Gourmet Caramel Apples

Brianna Weedman
Gourmet Caramel Apples
As seen on Our Best Bites
It's finally October and THAT means that it is FINALLY caramel apple season! I adore a good caramel apple. I have so much fun making the caramel and then dipping the apples, but the most fun comes in trying a bunch of different toppings! Crushed up pretzels for a salted caramel apple, dipped in caramel then white chocolate then cinnamon sugar for an apple pie on a stick... I could go on and on! The honeycrisp apples that we're getting from Washington this week are HUGE and are going to make the most epic caramel apples ever! I can't wait to make them with the boys this weekend! The recipe for the caramel that I absolutely love comes from Our Best Bites, but you can use any recipe that your family likes (even just melted candy!)
 

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar (about 2 cups packed brown sugar)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 medium sized apples (that’s a pretty conservative measurement, this makes a lot of caramel)
  • popsicle sticks or chopsticks
  • assorted toppings for dipping (toffee bits, chopped nuts, coconut, crushed cookies or candy bars, etc.)
  • Optional: melted chocolate in zip-top bags

Directions

  1. Wash and dry apples; place sticks in cores and place on a baking sheet in the fridge to chill. Prepare all toppings in bowls and have them ready to go.
  2. To prepare caramel, combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart nonstick saucepan (about 3-4 inches deep, at least). Stir with wooden or silicone spatula over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush or scraping with spatula, about 15 minutes.
  3. Attach a clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with clean spatula and occasionally brushing/scraping down sides of pan, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into a bowl. Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel. Cool to 200°F, about 20 minutes. If it cools too much just heat it up a little.
  4. While caramel cools, line 1-2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or buttered foil. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.
  5. Holding stick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. If needed, gently scrape the bottom of the apple to remove excess caramel. Place coated apple on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool a bit on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, gently heat in microwave, or add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.
  6. By the time you have dipped all the apples, the first ones should be ready partially set enough to add toppings. If not, chill in fridge for a few minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple. Then firmly press decorations into the caramel and return to baking sheet.
  7. If desired dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week or wrap in cellophane bags for gift giving.

Photo Credit:
Our Best Bites

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Peach Syrup- Canning Friendly!

Brianna Weedman

This peach syrup is perfectly sweet with a nice creamy texture. I love it on the light and crispy waffles from the last blog post! This recipe comes together quickly and cans really well! Recipe from triedandtastey.com.

Ingredients:
- 10 cups sliced peaches
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tbs lemon juice

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.  Peel peaches and dice. Add to a large pot and stir in honey and lemon juice.

  2. On medium-high, mash ingredients together with a potato masher while heating. Once the peaches are broken down and blended well with the honey, allow to come to a boil.

  3. Transfer to a blender to blend until silky smooth. Depending on the size of your batch, you may need to do this in several small batches. If your blender has a "syrup setting", the blended peaches will heat up and thicken to the syrup stage. If your blender doesn't have that option, pour the liquid into a new, large pot.

  4. Taste the syrup. If it isn't sweet enough (or if the smooth liquid isn't thick enough) add more honey to taste and continue heating until it reaches the syrup stage. You can tell if it has reached the right thickness by dripping the liquid from a spoon. The drops should have a semi-thick consistency and there should be a slight delay before they fall off of the spoon.

  5. Skim off any foam that develops while cooking.

  6. Ladle hot syrup into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process half-pint jars for 10 minutes.

  7. Remove canner lid. Remove jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars are cool enough to handle (let them rest at last an hour or two), remove rings and test seals. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

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The Most Amazing and Crispy Waffles Ever!

Brianna Weedman
The Most Amazing and Crispy Waffles Ever



In a large bowl, combine:
-1 c buttermilk (or milk with vinegar)
-1 c greek yogurt

In a separate bowl whisk:
-1.5 c white flour
-.5 c corn starch
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-.5 tsp baking soda

Once the milk and yogurt are mixed together, add:
-.5 c butter, melted
-.25 c coconut oil, melted
-2 egg yolks
In a mixer, whip the 2 egg whites and add 2 Tbs and a smidge of white sugar while mixing, and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla and about a half a teaspoon of almond extract. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Combine milk mixture to flour mixture then fold in egg whites.

Cook in a preheated waffle iron.

Recipe for the peach syrup pictured will be posted tomorrow!

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Rainbow Thai Salad

Brianna Weedman

Rainbow Thai Salad
As seen on The Minimalist Baker

This Thai Salad is one of my favorite meals! It is so bright and colorful! I love using the striped peppers to add even more colors to my plate! Eat it as is, add peanut shrimp, or marinated peanut tempeh to make it a full meal!



Ingredients
-6
 ounces gluten free or rice noodles
-4 carrots, ribboned with a veggie peeler
-1/4 onion or 1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch mint, chopped
-2 huge handfuls of spinach
- 1/2 red cabbage, sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
Dressing Ingredients: 
-1/2 cup creamy nut butter (I like natural peanut butter)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- water to thin

Directions
-Prepare noodles according to package instructions, rinse, drain, and set aside
- In a large serving bowl, place spinach, carrots, cabbage, onion, cilantro, mint, red bell pepper, and noodles. Toss loosely to combine.
-Make dressing by adding peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and lime juice to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add water a little at a time as needed to reach desired thickness.
-Drizzle the dressing over the tossed salad and enjoy!

Look for red cabbage, cilantro, red peppers, carrots, and mint in this week's 
Harvest Box
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Kienzle

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Restaurant Style Salsa

Brianna Weedman
Enjoy this restaurant style salsa with chips, on taco salad, or just eat it with a spoon! No judgement here! 

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Peach Caprese Salad

Brianna Weedman

Caprese salad is good, but swap out tomatoes for peaches and add bacon and you've got yourself a gourmet meal!

 

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Lemon Cucumber Salad

Brianna Weedman1 comment
This light and crunchy salad is a great side for grilled chicken! 

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Best Potato Salad...Ever!

Brianna Weedman
This potato salad calls for sour cream instead of mayo, and fresh dill instead of relish! It is sure to become a fast favorite!

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Jello Flag Cake

Brianna Weedman
An easy patriotic dessert!

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Weedman Brothers' Fruit Filled Lemonade

Brianna Weedman
Our favorite fruit filled lemonade!

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