Ditch the stick for caramel apple chips
Try a different take on a fall tradition with Caramel-Chocolate Apple Chips. The slices are baked low and slow until dried and slightly crisp, then come the sugary treats.
Have you seen the size of caramel apples lately?
No question, they are beautiful, and I'm certain they are delicious. But how many people really are going to sit down and eat such mammoth sugar bombs, never mind feed one to their kid?
That got me thinking about ways to capture that delicious blend of apples and caramel in a smaller, less guilt-inducing package.
Don't try to cut and coat; the caramel won't adhere; the flesh is too moist.
But it will if you dry it out.
Slice the apples and bake them low and slow until dried and slightly crisp.
Once they cool, they are easy to dunk or coat with all manner of sugary treats.
I opted for a trio of coatings — caramel, white chocolate and dark chocolate. But you can use whatever candy coatings you like. Candy melts (sold at craft and baking supply shops) are an easy choice.
They also come in a wide variety of colors, so you can create seasonal treats.
And while the coatings are still tacky, you also can decorate with candy sprinkles.
Caramel-Chocolate Apple Chips
1 large apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Half of a 14-ounce package caramel candies, unwrapped
1 tablespoon water
½ cup white chocolate bits
1 teaspoon shortening
½ cup dark chocolate candy melts
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a mandoline, food processor or very sharp knife, cut the apple into very thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. There are several ways to do this. If you have an apple corer, you can simply cut out the core, then lay the apple on its side and slice starting at one side and working your way to the other. If you don't have a corer, stand the apple upright, then begin on one side and cut slices until you reach the core. Rotate the apple and repeat until all 4 sides have been sliced.
Arrange the apple slices on the prepared baking sheet, being careful not to overlap. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, then bake for 45 minutes, or until dried and slightly crisp. Slide the parchment and apples off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Once the apples have cooled, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the caramels and water. Heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Dunk a fork into the caramel, then use it to drizzle the caramel over the apple chips. Set aside to let the caramel set.
When the caramel has set, place the white chocolate bits and shortening in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 15-second bursts, stirring between, until melted and smooth. Using a clean fork, repeat the drizzling similar to the caramel. Set aside to let the white chocolate set.
Once the white chocolate has set, melt the dark chocolate candy melts in a clean bowl using the same method as the white chocolate. Once melted, dunk a clean fork in the melted chocolate and drizzle over the apple chips. Let cool until the chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Source: J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press