Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guilty Pleasures and Caramel Apples

As with most people, I have a few guilty pleasure TV shows.  For some, it's reality TV.  For me, it's (don't laugh!) the occasional ABC Family show thrown into my usual mix of Doctor Who and Frasier reruns .  For a couple of my friends, it's Grey's Anatomy.  I enjoy it too, but they REALLY love it.  They invited me over to watch the season premier with them the other night and asked me to bring my favorite snack.

lol Like the note?  My husband knows how to put a smile on my face...
Favorite snack?  lol I so rarely cook the same thing twice.  With the billion apples I'm still working through on my counter, I decided to make these caramel apple bites from Christy at "...From Glitter to Gumdrops" I found on Pinterest.  The only thing I did differently was to drop the apple pieces into a bowl of lemon juice and water to prevent browning as I carved them out.

Apples ready to be dipped in caramel
Once I finished carving out apple pieces I placed them on a piece of wax paper and stabbed them with a pretzel stick.  Most of the similar recipes I found out there used lollipop sticks, but I liked that Christy used pretzels for hers.  Made the whole thing edible- plus salt and caramel always go well together :-)

I used this recipe from the Brach's website to make my caramel sauce.  The consistency was perfect (and the caramels were tasty!).  I dipped each apple piece in the caramel sauce, then dipped it in a topping.  I had coarsely chopped dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and peanuts before I began.  After dipping in a topping I set them on wax paper and allowed them to harden.

Dark chocolate, peanuts, and white chocolate
I could say this was a piece of cake- it really wasn't.  I'm sure it was I that did something wrong, as the internet is full of caramel apple bite success stories.
They were delicious, and they were pretty...for a second.  The caramel sort of melted away from the wetness of the apple.  I'm thinking that if I had patted the apples dry with a paper towel before dipping them I could have avoided this problem.  That being said, after I saw that my caramel was dripping off of the apples and onto the wax paper, I switched things up.  Actually, I abandoned my apple project entirely :-)

Delicious and easy pretzel bites!
I love the idea of caramel apple bites, and I will absolutely be trying them again.  On the day of this project, though, I was short on time and wanted something pretty and tasty to bring with me to the viewing party.  I decided to save the apples for another project and just dip the pretzels themselves in caramel and toppings.  They were a hit!  Bite-size little bits of yumminess.  I was able to salvage the ingredients and bring a yummy treat that evening!

      Another type of food that always reminds me of Fall is pork chops.  To really tie this all together I probably should have cooked them with apples, but this next recipe was plenty Fall-like on it's own: Boneless Pork Chops with Shallot Mustard Sauce.  They were awesome!  We really enjoyed them a lot and I'm sure I'll be making them again.  My husband is a huge fan of thick-cut pork chops, and the mustard sauce really put them over the top!  I did add a little parmesan and garlic to the sauce, but for the most part I stuck with the recipe other than that.  What foods say "Fall" to you?

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