Monday, May 16, 2011

Caramel Apples {cute as a button}

So did I tell you I started a Hip Hop class Tuesday nights? Well I did, and it is awesome and I think I might try out for SYTYCD next year {joke, huge, huge joke}

You know, I think for me, it's really the exercise that does my diet and staying fit plan in. It really just opens up a whole new can of rationalization, which is the last thing I need. It's like my brain {and stomach} say, 'Hey Nat, you rode the kids to school on the bike, good on ya mate, you should have dessert now ...And after that eat a cookie, because you've been really good today'

Lately, every night, I've been craving a treat. And when I say lately, I'm talking like the last 27 years... and not just at night. But recently I've been doing a lot of fruit dipped in fondue. As I mix up that cream and choc, I think to myself, which way will it have less calories, with more choc, or more cream. I mean how pathetic is that? When you're asking yourself if adding cream will lighten the dessert?

Here's another list that might indicate you have a treats problem:

1. Your having guests over for dinner, you are making dessert, despite the fact that the recipe does NOT call for nuts, you add them in, hoping against hope someone is allergic to nuts so you can eat theirs when they leave

{they weren't, dang}

2. Your husband has an indoor soccer game, so you think it's a great time to eat 1 1/2 cartons of strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue so he doesn't see and so you don't have to share. He comes home early, and you were just about to eat them. You hide them, wondering what to do, then he gets a call from work to run in for 15 minutes. Saved! You wait until he's gone, eat them all, and hide the evidence

{...check, did this Thursday night}

3. You like to chase down your cookie with a side of berry crumble and top that off with a smidge of Homemade Almond Toffee

{done this too many times to count}

Okay, I know I'm pretty fit, so your probably hating me right now that I have some kind of magic metabolism or serious eating disorder. As much as I joke, I really, REALLY work on my addiction and just try to do all things in moderation. I try to limit myself and make sure that I get my nutrients in, which is why I add flax and whole wheat flour to everything and cut down the butter and sugar by half. I try to eat healthy, balanced meals so that I can splurge a little for dessert. I just know I'm going to eat a treat at some point, so I better plan my day for that. And if I have a day that I go crazy, I better work extra hard for 3 days after that! That's my secret, sorry, no magic.

Okay, on to splurging. These are so wickedly good it's just plain sick -in the good way. Not gonna lie, they take some effort and time and ingredients. SO Worth it. I packaged them up all cute with some button flowers my friend Courtney makes. Aren't they adorable?!

Caramel Toffee Apples

Homemade Caramel


Homemade Almond Toffee


Dark, Milk, and or White Chocolate

Walnuts

Apple sticks or use chopsticks like I did if you can't find enough even though you swear you have a gazillion of them somewheres...


I make my own homemade caramel, and I have an awesome recipe here. It is tricky to get it just right, to where it isn't too hard or soft. For caramel apples I under cook it by a few minutes. Don't know the temp because I've never used a candy thermometer. I just KNOW, you know. It's a gift.

From there I make the homemade toffee, score some for later, and take a big chunk and smash it to bits.

Melt some chocolate in separate dishes if using different kinds, and have some chopped nuts ready to go.

While the caramel is warm {you can reheat it if it goes cold} dip into the caramel and rolls it around, getting it covered just right. You may need to use your hands or another utinsel to smooth it perfectly.

Roll into toffee bits and nuts. Take a spoon and dip it into chocolate and drizzle it while you spin the apple.

Set onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Set in the fridge or somewhere cold to set {unlike I did, I was burning daylight by the time I was done!}

Wrap in parchment or waxed paper and tie with ribbon or a button flower to make a way cute gift for friends or family or whoever. Or since I like something pretty and shiny, I'll wrap it up for myself.

89 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Hip-hop classes??? That's FABULOUS!! Ironically, I just posted about the type of dancing that I do (since I'm a full-time dancer) :0)

Caramel apples!!! Such a classic autumn treat - yum!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those Caramel Apples are FAN-TAS-TIC! Very pretty!

Cheers,

Rosa

Dhanggit said...

don't you like to import these beauties in france?? i'll be your rep heheheheh

ps, hip-hop classes??? the only dance i know is "dirty dancing" and thats only with my hubby LOL

Maria said...

I will vote for you when you make it to SYTYCD:)
I have a sweet tooth too! I am always craving a treat. I try to eat healthy most of the time so I can have my splurges.
These apples look fabulous! I usually make caramel apples every fall...I will have to try out your recipes! Toffee is my favorite topping too!!

Bellini Valli said...

Caramel apples remind me of the Fall Fair and Hallowe'en. Love them with the toffee:D Now this is an undulgent treat:D Move over because I will run everyone down on my way to these:D

Steph said...

