative salty and sweet combinations…apples and cheese, potato chips and m&m’s, chocolate milkshakes and french fries…psssh…like you never have!
I think the trend became mainstream when bags of chocolate-dipped pretzels popped up in the grocery store. Now, new sweet and savory combinations are being introduced every other day. I’m a happy girl.
There’s so much to love in these Salted Caramel Brownie Cupcakes. The rich, fudge-y, mocha-flavored bottom is perfectly balanced by the caramel buttercream with just enough salt to balance the sweetness. An extra drizzle of caramel and a hidden surprise inside make these a showstopper.
What are some of your favorite sweet and savory combos?
- 1 box of brownie mix (for a 9x13 pan)
- 2 tbsp espresso (or coffee) grinds
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 15 Hershey caramel kisses
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dulce de leche (caramel topping)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Drop a liner into approx. 15-18 cups of a muffin tin.
- Dissolve the coffee in the hot water.
- Prepare the brownie mix by adding the coffee-water, oil and eggs and stirring until just moistened. Evenly fill cupcake liners to 2/3 full.
- Bake in oven for 22-24 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs on it.
- Let brownie cupcakes cool in the pan for approx. 3 minutes. Then carefully push a caramel kiss into the center, point down/first. Let cool for 5 more minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost with salted caramel buttercream. Drizzle with extra caramel and sprinkle with more salt.
- In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and vanilla for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar, slowly, cup by cup. (It will be very thick)
- Stir the sea salt into the caramel topping, then pour into the butter mixture and stir until combined.