Saturday, April 14, 2012

Caramel Apple Crazy

Oh caramel apple, I love you so.

Do you ever think about that luscious sweet and tart creation... but then realize it's nowhere near Fall and you can't find one anywhere? Sigh.. me too. Well, some local confection shops carry them year 'round but I find that $6 a pop is a bit steep.

I actually worked in one of those shops for over a year - and have decorated a couple hundred apples. Snickers, rocky road, Almond Joy, peanut, pecan, walnut, black & white chip, Butterfinger, apple pie, cheesecake.. and onnn and on.

Drooling yet? Try this on for size.

Caramel Apple Salad

»2 granny smith apples
»handful of mini marshmallows
»handful of peanuts
»caramel sauce [recipe here - it makes a ton! So either half it or make sure you have another use for it.. like topping ice cream or swirling in brownies/cookies!]

•Make your caramel according to directions. It'll look nice and lovely like this when it's ready. Set it aside to cool.

•Chop up the peanuts into bitty little pieces. This is fun because they like to roll away.
•Chop the apples into nice little squares. Tip? Cut a tic-tac-toe grid on the top of your apple for perfect slices [the core being the center square].
•If you don't have mini mallows on hand, yes, you'll be chopping these too! Prepare for lots of knife rinsing and sticky fun.

Toss everything into a bowl and you're almost there to caramel apple bliss. Once the caramel is cooled enough, start drizzling until you're satisfied. Mix it all up and enjoy! And yes, your apples will still turn brown! But that caramel goodness will cover it up. I believe you can work some magic with citric acid to prevent the oxidation.. but not like your apples will be any less delicious when brown. 

Fun story from my confection store job: Can you believe how many people would try to return a half eaten caramel apple because it started browning? It happens probably more than you think! Some people would ask for it sliced even if they weren't eating it right away. Naturally, we would warn them about oxidation [so they wouldn't try for a refund] and their faces would twist in confusion about apples "turning brown?" then say "never mind, don't slice it". But that's not the worst... getting asked what a 'chocolate dipped Twinkie or cherry' is, or what it tastes like is mind boggling. 

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