Caramel Apple Pie Bread With Streusel Topping

Caramel Apple Pie Bread With Streusel Topping

Caramel Apple Pie Bread With Streusel Topping

 

I remember when I was a child… or maybe I’ll be poetic and say, “I be remembering when I was but a wee tyke”. No, that doesn’t work. I feel like I should be wearing a Leprechauns outfit and eating Lucky Charms. So… I remember when I was a child, back in the Stone Age. Every Autumn our school would start selling caramel apples, or “Affy Tapples” as they were named. Yes, that was the specific brand name. I think they are still available in the Midwestern area. I always loved when they came around. End of the school day, there people would be, small booth set up in the school lobby, selling Affy Tapples for 25 cents. I would wager that the kids today pay a dollar or more for theirs; damned inflation. But, I would go there, tarnished quarter grasped in my dirty little hands and then I got it…. that much loved apple. Is there anything better in Autumn than a caramel apple? You get that tart juicy apple dripping down your chin, a blanket of sweet chewy caramel that gets stuck in your teeth and then the crunchy peanuts. The perfect treat when it comes to a mix of flavors and textures.

I wanted to recreate that experience with this bread, with one exception. I don’t use nuts a whole lot, one, because I am not a huge fan, though I have my times when I like them and two, I just can’t eat them much anymore, what with aging teeth lol. So no nuts in this bread. You could easily add a half cup or so of your favorite nut (would have to be salted chopped peanuts to be authentic though) to the batter.

This is a really good quick bread that goes together fairly quickly. One tip though- don’t shred your apples until just before you get to the step of adding the flour to the batter or they may have time to turn brown. It doesn’t take long for an apple to oxidize at all.  Sweet, moist, great for dessert or a quick breakfast. Have some hot coffee waiting, or tea if you’re like me, and enjoy.

You know the drill…. :-)

Caramel Apple Pie Bread

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder (Don’t mix this till just before you need it or you could end up with a volcanic science experiment hehe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1 /2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded tart apple (I used Granny Smiths and just shredded them on a box grater, I also didn’t peel mine; feel free to peel yours if you want, but there’s really no reason to do so) (remember; shred just before using so they don’t turn brown)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup quartered Werthers Baking Caramels (takes about 20 caramels to get that amount)
  • Streusel-
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Make your streusel first and set it aside until ready for it- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. In a medium bowl on low speed with a hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add in your sugars and beat well. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. beat well.
  4. Add in the buttermilk/baking powder mixture. Mix well (darn, I’m using that phrase a lot)
  5. Dump in the flour, salt and spices. On low speed, mix just until combined.
  6. Gently fold in the caramels, the apples and the raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the bread with the streusel.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. A small bit of moist crumb is ok; liquidy is NOT.
  9. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. Be aware, this one is touchy to unpan due to the streusel. Make sure you have it totally loosened before trying or most of the streusel is going to end up on your counter and not on the bread.

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Chewy Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies

Chewy Salted Caramel Hazelnut Brownies

Chewy Salted Caramel Hazelnut Brownies




I’ve come to the realization that, during the Summer, I am NOT a prolific blogger. I bake like the dickens (what IS a dickens anyway and do they even bake?) during the fall, Winter and early Spring, but I live in Kentucky in a house with an A/C system that barely works when it’s hot out and I have asthma; not a good combination when trying to bake lol.

Weeks ago I said I was going to make some Nutella Brownies. Today the temp wasn’t bad so FINALLY I got around to it. Erhmmm, kind of. You see, I have the great honor of being mom to six kids, three of whom still live at home, with two of those being teenage walking stomachs boys. So what did I find when I went into the cabinet to grab the Nutella? An almost empty jar with incriminating spoon marks in it. Gee, wonder how THAT happened? So I went to the back up jar of Nutella wanna be imported from Italy that I got at Big Lots. And know what? That crap is Nasty with a capital nas! I wouldn’t feed that to my worst enemy. Welllll, I know of one woman I used to be friends with that I might feed it to as well as one ultra controlling ex boyfriend. :-D

So, being the inventive soul that I am (be nice and work with me here…) what did I do? I got out the jar of Jif Salted Caramel Hazelnut Spread that I keep on hand for emergencies. Those emergencies being when I am craving something sweet and delude myself into thinking that since this is made with nuts, it’s good for me. Point being, this is some yummy stuff! Not Nutella, I admit that, but it has a unique flavor of its own; sweet, salty, with an undertone of caramel to go with the hazelnuts.

