Friday, October 18, 2013

DYI Candy Apple Bar

In case you've never had/seen one, candied apples are caramel apples on steroids. They are one of my favorite fall treats. I limit myself to one per year. That's all I need. Mr. Hippie usually buys one for my birthday and we split it between the family. And everyone's sweet tooths are all quite satisfied, thank you very much.

Imagine my glee when on Pinterest I found a pin of a Candied Apple Bar. (here) It was gorgeous, with artistically placed apples, vats of caramel and fudge, and bowls of candies, nuts and other toppings.

I immediately re-pinned it, of course, and my wheels started turning. How could I make this work?

I don't know about you, but making caramel apples has always been one of those great sounding ideas that has never quite turned out right for me. They were always impressively unimpressive. Picture this...apples skewered on popsicle sticks, with a very light (read"almost non-existent") coat of caramel on the skins, but a nice puddle a caramel cementing the apple to its wax paper base.

No, my caramel apples never looked like this.

So, how could I take this wonderful idea of a candied apple bar, and modify it to actually be worth the wax paper it's stuck to? How could I successfully recreate my treat. Without any hair pulling frustration?

I did some more research (like this), and asked my gourmet friend, Hannah (she is like Martha Stewart, though she has never said anything nasty about bloggers that I know of), how she would do a candied apple bar. She gave me some great tips, but I was still stuck.

Should I try this, and possibly fail at this, for a group gathering?

The directions I read called for homemade caramel (maybe some other time) and they required the apples to sit for 2 hours to solidify. Which didn't exactly work with my schedule. Who wants to wait for 2 hours to eat their apple?

"Not I" says the fly.

Here's what I decided. I made a major change. Instead of dipping whole apples, we would each slice and core our apples, place in a bowl, and top with our favorite toppings...

caramel, fudge, sprinkles, chopped peanuts, crushed butterfingers, M&M's and mini chocolate chips.

Kind of an apple sundae-without the ice cream. Or a candied apple bar-without the fuss.

I was seriously nervous. Would this be a classic Pinterest fail? Am I really experimenting on unwitting guests? 

My fears turned out to be unfounded. This candied apple bar was an unqualified success!

All I can say is, "oh wow!" They were everything I remembered, and then some. Bowls of deliciousness piled high with caramel, fudge and chocolate.
I had to re-stage this for the post.
you're welcome!

Much cheaper than buying one apple. And the deliciousness can keep on giving-so long as I have leftover caramel and fudge in my fridge.

So, if you have any gathering this month that you are thinking of hosting, get yourself some good  apples (braeburn, gala, granny smith), heat some Marzetti caramel apple dip and fudge, and put out some peanuts, and whatever other toppings you enjoy, then let everyone build their own candied apple.

You'll be glad you did!