Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Because everyone is doing it!

So, about a month and a half ago, towards the end of August, I was planning my appetizer/dessert menu for my October wine social at work. I know that's ahead of the game, but I wanted time to find recipes, practice (as necessary), and revise at will. The menu is pretty extensive, but one thing I've been super excited for, are these...mini caramel apples! The looked amazing, sounded easy enough to make (for 50+ people) and I figured they'd get the point across without being obnoxious, right?
Cue my first problem - I couldn't find the correct caramel.  I did find some dip and some wraps.  The website said wraps should work if cut down to size, so no problems there.
I started with one apple, not to be to anxious, and before you know it, I was ballin' out of control.  It was super easy, and I loved eating the leftover apple pieces.  I could get 7-8 of the "big balls" giggles out of each apple, and three teensy ones.

The dip was a long shot.  You can see my first attept on the top of this picture.  The dip was too runny for my purposes, although it did taste amazing.

The wrap was another bust.  The air/apples were too moist and the wrap wouldn't stick to the apple itself.  What little bit did stick, didn't do so for long.  Certainly not long enough to sit on a two hour buffet.

The, I decided to wrap from the top down.  In this manner, I could only cut each wrap into four pieces, and then I would sit there and cajole the living caramel out of each wrap until it coated the apple.  With this method, I had the issue of the flat (peel) side being on the bottom, and it was way too labor intensive to make 150+ of these. 

So, I got my office slave assistant to make some phone calls.  She found the Kraft Caramel Squares at the local Walmart.  I beat some granny who was trying to buy her Halloween candy early to get them!

I melted the caramels with the tennsiest bit of water and dipped the apples right in.

Success!!  They looked (and tasted) exactly the way I wanted them too.  Now, the recipe said if humidity is high, (and when isn't it when you're next to the ocean?!) try freezing the apples for a couple of minutes to help solidify the caramel.  I figured if this worked, I could easily just take a few out at a time for my work buffet.
Alas, after ten minutes, they looked melted and gross - and the caramel stuck more to my non-stick pan than to my apples! 

Super bummed.  I'd be interested to see these work, though, because I've since read two different magazines that are featuring them for October, and they say nothing about humidity or issues with the caramel sliding off the apples.

Regardless, this recipe has been scratched from my menu, leaving me with only pumpkin cheesecake and dark chocolate pots de creme for dessert.  I might find a new recipe, but something tells me it's going to come in bulk from Costco!

Keep the faith, my work party is Thursday, so I will start sharing my fall/Halloween recipes as soon as I have pictures of them all.

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