Thursday, October 31, 2013

Caramel Apple Dipping Bar

Mmmmmmm.... Love Caramel Apples.
Love them!
They are the epitome of Halloween for me. I find that I crave them at least once every season.... if not more. My kids love them too.... especially now that they don't have their braces on anymore.

We've made lots of fully dipped apples and then covered them in yummy treats and toppings, but they can be such a pain to eat. This takes "most" of the mess away from eating a caramel apple and the best part of separating out the toppings, means that you can have lots of variety. Each apple slice can be it's own delicious caramel apple.

First I like to start with green apples.... the tartness of a green Granny Smith apple pairs nicely with the sweet caramel. Using a simple hand apple slicer that makes 8 even slices, I cut up the apples. Sometimes, I will cut each individual slice again to make a total of 16 slices per apple, especially if there are lots of peeps... (plus that means there is a greater caramel to apple ratio.... very important!) You can use skewers to pierce the apple before dipping or just use your fingers.

Here are the few toppings that we used this time. Sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, peanuts, macadamia nuts, and chopped up M&M's.

Other topping ideas are:
  • shredded coconut, 
  • mini marshmallows (can be cut in half so they aren't so unruly), 
  • chopped up candy bars (Nestle Cunch, Kit Kat, Twix, Snickers, Milky Way, etc.), 
  • crushed up Oreo cookies, 
  • crushed up chocolate chip cookies, 
  • other nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.), 
  • toffee bits, 
  • candy corn, 
  • cereals (Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops- kids love these bright sugary cereals),  
  • really just wander around the grocery store and you will find a gazillion things that you can add to this caramel apple dipping bar. 
Since there were only a few toppings and only my few kids, we put them in piles on a plate... but you could put each individual topping into its own bowl.

The caramel recipe I used is available if you click here. Another quick and easy way to make a caramel for apples is to unwrap KRAFT caramels and put them in a saucepan over medium heat (or you can melt them in a microwave) with a small amount of milk or cream. I would say for a full bag of caramels you would add about a tablespoon or two of cream.

So many choices... so many varieties... so many yummy choices. 

Happy Halloween!

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