Kick off the turkey break….”Breaking Dawn”

It’s been a busy week so far and it’s only Tuesday :/  I picked up my oldest niece Ariel today, we celebrated her belated birthday and went to see “Breaking Dawn”….aside from the cheesy background music and a few other odd scenes we agreed that it was a decent movie.  I’ll give it 3 out of 5 stars and I will say if I had to choose, I’m definitely “Team Jacob”!!!

We’re heading to Lubbock tomorrow for our Thanksgiving break (Amarillo too =) and we are in charge of bringing green bean casserole and our new favorite dessert, vanilla bean cupcakes with salted caramel icing. Ariel helped me bake the cupcakes tonight, Thanks Ariel!

Try the recipe below, this is seriously one of the best things you will ever put in your mouth, promise!

Here’s the recipe I followed (I discovered it on “the parsley thief” blog), FYI: for best results, store the icing in the refrigerator and cupcakes at room temp and ice them at the time of service:

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Adapted {barely} from Amy Wisniewsk, via Chow
Makes 24 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 large egg whites
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with paper cups.
Whisk the flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Add the sugar & vanilla seeds, beat until combined. Add the egg whites & then the whole eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the bowl, as needed. Add the milk & beat to combine. Turn the mixer down to low & slowing add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the paper liners, until 1/2 full. Bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the sugar & water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil & cook, without stirring, until it turns a dark amber color, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat & slowly stir in the heavy cream & vanilla. The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, so do this slowly, stirring as you pour! Set aside until cool to the touch.
Beat the butter & salt in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, until light & fluffy. Reduce the speed to low & add the powdered sugar. Beat until completely incorporated. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the bowl & pour in the caramel. Turn the mixer back on & beat until light & fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the frosting to an airtight container & chill for at least 45 minutes before using.
Note: The frosting can be made ahead of time & stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Let the frosting come to room temperature before using.

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