Egg Nog Cupcakes with Rum Caramel
Yield: about 18-20 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

¼ cup dark rum or bourbon (optional)

1 cup eggnog

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
For Caramel:
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
3/8 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup rum

For Frosting:
2 sticks of butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons egg nog
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

To make the Cupcakes:

 preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; whisk to combine.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, vinegar, and sugar.  Beat on medium-low speed until well blended.  Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling the cups 2/3 full.  Bake 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Caramel:
Whisk together the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and whisk over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Don’t stir the mixture but gently swirl the pan until it has reached a dark brown amber color. At that point whisk in the butter. (Careful- it will bubble up- don’t burn yourself.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and bourbon. Allow caramel to cool in the fridge before filling/drizzling. 

For Frosting:
Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter until it is creamy and pale. Gradually add the powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg nog one tablespoon at a time until the texture seems right. Add the nutmeg and salt and beat for another minute or so.

To assemble:
Once the cupcakes have cooled, scoop a tablespoon-size amount out of each one with a small spoon or paring knife. Fill with caramel, pipe on frosting and drizzle with remaining caramel. Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg and enjoy!

Cupcake Recipe adapted from: Annie’s Eats