Archive for apples

Salted Caramel Apples

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Looking for a fun project for your kids this holiday season? These salted caramel apples will be  perfect  for your holiday gatherings or gift giving. What I love about making caramel apples is that the possibilities are endless!

When choosing apples. it’s best to pair the sweetness of the candy with a tart apple like granny smith, but if you’re not fond of tart apples choose the same type of apples that make good choices for apple pie such as gala, fuji, etc.

I saw this  bag of tiny apples when I went to store and thought these would be perfect for caramel apples as it’s much easier to hold and eat, especially for kids.

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If you prefer not to make the caramel sauce from scratch, you can also melt some caramel candy with a couple Tablespoons of milk in a microwave or use a double boiler method over a stove top.

Makes 6-8 apples  (depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 6-8 apples
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter ( 1 cup)
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 cups  brown sugar
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk  (you can substitute with heavy cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sea or fleur de sel salt (optional)
  • Toppings desired such as nuts, chocolate, candy, oreos, coconut, etc

Equipment needed:

  • Wooden skewers, chopsticks or craft sticks
  • Candy thermometer

Directions: 

Wash apples to remove any wax coating and dry them thoroughly.

Set apples stem side up and push sticks into each apple.  Place apples in a baking sheet lined with parchment /wax paper or silicone baking mat and set aside in the fridge while you make the caramel (cold apples work better for dipping).

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Combine butter, corn syrup, sugar, condensed milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until mixture reaches 234-240° F on a candy thermometer, which is the soft ball stage. This can take up to 25-30 minutes. Stir as needed. While the caramel is cooking, prepare toppings in individual bowls.

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When the caramel is done, remove from heat, add vanilla and stir well.  Next, place saucepan in an ice water bath to cool OR transfer caramel to small bowl that will fit all your caramel and make dipping easier.

Dip apples one at a time into the caramel, lift straight up, letting any excess drip back into the pan and sprinkle salt around  the apple. Next, dip into your toppings desired.  Be fun and creative!

Place apples, stem side up on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until set about 15 minutes.

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If you want to give these as gifts, chill the apples for at least an hour, then place in cellphone bags and wrap with ribbons found in your local craft store. Leave the wrapped apples in the fridge, up to about 5 days until ready to give.

What are your favorite toppings? Please share on the comments! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey Bread Minis with Caramel Sauce

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

A twist on the classic monkey bread. Individual sized monkey bread with hidden surprises such as apple and chocolate drizzled with gooey caramel sauce! The perfect snack or dessert for your kids or your next gathering.

Everyone loves monkey bread but the traditional full size pull-apart method tends to be a little messy. These are baked in muffin pans so it makes it easier for individual servings and takes less time to bake.

You can make these with just the apples or chocolate or caramel sauce.  Or if you prefer the traditional monkey bread, omit the fillings and just coat biscuits with cinnamon and sugar. However you decide to make them, it will be a hit!

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 stick ( ¼ cup) butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces ( optional)
  • Chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cans (7.5 oz each) refrigerated biscuits

Caramel Sauce

  • 2/3  cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick ( ¼ cup) butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease or spray 12 regular-size muffin pan.

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar and butter. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves stirring often. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of butter into each muffin cup.

Place chopped apples in a small bowl. In a plastic bag, combine sugar and cinnamon. Take about 1 Tablespoon of the sugar/cinnamon mixture and toss into the bowl of apples and set aside.

Separate biscuits and cut into quarters. You will have a total of 64 pieces, with a minimum of 5 pieces in each muffin cup with some left over. This is where you will choose your fillings:

– If you are only making an apple filling: Press the biscuits pieces flat and place an apple in the center of each and fold the dough around the apple and pinch the edges to close. Repeat for all 64 pieces and set aside.

– If you are making a chocolate filling, use the same method above using chocolate. Or if you prefer to use both for each muffin cup, you will make 32 with apples and 32 with chocolate, etc.

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Place biscuit pieces in the  plastic bag with cinnamon and sugar and shake to coat evenly and divide between 12 muffin cups ( some will have more than 5).

If you are using more than one filling, do this step in batches. (Add apple filling first in plastic bag to coat and place in muffin cups, then add chocolate filling to coat and place with apple filling in the muffin cup, etc)

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To make caramel sauce:  heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once sugar is melted, add the butter.  Stir the butter into the caramel until completely melted. Slowly drizzle in heavy cream and boil for about 1 minute (be careful as it will rise in the pan as it boils).  Remove from heat and set aside.

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Once all the biscuits are in the muffin pan, spoon any remaining butter and spoon some caramel sauce on top of each muffin cup.

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Bake for about 15 minutes or until biscuits have browned. Let cool for a couple of minutes. Turn muffin tin upside down to remove monkey breads.

Place on a serving platter and drizzle with caramel sauce. Leave a bowl of caramel sauce next to monkey bread so guests can choose to drizzle more!

Monkey Bread