Ever crave something chocolate? I do a lot. I had these caramels in my pantry for a while and it was either eat them one by one or turn them into something delicious. I opted for turtle cupcakes. The recipe below is my go to chocolate cupcake recipe, however if you are short on time, box devils food cake works well too.
2 1/4 C sugar, 2 C flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. baking powder, dash of salt, 1 C unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 sticks butter(softened), 1 1/4 Kahlua (or brewed coffee), 3 eggs, 1 C sour cream, 1 TB vanilla, and 8 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
Caramel topping- 20 caramels, 10 TB half and half, handful of chocolate chips and a handful of chopped pecans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners. In a large bowl add 2 C sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside. In another bowl, add softened butter, 2 eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Blend both bowls together and slowly add Kahlua or brewed coffee. It will be very thick, so using a stand mixer, makes it much easier.
Scoop the batter into your muffin tins, but only fill 1/2 full. Combine cream cheese, 1/4 sugar and 1 egg. Add cream cheese mixture to top of chocolate muffin batter so they are 3/4 full. Bake for approx. 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
Unwrap caramels and add to a double boiler. Add half and half and melt stirring until caramels are melted and smooth. Dip cooled cupcakes into the caramel mixture. Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans on top.
***Note: I left some cupcakes without the cream cheese topper to give people the option.