Monday, October 22, 2012
We subscribe to the local newspaper and the Portland newspaper. One to keep up with work-related activities and events. The other for the sports page and the crossword puzzle. It is our little - now, not-so-secret indulgence.
Once in a while a recipe catches my eye. This one was entitled "A smaller, but sweet, take on caramel apples" by J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press. I love caramel apples, but I can never eat the entire thing and certainly don't need the calories. However, this seemed like a good compromise. AND IT IS !!! Wooo Hooo!
You use/make dried apple slices and drizzle them with melted caramel, white and dark chocolate. Whats not to like - right? It is so easy and the result is decadent. You can be calorie conscience and only have one - they are rich. One lets you enjoy the fall flavors without totally wrecking your diet. If diet is not a concern (wish I could remember what that was like), then you can consume the entire plateful - the equivalent of two large apples. Apples! Wasn't there something about an apple a day keeping the doctor away? Probably not in this case, but I thought I would try to find some justification for splurging! Maybe I should share these with my doctor?
The recipe is below with a couple of changes. I found that I needed to dry the slices longer in the oven than the recipe directed. I dried my slices for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 250 degrees instead of 45 minutes. I also found that the amounts for the "drizzles" covered 4 sliced apples instead of just one. Bonus!
1-4 large apples, cored
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
Half of a 14 ounce package of caramel candies, unwrapped
1 Tablespoon of water
3-4 "squares" of vanilla almond bark (recipe listed 1/2 cup white chocolate bits)
1/2 Cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (recipe listed 1/2 cup dark chocolate candy melts)
1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
Wash and core your apples. Then slice them in 1/8 inch rings. Place them on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment paper in a single layer, without touching. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Place in a 250 degree oven and dry for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I check them once or twice and turn them over once during the drying process. The smell is de-vine! When slices are dry and slightly crisp (not crunchy) - still a little pliable - remove from the oven. Cool by sliding the apples with the paper onto cooking racks.
When the are cool. Begin melting the caramel candies with the water, on the stove over medium heat. Stay with it and stir as needed. Don't let it get too hot and begin to burn to the bottom - not so nice. Once the caramel is melted, stir with a fork. Take the pot of melted caramel to the apples. Using the fork, drizzle the hot caramel back and forth over the apple slices. Let cool and set.
After caramel sets, melt the almond bark according to directions on package in microwave. Using a fork, drizzle it over the apples slices like with the caramel. Let cool and set.
After almond bark sets, melt the chocolate morsels with the vegetable oil in the microwave as directed on the back of the package. Using a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over the apple slices.
Wait until these are cool - if you can - and dive in! Truly a fall treat! Applie, cinnamony, gooey, chocolaty goodness. I think you could purchase already dried apple slices and add the drizzles to speed up the process. However, I didn't mind the oven drying and the house smelled fabulous!
Give them a try and hope you enjoy them as much as we are. Happy Autumn! M
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