Then when I was in the fridge getting eggs, I saw the cream cheese and I immediately thought of cheesecake brownies! So that’s what we have here- deep dark and chewy chocolate brownies swirled with a salted caramel hazelnut cheesecake, then topped with some salted caramel sauce. Can we spell decadence, class?? And OMG? Wait, that one is rather self explanatory. My bad. And maybe even “please don’t share these with anyone that you don’t want to have following you around the house whimpering like a puppy to get more from you”. Just sayin’. And you don’t really have to spell that last part. I understand.

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup Jif Salted Caramel Hazelnut Spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not a typo; you need some for the swirl and the brownie batter)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • salted caramel sauce for drizzling n top (I used Trader Joes brand)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a greased 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the hazelnut spread, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract. Beat well to combine. Set aside while you make the brownie batter.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and the 2 1/4 cups sugar. Beat well for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat well.
  4. Add in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix the batter just until it is combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth down.
  6. Drop spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter and swirl it into the brownie batter using a butter knife.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean with no liquid batter on it, though a few moist crumbs are fine.
  8. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about an hour.
  9. Use the parchment paper to carefully lift the brownies out of the pan. Let them cool completely on the rack. Wrap loosely and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight. Take them out about an hour before you’re ready to serve them so that they will be easier to cut. Cut into squares of whatever size makes you happy; no 1/2 inch tidbits mentioned in THIS blog :-P
  10. Drizzle each square (chunk, half pan…whatever, I don’t judge) with some salted caramel sauce. Serve these with ice cold milk or some hot coffee. Thank me later.

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Caramel Monster Bars

Caramel Monster Bars

Caramel Monster Bars

We all have heard of monster cookies. They are the big fat giant cookies that have everything in them. Well, cookies are just cookies and I wanted something that wasn’t just a cookie…does that make sense? No, I didn’t think so. Just go with it.

These bars are fattening delicious. I advise cutting very small pieces because it’s an overload of sweetness. If you have diabetes you do not want to make these or you may end up in a coma…if you do I won’t tell. It’ll be our little secret. Remember my secret from last time. You don’t tell mine I won’t tell yours. That’s what bestestestest friends do. Ok, onto these bars.

~~RACHEL~~

Adapted from: www.momontimeout.com

Ingredients:

Caramel Filling:

  • 11 oz bag Kraft caramel bits
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Cookie:

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup mini Reese’s pieces (they can be found in the baking aisle)
  • 1 cup toffee bits (I used skor bars broken into pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×13 pan
  2. Melt the caramels with the butter and sweetened condensed milk. I used the microwave and just checked and stirred every 30 seconds until melted.
  3. Mix butter and sugar together. Once completely combined add the peanut butter and mix.
  4. Add eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla.
  5. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  6. Add the flour to the butter mixture making sure not to get flour everywhere.
  7. Stir in the all the chips, Reese’s pieces, and toffee bits.
  8. Spread 2/3 of the cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the caramel over the cookie mixture
  10. Drop small amounts of the remaining cookie mixture over the top of the caramel.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting.

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Café Caramel Parfait

Café Caramel Parfait

Café Caramel Parfait




When we cleaned out our garage, I found that I had about 798 cans of sweetened condensed milk. I kind of figured I might, just might, need to use some of them up. I was totally tempted to just sit down in front of the TV with a can or eight and a spoon and watch endless reruns of Downton Abbey, but just for YOU, I resisted that urge. Though in all honesty, I still have 796 cans of sweetened condensed milk left, so I make no promises as to my future plans. Downton Abbey and I have a date with destiny. Wait for me, Bates!!! I love you!

