Caramel Apple Goodness

I write this post to say this is not the norm for me. I'd rather grab a recipe off my sister-in-law, Emily's blog, go to my faithful church cookbooks, or ask a friend for a tried and true recipe. But this Rachel Ray recipe turned out well, even for me, and I'd like to pass the goodness along to you.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes
My way: Caramel Apple Doughnuts
Why? They're easier for little hands to handle and there's a better icing - cake ratio!

Caramel Apple Doughnuts:
1 1/4 cups flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 rome apples (about 1 lb.) peeled and shredded. I couldn't find rome and used gala instead.
1 1/2 cups chewy caramel candies
1 tablespoon heavy cream (I used more so that the frosting was not so sticky)

My friend, Lauri, got us a doughnut pan while she was visiting us in the city. If you are not gonna make doughnuts, use a muffin pan.

Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350. Spray pan or use liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.
Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry. About 25-30 min.
Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
In a small microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. Let cool. Spread frosting generously on cooled doughnuts.