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Since I recently made Dulce de Leche cupcakes, I thought – what isn’t better with chocolate?! Plus I found these adddooorable Alphabet Pretzels which I thought would make great toppers but also compliment the sweet with salty.

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It’s tough looking for letters, I don’t know how Vanna White does it. I spelled out “HELLO” and “LOVE” and got both the kid’s names but that’s about it. I just wish I’d named the kids something short like ‘AL’ – I could have saved a good 10 mins of digging through pretzel remnants…

ingredients:
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sea salt**
2 large eggs
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Dulce de Leche

Chocolate frosting ingredients:
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
6 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons milk
dash of vanilla sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep a cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla sea salt.

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**I think the salt adds a lot to the flavor, however I know it’s not readily available so regular sea salt will do.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Be careful and keep your mixer on low or you will have flour flying everywhere.

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Divide the batter among the cupcake pan, filling about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Test with a toothpick for doneness and let cool on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, start the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Beat until combined, then turn the mixer up to medium high and beat until nice and fluffy.

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Once the cupcakes are cooled, hollow out a center from each cupcake and fill with prepared Dulce de Leche. This will provide a sweet surprise at first bite. Frost with chocolate frosting, right over the dulce de leche.

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I was lucky to find these cute alphabet pretzels, but you can decorate yours making letters out of stick pretzels just the same! Or just a sprinkling of sea salt is nice too, it really compliments the chocolate and dulce de leche!

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