Sorry.

So what did I use some of that condensed milk for? Just for you, I made the noble sacrifice of developing a Café Caramel Parfait. Talk about easy, also. This is so easy, even my husband could make it. Ok, maybe I’m pushing it when I think that the man who lived on frozen burritos and Doritos before he met me could make this.

This is a whipped cream lightened with Dulce de leche, vanilla, a touch of instant coffee and sour cream layered with plain Dulce de leche. Easy, huh? You make your dulce de leche (or cheat and buy it premade), mix it with the other ingredients and layer.

This is rich and creamy, yet surprisingly light in taste (definitely not in calories). It’s like having your favorite coffee drink in a spoonable treat.

You know the drill… :-)

Café Caramel Parfait

  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (or 3 small cans premade Dulce de leche)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. To make the Dulce de leche- I’m going to tell you how I do it, but know that it’s not “recommended” by many. I will touch on other methods, but how I make it is how I’ve done it for over ten years, with not even one problem.
  2. Fill a LARGE pot with water. Put your unopened cans of milk in the water. make sure, now and at all times, while it cooks, that the cans are covered by at least 2 to 3 inches of water. This keeps the pressure inside and outside of the pan equal and that is what makes this safe. The ONLY way this would explode would be if the pressure was different in and out of the can. Keep it covered and you’ll be fine.**
  3. Over medium heat, cook the cans of milk for 2 to 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the thicker and more…well…caramelly (yes, that is now a word. hush.) it will become. I usually cook in the 3 hour range. Just keep an eye on your water level.
  4. Once it’s cooked, turn the water off, leaving the cans in the water until the water is completely cool. take the cans out, let them cool also before you open them. When you do this, you’re best off to make a few cans and just store them in the cabinet. This is the the most time consuming part of this recipe so having extras never hurts. It’s great in coffee too!
  5. Once your caramel is cooled, you can beeeeginnnnn. :-p
  6. Whip the one cup heavy cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks form.  Slowly beat in 3/4 cup of the Dulce de leche, the vanilla and the instant coffee powder. Beat in the sour cream. Cover and chill for one hour (after eating a few spoons of it :-D )
  7.  Scoop the remaining Dulce de leche into a small bowl. Beat at medium speed for about one minute. You’re just trying to lighten it up because it’s a very thick product.
  8. Spoon a layer of the Dulce de leche into 6 small glasses. Top with a layer of the chilled cream and then drizzle with more of the Dulce de leche. Chill until ready to serve. You may end up with a little of the cream and/or the caramel. Just cover it and store in the fridge. It’s wonderful in coffee or as a dip for fruit.

**Here is a wiki detailing some of the other ways to make the Dulce de leche- Dulce De Leche Wiki . Feel free to use any of these methods. The only one I’VE used however is what I detail above. Many of the others leave you with slightly burned caramel. Ick!

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Caramel Coconut Brownies

Caramel Coconut Brownies

Caramel Coconut Brownies

I hadn’t been baking as much because I was trying to eat better, exercise & lose weight. Well, that went out the window when I got a cold and then a sinus infection over the last 2 weeks. What better thing to do after 2 weeks besides making delicious brownies? I could have started exercising again but that’s no fun.

