Amaretto Apple Cupcakes (slightly adapted from Intoxicated Cupcakes)
1 red apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup amaretto
3 tbsp. plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose un-bleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. sanding sugar, for sprinking
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
2. In a medium pan, combine amaretto and 3 tablespoons sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add the sliced apples and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and remove apples from mixture. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer beat together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and eggs until pale for 2 minutes on medium speed. Turn speed down to low, adding the applesauce, amaretto mixture, and cinnamon. Stop mixer, scrape down sides, and fold mixture to make sure everything is incorporated. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan.
4. Lay several pieces of the sliced apple onto each cupcake batter. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
5. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and sprinkle on sanding sugar over cupcakes. Serve while warm.