Caramel Apple Mini-Cheesecakes & Caramel Apple Bites
September 21, 2011, 10:54 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , ,

I’m back! It’s been two long months since I’ve been able to dedicate time to my baking and my blog. It was a long move with a lot of hiccups a long the way, but finally we are settled in!

Just in time for my favorite baking season of the year, fall!

Sigh… I must admit though, it hasn’t been very fall like here in Texas and my heart aches for the beautiful Hudson Valley.

It’s still SO incredibly hot here and feels nothing like the cool autumn days I cherished in New York . So I figured I’d take the best of  this seasons baking ingredients and mix it with one of summer’s cool treats to  make these delicious mini cheesecakes. They are FABULOUS. Creamy and cool with that spicy jolt of cinnamon and comfort  of simmered apples.Mmm mmm!

I’m also always looking for fun new recipes Sierra and I can make together and these caramel apple bites stole my attention as soon as I saw the idea.

They didn’t hold up very well, so I definitely suggest doing them as an activity for a party or quality time with the kids and serving them immediately. Messy,  but yummy! 🙂 (It is  notable that they are not any messier than classic caramel apples)

For the caramel apple bites:

1 package Kraft wrapped caramels

2 tbls heavy cream

2 large Granny Smith apples

Sprinkles and/or mini chocolate chips/nuts

20 or so skewers/lollipop sticks (I couldn’t find mine last minute so we winged it with corn on the cob holders, but I don’t recommend it! 🙂 )

Using a melon-baller  scoop out round circles of the apple. (Each apple makes 8 or so ‘bites’)

Add caramels and heavy cream to a double boiler. Heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.

Dip apple bites in warm caramel and roll in sprinkles/chips/nuts.

Let set up a few minutes and devour!

(Reserve left over caramel for the cheesecakes if making both)

Now for these incredible little cheesecakes!

For the caramel apple topping:

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin.

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (I like a full teaspoon but I LOVE cinnamon)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbs sugar (more or less to taste)

2 tbls butter

1/2 cup melted caramels

For the graham cracker crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tbls butter, melted

1 tbls sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:

2 (8ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

dash of salt

Directions:

Caramel Apple Topping:

In a medium sauce pan combine sliced apples, butter, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. Cover and simmer about an hour or until apples are soft.

Remove from heat and stir in melted caramels. (See above for directions on melting caramels)

Set aside.

Meanwhile for graham cracker crust:

Preheat oven to 350

Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Press about a tablespoon of the mixture into 12 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 300.

For the filling:

In a medium mixing bowl, beat soften cream cheese until light. Add sugar, vanilla and dash of salt. Beat well. Add eggs and beat until just mixed.

Layer cheese mixture over cooled graham cracker crusts.

Bake at 300 16-20 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature then layer cooled caramel apples on top. Cool in the fridge at least an hour.



Caramel Stuffed Brownies
June 12, 2011, 11:28 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , , ,

I love to cook and bake, and I LOVE to photograph and share my food! I went back and forth on whether or not to start a blog but when I pondered the question to my friends on Facebook this morning the supportive response really touched me and I felt very moved to start. So I’m excited! I spent most of the afternoon exploring the world that lives on the other side of  the blogs I read so faithfully. Tweaking settings, themes and fonts. I worked myself up and now I am way too enthused to wait until I bake something new to post my first recipe… So I’m posting these awesome brownies I made yesterday. There are no step-by-step photos on this first post but there IS a  recipe for a super rich, incredibly delicious treat. These ultimate chocolate fix caramel stuffed brownies are sure to appease even the strongest sweet tooth craving!

Enjoy!



 

 

 

 

 

 

For the brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the caramel filling:
1 12 ounce package caramel melt bits (or 1 14 ounce package caramel candies, unwrapped)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray. Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Or In a large, microwave-safe bowl microwave in intervals of 20 seconds until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring in between intervals. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and let the brownies cool for 20 minutes.

To make the caramel filling, combine the caramels and cream in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir. Repeat Continue the microwave process until the caramels and cream are melted and combined. Spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Let the carmel set about about 10 minutes. Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel). Sprinkle the chocolate and white chips on top. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until brownie is set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. (Who are we kidding, scoop some gooey-ness out and try a bite warm!)



I can’t wait to share more with all of you! A big thank you to you all, you have no idea what your support and encouragement means to me! ❤