Evil Queen’s Caramel Apples

As soon as October hits, I start hankering for a hypercrisp caramel apple. While sometimes the store-bought variety is enough to satiate the need for that first crisp bite (can you already taste the tanginess in your mouth just thinking about it?), I wanted to craft some this year that make the Affy Tapple brand look sterile and stale by comparison.

The secret to the perfect caramel apple is a just-right amount of tartness.  For this shoot, I paired Granny Smith apples with micro-sized mini chocolate chips and covered Gala apples with a mix of moody black walnut pieces in addition to some brighter-tasting California walnuts. Black walnut is not a lighthearted nut… it has a dark, wine-y flavor in comparison to the normal variety.  You should experiment with both to taste the difference.

These caramel apples are wild and unruly in both looks and flavor profile.  I think that even the evil queen in Snow White would approve.  Though I don’t intend to cast a spell of eternal sleep with these, they give an ominous, halloween-y vibe with their scraggly too-long apple branches.

If you’re making your own caramel apples this year, it helps to chill the apples before dipping them in the hot caramel.  It’s also the tendency for the toppings to slide down the apples as they’re drying, so use smaller pieces so that gravity doesn’t speed the process.  Then again, you’ll probably want to be eating them while the caramel’s still hot!

Annaprashan Cookies

I made these special cookies for an order that celebrates Annaprashan, a ceremony when a baby eats rice for the first time.  I’m thinking that the baby may be eating cookies for the first time as well!

One of my favorite aspects of baking and food styling is the power to personalize events that will become some of the most dog-eared memories.  The ability to do this is priceless to me.  Even when my life gets busy in other directions, I like to still make time for cookie orders such as this one.

It’s been a busy six day week working on shoots for a makeup brand and an upcoming pickle cookbook.  I probably went to the Union Square Greenmarket at least six times!  Assisting on each shoot floods me with creative ideas for my own projects.  Stay tuned for some portfolio shoot photos coming soon!  In the meantime, please enjoy this collection of spoons and dishes…