Caramel Apple Cupcakes


    * 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) spice cake mix or 1 package (18 ounces) carrot cake mix
    * 2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
    * 20 caramels
    * 3 tablespoons 2% milk
    * 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
    * 12 Popsicle sticks


    * Prepare cake batter according to package directions; fold in apples.
    * Fill 12 greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
    * In a small saucepan, cook the caramels and milk over low heat until smooth. Spread over cupcakes. Sprinkle with pecans. Insert a wooden stick into the center of each cupcake.

Yield: 1 dozen.
Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling