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Apple Rum Cupcakes

Apple Filling:
1 tart apple* (I used a Braeburn apple), peeled and cored
2 tablespoons dark rum (I used Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Rum Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum**

*Note: You can use any apple that’s good for cooking—Granny Smith, Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, or Pink Lady.

**Note: This made a very strong rum glaze. Next time I’d probably mix 1 tablespoon of rum with a tablespoon of milk to dilute it a bit.

1. With a rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. Using a box grater, grate the apple over a medium bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons rum and let stand while preparing the batter.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add vanilla. Add about half of the flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
5. Drain the apples in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Add the milk to any liquid that drains into the bowl and add milk mixture to the batter. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until smooth.
6. Place one heaping tablespoon of batter into each of the muffin cups. The batter will probably be pretty thick, so with the back of a buttered spoon, spread the batter evenly to cover the bottom of the cup. Place ½ to 1 tablespoon of grated apple on top of batter, and top with another tablespoon of batter. Smooth tops.
7. Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.
8. To make the glaze, stir together confectioner’s sugar and rum in a small saucepan, mixing well. Place over medium heat and stir until warm and fluid.
9. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cupcakes in a decorative pattern. Rewarm glaze if necessary.

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