That is awesome, hip hop classes! They would kick me out if stepped foot in it. Luckily Becky and I work out every morning or I would weigh 400 pounds from all of the sweets I eat on a daily basis. I need to try to be more healthful in my meals though. Thanks for the inspiration! Btw the caramel apples look absolutely sinful!

Emily said...

Garlic girl you are killing me! I have yet to add nuts to a dessert for that reason . . . you are too funny! I love the chocolate and cream split decision!
These apples look awesome! We make loaded caramel apples for halloween each year . . . I will have to add toffee to our toppings list! Yum-E!

Deborah said...

I'm feeling lucky right now, because even though my sweet tooth has returned a little, this child of mine is not a huge sweets lover so I've been able to turn them down easier than I ever have before! (But I do have my weak moments - I was craving oatmeal cookies last weekend, and my husband and I ate the WHOLE batch!!)

I LOVE caramel apples, though. Makes me want to make a stop at Rocky Mtn. Chocolate Factory on my way home today!

Pam said...

You are killing me. This is one of my favorite treats and I haven't had them in years. The photos are really great - you are so talented Nat.

Erin said...

oh natalie, i really like you:

true story: this morning i was daydreaming and drooling about making caramel apples for the 7 trick-or-treaters i'll be getting this year. then i wondered if my efforts would be wasted because their respective mothers would worry if the apples were tainted and toss them out. so i decided i'd just make them for me.

another true story: i just chased down my honey bunches of oats with a candy bar.

yet another true story: i took a hip-hop dance class a couple of years ago by myself. it sure would've been nice to have a kindred twenty-something partner-in-crime instead of trying to get chummy with the teenage drill team queens... even when i was in high school they didn't like me much.

Mindy said...

Yum! I love your blog, and have been a "stalker" for a while now. :) My question is this: How do you take such gorgeous pictures of food? I have tried and have failed dismally. Could you maybe shoot some pointers my way?
Thanks for sharing your great talent with all of us.

AnneMarie said...

You are sooo funny Nat! I haven't added nuts, but I totally try to hide treats from John:) These apples look delish! Love the buttons!

mikky said...

so sad that we have to do extra work-out for all the goodies we want to eat, like your caramel apples, perhaps :) ... love the button flowers... :)

Daziano said...

Wonderful apples!! I loved them when I was a tiny little kid...

Colleen said...

Your blog is beautiful! I just stumbled on it from someone else's comment section. I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Esi said...

You always make me laugh! Eating strawberries and chocolate while the husband is away? Love it! Just yesterday, my friend was telling me to make caramel apples.

Joe Horn said...

Hey Natalie, these look awesome. I love caramel and nuts. Now that I'm back to being good I'll have to wait on these though. They would sell like hotcakes in the restaurant I bet though!

The trip to San Fran was great. Visited a ton of new places and got a bit of inspiration for the interior of our new place.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love hip-hop dancing! I wish I could find some classes around here that aren't during rush hour!

I love those button things! How did you do those?

And I understand your pain. My husband is on a diet and has declared our house treat free. I'm dying.

Ingrid said...

Your photos were so beautiful!!!! Thank you very much for the recipe. I bought a big bag of green apples for just this purpose.

Your friend's button flowers are too darn cute.
~ingrid

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, those are so festive! I love this! Especially the packaging!

stacy said...
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My Sweet & Saucy said...

This are fabulous! Absolutely gorgeous and I bet amazingly tasty!

jessica said...

So I made these this weekend and totally suck when it comes to the beautiful chocolate drizzle. Any tips? Mine just looked like chocolate blobs.

Rami, Danielle, Eva and Libby said...

These look delicious!

I love your button embellishments. I am going to borrow the idea.

CECIL said...

Oh my! Such beautiful packaging..I said it many times, and will say it again that I loveee pretty packaging on foods. Love caramel apples too.

Do you like your HipHop class?! I took it earlier this year for 24 weeks session. Love it, but the new class' schedule doesnt work out with mine. So I am doing Tango now.

Amanda said...

Ooooohhhhhh.... *drool*

How incredible! And the packaging! You are so creative :)

Gaengy said...

These look so divine! I wish you were here to give me a tutorial on them. Mine taste good, but they are not as beautiful as these are! I love love love the button flowers! Bring me some at Tnanksgiving!!

Jenny said...

Look at you little hip hopper! I would totally do it. It would bring me back to my cheering days! I'm with you about the late night snacking. Can't seem to kick the habit, I'd be loving these cute caramel apples, adorable!!

Dee said...