I love girl scout Samoas Cookies, but I hate that I can only buy them one time a year. They really should sell them all year long. I may become 400 or 500 pounds because I would eat samoas, thin mints and the peanut butter cookies. I’d never have to bake again.These brownies are my play on a Samoas Cookie. Chocolate, coconut, and caramel all rolled into a brownie. These are fudgy, chewy and very rich. Eat these brownies with a nice big bowl of vanilla ice cream. Yeah…yeah…yeah it may already be 5000 calories for just the brownies but it’s so worth it, trust me. :)

~~~Rachel~~~

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sauce (You can use homemade or store bought)
Topping:
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat each egg into the sugar mixture individually, mixing well after each addition, until thoroughly blended.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended into a batter. Fold chocolate chips, 3/4 cup toasted coconut, and 3 tablespoons caramel sauce into the batter; spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set dish onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup coconut over the brownies. Drizzle 2 tablespoons each of caramel sauce and fudge sauce over the coconut layer

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Turtle Cheesecake Bars with Brownie Bottom

Turtle Cheesecake Bars with Brownie Bottom

Turtle Cheesecake Bars with Brownie Bottom

I’ve always been a fan of cheesecake & brownies so I had the bright idea to combine the two. I mean really, what is better than cheesecake and brownies? Creamy and rich and chocolatey. This is the perfect stay home and let’s get fat comfort food. The best kind out there. :)

These cheesecake bars went over much better than I had expected. We had company over and a friend had to hold herself back from having more than two pieces. She’s also the friend I’m in the weight loss challenge with so I intend to keep feeding her. :)

The cheesecake bars aren’t difficult to throw together. I made them 4 hours before everyone arrived and they were cool enough to cut sooner than a normal cheesecake would have been. Plus, the best part is you don’t need a fork, they’re bars just pick it up and eat it!

Rachel

adapted from: www.recipegirl.com

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 4 oz   Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour

Cheesecake:

  • 4 – 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Kraft Caramel Bits, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 dark chocolate chips
  • Three 1-ounce squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 8 x11 glass pan (or 9 x 13, I had extra filling with the 8 x 11)
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in pan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove form heat and beat in sugar. Leave to cool 5 minutes stir constantly.
  3. Add eggs and milk to the chocolate mixture, beating on medium speed for mixers or as fast as you can if done by hand to prevent the eggs from cooking.
  4. Stir in the flour, mixing just until blended. Spoon into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Lower the oven to 325°
  6. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer combine the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add the sour cream, flour and vanilla; mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Add 3/4 cup of the caramel bits and the 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Pour the filling over the crust and spread to make an even layer.
  7. Bake 40-50 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool completely. Place the remaining caramels and water in a microwavable bowl. Microwave 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted. Drizzle the warm caramel over the cheesecake; top with the chopped pecans. Melt the chocolate with the heavy cream and drizzle over the cheesecake.

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Fleur De Sel Caramels (Salted Caramels)

Fleur De Sel Caramels

Fleur De Sel Caramels

The fancy name sounds so purty, but it’s just salted caramels. I was about to say “just plain old salted caramels”, but that would have been an insult to these rich creamy pieces of goodness. There’s nothing plain about these. There’s also nothing difficult. Back when I first made my Homemade Caramel Sauce, I was one of those people that assumed that something that tasted so decadent had to be hard to make. Nope; flat out easy. Now don’t get me wrong. You walk away from this during the caramelizing of the sugar, you will end up with every smoke detector in a ten mile radius going off, an embarrassing fire department visit, a ruined pan that no amount of soaking will save and worst of all…. NO CARAMEL! And while this isn’t hard, it is not a put the pot on the stove during ANY step and go sit and watch The Real Housewives Of The Amazon Rainforest sort of thing to cook. You need to stick close by.

Is it worth it? You tell me. Your choice is this- go spend 5 bucks at Trader Joes for a container of caramels that, while good, gives you about 20 caramels for the price and STILL isn’t as good as homemade. Or you could go buy a bag of Kraft or Brachs caramels that are cheap but..well, you can tell they are cheap. Very little flavor, the mouth feel isn’t the same and you get what you pay for. OR… you can spend about 6 bucks and get a 9 inch pan of gloriously burnt sugar tasting, creamy rich “OMG, if I eat any more of these, I’m gonna weigh 500 pounds but they are so damn good!” caramels. So you choose. :-D

