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!

Caramel Cream Cookies

Hit the mark with these Goetze Caramel Cream cookies!  These bullseye-shaped caramels were my candy of choice as a kid.  Whenever we were on the road stopping to fill the car with gas, I’d pick out a package of these…  Back then, I would always poke the cream center out and give the “inferior” caramel ring to my dad to eat.  Now, I have a better appreciation for the entire caramel treat.  I’m growing up, guys!

What better way to pay homage to a childhood memory than with a cookie recipe in its honor?  This recipe concept came to me late on a Sunday night, when I knew that something was missing from my life… something chewy and salty-sweet.  The obvious next step was to dabble in the kitchen with what I had on hand.  Sometimes the best inspiration comes when you’re rummaging through the cupboard.

This cookie dough is full of brown sugar, which makes the cookies softer and chewier than a recipe that calls for white granulated sugar.  I also used brown butter instead of fresh butter so that the cookies would have a slightly nutty flavor.  The recipe calls for one egg and one egg yolk; by adding an extra egg yolk instead of an entire egg, you can create a cookie that’s more dense with a fudge-y consistency.

What do you think?  Are you a chewy cookie or crunchy cookie person?  Be sure to tag your caramel creations at @hadleygolucky on Instagram, I’d love to see what you create!

Scroll down for the recipe.

Caramel Cream Cookies

Makes about 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar, medium or dark
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt for topping
  • 1 package Goetze Caramel Creams

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook and stir constantly until butter is a dark golden brown. Take the butter off the heat and let cool.  
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick mats. Set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl, and set aside.
  4. Add brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter and mix until combined. Add egg and yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until completely combined.
  5. Form dough into balls, about 1 to 2 tablespoons each.  Press down a cream caramel into the center of each dough ball.  Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each cookie.
  6. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets 3 inches apart and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees F 10-12 minutes until barely golden.  If they seem under-baked, that’s okay!  You want a soft cookie.  If the cream caramels aren’t melting enough, feel free to press them down into the cookie with a heatproof spatula halfway through the baking process.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!