Okay, the buttons are waaay to cute!

I think it's great that you're taking hip-hop. If I didn't have three left feet, I would too. I take my belly dancing instead. And speaking of that belly, I hear you on points 2 and 3!

Thank you for your kind word on my blog :)

Tarah at Genesis of a Cook said...

Those look beautifully delicious!! <3

Adam said...

Nat, I like the way you think. No wait, love it. I also give myself a treat when I have a great workout, like the sushi buffet yesterday :)

And I hope your husband doesn't read the blog, or else you have some splaining to do Lucy...

~Holly said...

These look so good!! I love the button flowers too! :)

Lisa said...

I hear ya! I am laughing so hard while reading this post. I just went apple picking today...hmmmmn.

Linda F said...

how gorgeous are they? Toffee apples were a staple at school fairs when I was growing up, I haven't had one for eons!!!

Prudy said...

Those are too beautiful to eat. Can I have three anyway? Those hip hop classes sound like fun, except for me it would be just a showcase for my clumsiness. But I would go just to watch you. Then I'd eat three cookies with you. Boy, I'm totally with you on this one. I'm a runner, but sometimes I eat better on the days I don't run since I don't rationalize so much. Or else, maybe I'm just like Winnie the Pooh-I improve my appetite when I exercise. Hey, if we were really twins separated at birth, then you must be the first born since you keep beating me to the punch. Plus your stuff always looks better too, you show off. :)

Grace said...

if i had any rhythm at all, i'd definitely take up dancing. i would have only one purpose in doing so, and that would be to use it as an excuse to eat double dessert--apparently our minds think alike. meanwhile, i look forward to caramel apples every fall, and these look perfect. :)

kittie said...

Hip-hop?!?

I'm so impressed! I have the balance and grace of a giraffe on a rollercoaster...

I have the treat-addiction too. e.g. I am about to tuck into tomorrow's chocolate rations. Because I ate today's this morning. And I don't even usually have chocolate at work, but I fancied a treat on Monday, so instead of buying a single bar - I bought a multi-pack. All for me!

alexandra's kitchen said...

dooooo itttttttt! (SYTYCD) these are cute as a button. perfect for satisfying that 27-year daily sweet craving. i can relate all too well.

Sara said...

Your caramel apples are cute as a button. I love how you wrapped them up. I love your little button flowers.

Ashley said...

I am so glad you did this post. 1) because I was just about to try my hand in making caramel apples but of course didn't have a great recipe-- and now I do. And 2) because i was super curious as to how you cook with all your cream sauces and burgers and caramel apples and don't weigh 300 pounds. ....okay you suck! Moderation, everything in moderation.

Kristen said...

You totally have me in stitches here! You crack me up.
To get home from the gym I go to, you have to stop at an intersection with a Dairy Queen right on the corner. 9 times out of 10 you can bet I'm rewarding myself for my hard work with a milkshake :)

Satisfying my Sweet Tooth said...

yeah, I do hate people like you. I just figure I'm the only person with a sugar addiction. I work out every morning with no results because of the way I eat. Will you teach me how to add flax seed though? I bought some and am scared to use it. But I am completely jealous of your hip-hop class. Wish I could do it with you! Anyway, I feel like a total copy-cat because I have been craving caramel apples and just posted about them when I came to see what you have been up to and low and behold, it's the same thing! They just sound SO good this time of year. Your's look way yummy and love the packaging too. So cute! Okay, that's enough of this novel for now.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

And aren't your button cute as an apple?! I think I do have a treat problem just like your self, I laughed out loud when you said you were having this problem for the last 27 years...

Aggie said...

Can I go to class just to listen to the music? You can call me a hip hopper I guess...unfortunately though can't get the dancing thing down.

These apples are adorable and absolutely delicious looking. Love the packaging...there are some great ideas here!

Lindsay said...

Woah! 44 comments??? Cool! I just have to say that those apples look FABULOUS, and taking a hip hop class is even more fabulous. GO NAT!!! Break it down! I didn't know you were a dancer???

Julie said...

Those are SO pretty! I'd love to make them but I'm a little scared of the caramel. I'll have to ponder that a while. Nice blog!

Bridgett said...

These are my favorite sweet indulgences by far. I always visit a chocolate shop wherever we are traveling and see what they offer for candied apples. These turned out beautifully!

Dana Treat said...

I'm a salty vs. sweet girl, but I cannot resist caramel and chocolate together. These look awesome!

Amara said...

Tango, salsa, swing... I can muster those, but hip-hop? Yikes! Way to go!

I'll definitely check back here when I'm caramel-atizing my apples. You definitely bring out the goods for em.

Gloria said...

These caramel apples look fantastic dear, really yummy I hope to try soon to the childs.....and me! LOL Gloria

The Blonde Duck said...

I wrote the second part to Wade and Vivi if you wanted to check it out!

Emiline said...

Ha ha, you crack me up.

I want to take hip-hop classes! That would be fun.

I love caramel apples. I've never been a candy apple fan, but caramel apple, yes.

Any Little Reason said...

Those are adorable - love the buttons! Nothing goes together better like caramel and apples!

Maria said...

Thanks for viewing our wedding photos! It was a fun day!! I might make these apples for conference this weekend! They look so good!

Leslie said...

You crack me up!!!! I am sooooo the same way you are w/ you treats!!!

Apples and Butter said...

I love your post! I can so relate on the treat addiciton, but i think you do a better job of balancing your meals leading up to the treat! Something to strive for!

I just found your blog and am loving it!

Hayley Nelson Potter said...

Wow, you have a ton of comments. I see your website on random blogs of my friends. Way to go and the apples look amazing. I might have to try this out. You just might make yourself famous someday!

Courtney said...

Well I happen to be the button flower girl!! Thanks to all the comments. I would love to say its my invention but I did borrow the idea too! When I first laid eyes on them I hoped they were edible, but I was sadden to discover they were buttons of the acrylic variety!!! I would love to know if someone could make something that looks like them but could also be eaten. Any takers???
Nat, these caramel apples look divine, and I am looking forward to making some this Christmas, well before I have the baby anyway:)

Heidi / Savory Tv said...

Great alternative to the classic! And the button flowers are adorable.

clawson said...

OK these were deliciouso!!! My mother in law has the best caramel ever (or she said so) and I did a taste test Sat. Your caramel was way tastier, and cheaper to make. Thanks for the recipe. I've all ready shared it!! I love your blog, and I'm glad your going to post when ever you can. (I'm amazed anyone can do it period.) good luck!!

Lisa Clawson (the Great Harvest girl in Logan, UT)

clawson said...
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Tyra said...

I'm featuring this post over at ucreatefoods.blogspot.com today. Thanks for sharing!

J-mie said...

Mouth-watering. Will definitely try this for my son's first birthday! I'm sure it will be a hit!

Katie said...

These caramel apples make me so, so hungry!

Hatt.tea said...

So charming!!

Jackie said...

These look and sound delicious. I love carmel apples. I am so going to try these out. I am sure they will be a hit with the kids.

olivia kim said...

just ran into your blog by accident and enjoyed the amusing readings and delicious pics a lot. thank you. ^^

Allthingsbeauty said...

These look so yummy! You ar every talented :)

The Tattooed Homeschooling Housewife said...

Oh man, these look A-MAZ-ING! I will definitely make these with my children. Thank you so much for posting all of these wonderful recipes. I love your blog, I can't figure out how to follow you though. Do you not have a button?

24h Betreuung said...

That was really awesome..=D

Jan said...

These are the best looking apples I have ever seen, and soon to taste.

Skin care girl said...

Those apples look delicious with a capital D. I will have to try and make some this weekend for Halloween.

Amy @ Eggies Canada said...

That is so greedy making dessert with nuts just so your guest may have to turn it down due to an allergy.. but very funny! lol

Allison and Noah Riley said...

You're back! I hopped on to find a recipe and realized I had several new posts to read! Yum - these apples always remind me of the Halloween we spent at your Herriman place.

ABigBeznis said...

These look absolutely delicious. So gonna try them for dessert.

flutterberry said...

love love love caramel!! :)

Rai said...

Oh my gosh these are adorable!

Nessie said...

delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nessie said...

delicious!!!!!

Mr.Anh said...

Good luck

Avery said...

mouthwatering :D deffinetly going to try these sometime ;)

Agence immobilière Conflans-Sainte-Honorine said...

This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information.

Adam Kaplan said...

Love this!

I work with AllFreeCopycatRecipes and have been trying to contact you. Please email me if there is a good way to reach you. Thanks!


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andy said...

Caramel apples remind me of the Fall Fair and Hallowe'en. Love them with the toffee:D Now this is an undulgent treat:D Move over because I will run everyone down on my way to these:D

Four said...

That is awesome, hip hop classes! They would kick me out if stepped foot in it. Luckily Becky and I work out every morning or I would weigh 400 pounds from all of the sweets I eat on a daily basis. I need to try to be more healthful in my meals though. Thanks for the inspiration! Btw the caramel apples look absolutely sinful!

Vanderlinden Clan said...

just re-checked into your blog and was reminded at how yummy your recipes are! wish you were still posting from time to time....

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