When I set out to make this dinner menu, the one thing I knew was I was making a dessert with salted caramel. I was all set to do a bread pudding with apples and salted caramel, a dish I had never attempted before. Then I learn from my mom that her and my stepfather both HATE bread pudding. So much for that idea. But still the caramel. With apples in my head and the rest of the menu forming around the fruit, I started playing with the idea of apples and caramel–apple pie, cider, hard cider, salted caramel… I wanted to do a cupcake–they just always look so cute! I had a long name at first, hard cider cupcakes with apple pie filling and salted caramel cream cheese icing. Then I dropped the hard cider and simplified. I was making a caramel apple, only in a cupcake form.