Also, if you prefer just regular caramels, just omit the salt in the caramel and on top. Regular caramels at your service. Fat girl pants optional.

P.S.- If you don’t have Fleur De Sel, you can use any coarse grained salt. Just don’t use table salt.

You know the drill….

Fleur De Sel Caramels (Salted Caramels)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel

Make sure you have all your ingredients at hand. Have the cream measured and nearby and to save time, just grind your salt right into the cream as well as pour the vanilla in it and make sure your butter is unwrapped and at the ready. Then set it all aside right by the stove. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil (preferably the non stick kind.). Butter the foil, bottom and sides. Set aside near the stove.

  1. Get a nice deep heavy bottomed saucepot. At least a 4 quart one. Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in the pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Swirl the pan a couple of times while cooking but do NOT stir it. If you stir caramel as it’s cooking, you stand a good chance of ending up with grainy, gritty caramel.
  2. Boil until the mixture has turned a nice dark golden brown color. Do NOT leave the stove during this step. When it is the right color, immediately move it to a cool burner. Pour in the cream mixture all at once and carefully drop in the butter. This is going to sputter like crazy so be prepared. Just pour and then give it a minute to settle down some.
  3. Set it back on the stove over medium high heat. Don’t stir. Just swirl the pot a few times carefully to combine the mixture. You can, very carefully, if you have to, use a wooden spoon and gently stir in the middle of the mixture, making sure to not touch the sides or bottom of the pan. But just the one time to get things combined.
  4. Keep the mixture over medium high heat and cook to 245 degrees. Use a candy thermometer or good instant read thermometer to get an accurate reading. This will take about ten minutes.
  5. When it gets to 245 degrees, take off the heat and immediately pour into the prepared pan without scraping the bottom of the pot. If there’s any left in the bottom, just let it cool and consider it the cooks treat. :-)
  6. Allow this to sit overnight or until firm. You can refrigerate it and it will get firmer much quicker but it also makes it a bit more difficult to cut, though not hard if you have a good knife. Cut into about 48 pieces, using a sharp knife.
  7. Sprinkle more fleur de sel on top of each piece and either wrap in plastic wrap or put in mini candy cups. These are perfect for Christmas gift giving!

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Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

My family has a serious apple addiction. We are equal opportunity fruit lovers but apples always seem to be eaten the most by the guys in the house. Well, except for my husband for whom fruit means Blueberry flavored coffee, though I CAN get him to eat some if it’s cooked or covered in homemade caramel :-P. We’re working on the line between good for you and dessert with him. But the rest of us love it. As I age, I unfortunately have to cut my apples up before I eat them because aging teeth and jaws don’t do whole ones well lol. I look like a mouse trying to eat an elephant whole  Excuse me while I go get my walker and take some Geritol, you young whippersnappers!

Which brings this dip into play. There are variations of  this all over the web. I won’t claim to be the first nor will I claim that the changes I made make this into an entirely new dip and oh my gosh, I’m unique! Lol. That wasn’t the point. I saw it, I thought it sounded yummy and figured some of you would like it too. I DID make some changes, one of which was to add some Kahlua to this, making it a perfect treat for an adult Halloween party or a fruit tray some other time of the year (Christmas buffet maybe?). But you can easily omit the booze and make this kid friendly. Just pour the small amount of Kahlua into a cup and drink it yourself. :-D See how I make your day better? I also added some caramel bits to it to make this even more of an Autumnal treat. The toffee chips and the caramel combine so well with the apple slices. The original recipe called for cream cheese but 1) I adore Mascarpone and 2) I had some I needed to use up, but feel free to sub cream cheese in this. This is good when it’s first made but it’s even better when the flavors have time to meld and the toffee chips get softer. YUMMY! Also, this isn’t just good with apples. Try some on a cinnamon bagel or one of the limited edition (out right now) Pumpkin Spice Bagels. Oh, my gosh, it’s good. It kind of melts right into it and…*swoons*

You know the drill… git to cooking! Or erhmmmm, mixing in this case.

Caramel Apple Toffee Dip

  • 8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • a scant 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)
  • 3/4 cup toffee bits (in the baking aisle near the chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup Kraft Caramel Bits
  • sliced apples for dipping (dip them in a lemon juice/water mix to prevent browning)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone (or cream cheese), both kinds of sugar, the vanilla and the Kahlua if using. Beat well, until smooth and creamy.
  2. Fold in the toffee bit and the caramel bits.
  3. Sprinkle top with more toffee bits and caramel.
  4. Serve with the apples for dipping or just sit down in front of the TV with a spoon and the bowl. I won’t tell. But I’m also not buying you any new fat girl pants. Just sayin’.

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Caramel Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I know mom has had the perfect fall weather for fall baking over the last couple of weeks and I’ve been jealous, but today has been perfect here in Texas; 50’s and rainy. I enjoy watching people around here get bundled when it starts to get a little chilly. I personally love the cooler weather and it makes baking so much more enjoyable.

Since I started making these cookies my house has had the smell of cinnamon, and for this time of year how can I complain about that? I had Shawn try one when he got home from work because I was amazed at how well they turned out; apparently he was also when he continued to take them off the cooling rack to eat. I had to make him stop until I got pictures done or I wouldn’t have been able to get a picture taken. So, blame him for the horrible picture this time. He ate all my good cookies.

Be sure to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper before baking or you’ll have a sticky mess with the caramel.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cinnamon chips
  • 1 cup Kraft caramel bits (or 1 cup caramels quartered)
  • 1 cup granny smith apples, peeled and diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  4. Stir in chips, caramel, and apple pieces. Drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until done.

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Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding



I’ve said before, and will probably say again because I’m getting old and like redundancy, that I used to have a love/hate relationship with bread pudding. Back before the world grew so much smaller (or larger depending on ones perspective) with the internet, recipes for bread pudding consisted of stale white bread, soaked in a custard base of plain milk. Raisins and cinnamon were usually added and then it was baked. British nursery food to the max. Great thing to feed a small child who likes bland or an invalid or say, someone with no taste buds who is also blind and can’t see the mushy mess in their bowl. The rest of us however would probably prefer something with a little oomph to it, some flavor, more than just soggy bread. And nowadays you can find whatever kind of bread pudding trips your trigger, including savory ones for that matter. But I prefer the sweet kinds for the most part.

So, being the time of year it is, I wanted to make one that fits the season and the flavors people love this time of year. If I do say so myself, I outdid myself with this one. This is sweet but not too sweet, crispy at the edges, covered in delicious satiny caramel as well as caramel bits inside plus tart sauteed apples all through it. This is damn good! It makes a ton though (you have to remember I have teen boys lol) so cut it in half if you’re not feeding a small country. I got a 2.5 quart baking dish and 3 ramekins from this. When I invent, I invent big lol.

You know the drill… :-)

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

  • 8 large apples, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks (I used Braeburn apples)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 loaf Kings Brand Hawaiian Bread, cut into about one inch pieces
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 jar ( 12.25 ounces) caramel topping (or you can make homemade caramel sauce I simply went the easy route this time)
  • 1 bag Kraft caramel bits
  1. In a large pan, melt the butter. Add in the apple chunks and over medium heat, stir to blend with the butter. Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium low (about 3 on an electric stove). Let the apples cook until soft and about half of them have broken down and turned saucy. Stir in the cinnamon.
  2. Add the 1/2 cup sugar into the pan. Stir well. Pour in the 1/2 cup cream and cook over medium heat until the cream has cooked into the apples. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Pour in the 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup milk and the vanilla extract. Whisk in the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Dump the bread pieces into the cream mixture and stir well. Press down with a spoon to make sure all the bread is submerged in the liquid. Let sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.  Pour the bag of caramel bits into the bread mixture and stir well.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease either a 3 quart baking dish or a 2.5 quart dish and 3 8 ounce ramekins with butter.
  5. Pour half the pudding into the prepared pan(s). Cover with half the jar of caramel topping. Cover with another layer of pudding and more caramel sauce. If doing a 3.5 quart dish and ramekins, I’d suggest filling the ramekins first so you don’t end up with too much in the baking dish. Put a 13×9 inch pan half filled with hot water on the bottom rack of the oven.
  6. Bake pudding at 325 degrees for about 45 to 55 minutes for the ramekins (if you insert a butter knife in the middle and twist it, there should be no liquid there, just a moist pudding) and 90 minutes for the baking dish (same test for doneness)
  7. Let cool a little and serve warm, drizzled with more caramel sauce. Can also be served chilled. Reheats well in the microwave.

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