Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall is Here! Time for Caramel Apples!

This week's recipe is Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples on page 166.

I really wanted to do the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, but there appears to be a shortage of canned pumpkin puree. (I went to four stores and couldn't find any. One store employee said they've been out for weeks. I didn't know how many of you would be willing to make your own.)

These were pretty easy, and with good apples, they're pretty tasty. I used a vanilla bean, but I'm sure you could try it with vanilla extract (follow the maple extract instructions). World Market is a great place to get real vanilla beans for cheap. I got a packet with two vanilla beans for, I think, $4 (great place for other cool spices too!).

For dowels, I picked up some sturdy chop sticks at the grocery store. They were a little on the long side, but they worked great.

My caramel turned out to be a little too chewy. I don't think I overcooked it, but I would've preferred it to be a little on the runnier side. So if you don't like chewy caramel, err on the side of under cooking it rather than over cooking it.

I halved the recipe and it barely covered four large apples. Since I was halving it, I only used half of a vanilla bean, but I should've used a whole one. The vanilla bean smelled great, but the flavor wasn't very strong.

Overall, I was happy with the recipe. I don't think I've ever made my own caramel apples before, so it was fun to do. And caramel apples are the perfect treat to kick off Fall!

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