Updated on January 16, 2016
Caramel Apple Catastrophe
I woke up this morning from a nightmare that my HB was leaving me and running away to France. This may be because we ate at a French restaurant the night before or maybe he has a secret life that I don’t know about and is dating a French girl and my dreams are trying to tell me something… Either way, at 4am I couldn’t fall back asleep. I laid there for two hours thinking about all the things I have left uncompleted until finally I got up at 6am.
How does this lead to caramel? How does it not!
Back up a week to Halloween. I love Halloween and the fun things that you can bake or make. This year, my goal was to make caramel dipped apples. I scoured the internet for days but only found recipes with corn syrup. Me being my pretentious-baking-self said “no way!” to corn syrup recipes.
Halloween came and I had no recipe I was satisfied with. So the way my plans usually go — I decided to wing it. How hard could this be? I came home with a bag of apples and two cans of sweetened condensed milk. The HB looks at the bag, then at me.
“So….what’s the plan, here?” He asks. I shrugged my shoulders, pretending that I wasn’t totally defeated.
“Facebook said you could boil a can of condensed milk to make caramel. It sounds fool-proof.”
Thinking back to the last time I made caramel, I stared at the scar on my finger. Yup, I burned myself making caramel ICE CREAM. I didn’t want to repeat that.
Side note – When looking up recipes for boiled condensed-milk-caramel, MANY warnings came up that it could be a “Caramel Bomb.” This would not happen to me. I’ve already been burned once.
We tossed the cans in a pot with plenty of water and a washcloth to muffle the sound. Then we snuggled up for a night of horror movies while the cans boiled for two hours. I didn’t really factor in the two hours when planning my night of caramel apple dipping. The cans were (obviously) crazy hot – and heeding the warnings of caramel bombs, the apples would have to wait.
Two days later when the cans had finally cooled, I opened them up. To my dismay, the caramel was super sticky and I knew it would never harden like a caramel apple should. I admitted defeat and went back to the grocery store…for corn syrup.
When making rock candy as a kid, the ingredients were sugar and corn syrup and it was rock hard. This had to work.
I tossed the caramel in with the corn syrup on a double boiler. On a second burner, I melted some dark chocolate. In the toaster oven, I toasted some almonds and coconut. It turns out, I suck at remembering that I am multi-tasking and burned the coconut.
Once the third tray of coconut came out scorched, I said f*ck it. I dipped the apples in caramel and shoved them in the fridge. I then had a crap ton of caramel left, so I dipped strawberries too. I then dipped the apples in chocolate but it was a melty huge mess.
Time was my friend and I was being a jerk ignoring her calls — I had no patience at this point and gave up trying to dip the apples.
Instead, I made a batch of brownies and shoved all of the extra caramel, chocolate, nuts and yes – even the burned coconut into them.
PS – I hate brownies. These were F*CKING epic.
Quick and Dirty but SO Delicious Brownies
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (DON’T USE THAT PLASTICY MARGARINE….you’re eatting a brownie, use butter.)
1/2 cup sugar
a big splash of vanilla (Pure – no imitaition….Make Your Own!)
1 can of boiled sweetened condensed milk
some random melted chocolate
hand full of toasted almonds, chopped
hand full of not-burnt coconut
Preheat oven to 350. Grease pan.
Mix dry ingredients (except nuts and coconut).
In sauce pan, melt butter.
Remove from heat and toss in sugar, eggs, vanilla. Mixing thoroughly between each item.
Add in dry mixture.
Layer in pan brownie mix, caramel and melted chocolate, brownie mix and top with nuts.
Bake 25 minutes.
So back to this morning. I pouted my way out of bed, still thinking of my HB and his French lover and stared at the caramel apples in the fridge. They were a MESS. They were so sticky you couldn’t touch them without having to shower. I decided to make my co-workers a treat.
Stupid-Fast Caramel Apple Cobbler (with a side of tears)
3 caramel apples
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup soymilk
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and milk together.
Melt butter in 2 quart baking dish.
Pour batter into butter.
Toss cut up fruit on top.
Coat with Saigon cinnamon.
Bake for 45 minutes.
After baking the first one, I had a handful of end-of-life strawberries and 2 caramel apples left over.
Even though I was wondering about the French girl, I decided the HB would be sad if I baked a delicious cobbler and took ALL of it to work, so I baked a second – tossing in all the random fruit. This one I added fresh nutmeg to, since there was less caramel.
Lesson learned. Sometimes shit doesn’t work out the first time around, but keep trying! You can only succeed if you’re failing often.