October 11, 2005
Caramel Apple Happiness
Melting pot Harlem- Harlem of honey and chocolate and caramel and rum and vinegar and lemon and lime and gall. ~ Langston Hughes
Caramel and candy apples are treats that we tend to give up in adulthood because eating them is just a pain in the ass. When we're kids we don't care that caramel is getting in our hair or smearing our lipstick to our ears...but well, grown up prissy sluts do mind. We've got far more naughty activities to contemplate that will smear our make-up.
For those of you out there who will be hosting parties for grown-ups, there is a nifty way to preserve caramel apple happiness for your party guests without making them messy.
You should figure 1/2 apple per guest if serving as hors d'oeuvres or 1 apple per guest if serving as dessert. I prefer very firm and tart granny smith apples, but any "eating" apple will do.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 dash kosher salt
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon double-strength vanilla
(Each of these should be placed is a separate disposable pie tin or shallow bowl)
crushed candy pieces
crushed cookie pieces
I. Prepare Caramel Dip
Melt butter in 2-qt saucepan; add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Mix vigorously. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes with frequent stirring until mixture reaches 245 degrees on a candy thermometer (firm-ball stage in a cold water candy test - 20 to 25 minutes). Stir in the vanilla and then immediately remove from heat.
Note: My Grammy's recipe calls for a "candy corn sized dab" of paraffin to be melted into the mixture, but I believe this is for caramel candy squares and not dipping caramel.
II. Prepare Apple Wedges
Fill a large bowl with 1 quart of cool water. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice (fresh squeezed is better). Stir lightly. The water is now acidulated and will prevent sliced apples from browning.
Rise off and core 3 or 4 large granny smith apples and cut into wedge slices. Immediately place slices in the bowl of acidulated water. It's best not to do too many apples at once because over-soaking will make the apples mushy.
III. Dip Apple Wedges
Pat apple wedges dry with a paper towel and spear upon a long toothpick. Dip first in caramel and then into the fixins of your preference.
Set onto wax paper covered tray. Will keep well in a cool place overnight, but best kept in the fridge.
To serve as hors d'oeuvres, keep on Halloween colored toothpicks and arrange on tray.
To serve as a dessert, make up as kabobs by slipping four slices onto Halloween themed swizzle sticks. Best served with Carmel Apple Cocktails (1 oz DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps + 1 shot caramel liqueur + 1/2 cup chilled apple cider).
So endth my Martha Stewart entry for the year.
Oh yeah, acidulate me baybee
Posted by: Todd Larason at October 11, 2005 04:52 PM
Posted by: Doxy at October 12, 2005 02:03 AM
You say 'pervert' like it's a bad thing.
Oh wait, no you don't.
Posted by: Karl Elvis at October 13, 2005 12:58 PM
Dan Sugalski has an interesting-looking apple/caramel recipe over at Squawks of the Parrot: http://www.sidhe.org/~dan/blog/ .
Posted by: Todd Larason at October 16, 2005 05:45 AM