At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Caramel Apples

Yes, it's another recipe. Saturday we purchased half a peck of apples at the farm market so I could try out this recipe I found at 101Cookbooks(dot)com. It was lots of fun to stand in the warm, fragrant steam stirring this caramel to thickening. It thickened up nicely, but by the next morning the caramel was puddled beneath the apples. It just slipped right off. I really didn't think it would happen when I saw how nicely it firmed up Saturday night. So I guess my recommendation is, eat them immediately.

Our only complaint was that the honey I used in the recipe has a funny taste to it. I bought the honey at a farmer's market this summer and none of us have cared much for the flavor. It's kind of a heavy, musky taste. I thought it might be OK cooked into caramel, but it's pretty strong. I'm anxious to try the recipe with a honey we like.

So here it is:

6-8 small apples, unwaxed
1 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 C honey.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Push a stick into each apple. Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice water and set aside.

In a medium thick-bottomed saucepan, heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan- just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture reaches 255-260' F. To stop the caramel from cooking, very very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of ice water. Stir until the caramel starts to thicken up. (Thin enough to coat apples, thick enough not to run off.) If the caramel thickens too much, simply put the pot back on the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit. Dip apples, place on parchment. Add sprinkles while still warm and sticky.

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