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December 6: Obsessed!



caramel.jpgI’ve never been much of a chocolate eater. Yes, I’m weird but you’ve probably already figured that out by now. I’m usually into what mom calls “junk” candy - gummi bears, razzles, red hots…you get the idea. Lately I have become totally obsessed with a new addiction - CARAMEL!

kraft1.jpg
No I didn’t just crawl out from under a rock. I’ve always thought of carmel as the hard little cubes with “Kraft” on the label. Ick.

Even though I’ve had a long love affair with homemade caramel corn, I’ve just recently came to the conclusion that I am completely and totally obsessed with caramel.

Fortunately I’m the only one in my family who eats my caramels. My salt-a-holic mom thinks they’re “too salty” - go figure! My son who loves apple dippers from McDonalds and often just licks the caramel out of the package refuses to eat any other kind. We don’t tell dad about them - he’d eat them all and has out of control diabetes. And my husband’s remark was “they’d be better with nuts”.

apple1.jpgNow I’m not gunking up my perfect caramels with nuts, but I regularly make Caramel Apples just for him. And no, I don’t melt krafty squares nor use the microwave. Naturally, I make my own caramel. It really isn’t that hard, and instead of ordinary you too can make spectacular Caramel Apples!

So my treat for you today is this fabulous recipe. They’re not just for Halloween - we eat them year round!

Well, I don’t actually eat them. I mean “we” in the global sense. I’m not gunking up my caramel with apples either. I’m a purist.

Here ya go!

Caramel Apples
8 small tart apples (I use Granny Smith)
1 cup heavy cream, divided
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 cups roasted peanuts, chopped

Add a splash of vinegar to a medium sized bowl of hot water. Dip apples, and rub with kitchen towel to remove excess wax. Discard stems, and insert sticks halfway into apples.

Combine 3/4 cup of the cream, sugar, corn syrup and butter in a large saucepan (I prefer to use a small stockpot). Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 12 minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture should turn a warm brown color. It will darken a bit when it cools. Don’t try to get it too dark or it will be hard as a rock.

Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup cream, vanilla and salt. Remove from heat.

applestick.jpgDip apples into hot caramel, allow excess to drip off, then roll in peanuts pressing lightly onto caramel before it cools. Refrigerate until serving. Serve at room temperature.

The first time I made these I couldn’t find the regular caramel apple sticks, so I used some small bamboo skewers that I had in my kitchen. Since they were skinny I used two for each apple. They looked cool, almost giving it an oriental flair, so I quit searching for the real sticks and use skewers instead.

If you’re new to cooking, I’d start with the caramel corn recipe I shared a few years ago. It isn’t that difficult. Once you get a feel for how this caramel mixture feels, then tackle the apples. My favorite, caramels with fleur de sel, is for the more expert caramel maker.
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Next on my things to do in life is make homemade marshmallows. I have it on good authority that these are to-die-for delicious and nothing like the Kraft counterpart.

Speaking of marshmallows, time to go and roast one of those substandard versions in our fireplace. Keith has a lovely fire going tonight. I like mine charred!

We’ll be announcing the winner from yesterday’s post later today. I have been so impressed with the responses that I am hoping to pick several winners. I first need to check with the keeper of the goody basket (aka Lori) to see how much stuff we have.

3 Responses to “December 6: Obsessed!”

  1. Janet Says:

    Here’s a great link for homemade marshmallows: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-marshmallows-recipe/index.html

    Enjoy!

  2. JennyE Says:

    Cuppies and Joe’s has a cupcake topped with carmel and sea salt. I think it is called the “What are you looking at?”. It is so good! Now I want caramel.

  3. Melissa R Says:

    Hot dog! Looks like it’s a 3-fer today!

    Caramel has always been my favorite, too.

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