Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples

It is the 1st of September. That means I can finally justify cooking and baking with apples and pumpkin and cinnamon and cloves! I don’t care that I live in South Carolina, and the temperatures are still hovering in the 90s. I am ready for Fall, goshdarnit!

Caramel apples are one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s definitely a nostalgic thing for me. I still vividly remember driving out to Randy’s Farm in Sleepy Hollow (when we lived in Illinois) to pick out pumpkins. They always had sliced apples covered with caramel and cashews!

Caramel and cashew is a delicious combination. My mother took that one step further and created her famous Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples.

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples

They are delicious and messy — you need a plate, knife, and roll of paper towels to eat them, but no Fall season is complete without them! 🙂 Even when I went away to college, I got a care package every October with my dad’s Caramel Corn and mom’s Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples!

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples:

  • 5 Granny Smith Apples
  • Kraft Caramels, 2 bags
  • Dove Dark Chocolates, 1 bag
  • Lightly salted cashews, chopped
  • Parchment paper
  • Skewers

Directions: 

It is important to do the prep work BEFORE you start melting anything! 

1) Cover a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Make sure you have fridge and freezer space ready!

2) Chop up the cashews and place in a shallow bowl.

3) Wash and de-stem the apples. Slice in half and insert skewers. I really like cutting the apples in half for two reasons. One, they’re easier to bite. Two, you have a better caramel-apple ratio! 🙂

4) Un-wrap the caramels and put in medium saucepan. Add 4 tablespoons of water. Heat on low until melted, stirring regularly. Use a wooden spoon. Spatulas have a tendency to melt when heating caramel or chocolate. So I’ve heard. From a friend of a friend.

5) When the caramel is melted, spoon over an apple half. Let the caramel drip off the edges — and don’t worry about covering the cut side of the apple. Place on the parchment paper, cut side down, and immediately place in freezer.

REPEAT until all the apples are covered on the skin side.

6) Kept the leftover caramel warm while the apples set, about 2 minutes. Then spoon caramel onto the cut side of the apples. There should now be a chilled edge of caramel to keep the warm caramel from sliding off the flat edge.

7) Take a handful of chopped cashews and cover the warm caramel. Press the cashews into the caramel lightly. Put the apple back on the parchment paper, nut side down. Return apples to freezer for 2 minutes, keeping the remaining caramel warm.

8) Now use the leftover caramel to drizzle over the nut-free sides of the apples. Then sprinkle the remaining cashews over the drizzled caramel. Return to freezer while you prepare the chocolate.

9) Unwrap the Dove Chocolates and warm in a medium saucepan over low heat. When melted, use a spoon to drizzle over the chilled apples. They should look like this:

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples

Store in the refrigerator. You can wrap them up in wax paper or plastic baggies. That’s if any are left after you finish making them!

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Apples

Absolute HEAVEN!

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Chocolate and Salted Caramel Mug Cake

Back from my burnout! And it’s time to resume my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge! I am putting off Meatloaf in a Cup, once again. Let’s have dessert: Chocolate and Salted Caramel Mug Cake!

I have high hopes that the salted caramel aspect will set this mug cake apart. To be honest, the Brownie in a Mug and Nutella Mug Cake ended up tasting pretty similar. Delicious — but similar.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 salted caramels

1) In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk and vegetable oil. Whisk until combined.

2) In a regular sized mug, combine the  flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

3) Pour the wet ingredients into the mug. Stir until smooth.

4) Drop the caramels into center of the mug, one at a time. I didn’t have salted caramels, just plain old Kraft caramels, so I simply sprinkled a pinch of sea salt on top of the caramels as I added them.

3) Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Here is the original from The Family Kitchen at Babble.com.

TheFamilyKitchen

TheFamilyKitchen

And, here is how mine turned out:

ShinyHappyPeebles

ShinyHappyPeebles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Mug Cake

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Mug Cake

The best part is the caramel. I would actually recommend adding 3 caramels to the mix.

Unfortunately, this recipe did not stand out as I had hoped. It was good, but not different enough. I must admit I am bored with mug cakes for now. Oh, well. It’s probably for the best. I’m going through flour and cocoa powder much too quickly!

Nutella Mug Cake

It is Day 5 of my 7-Day Microwave Mug Challenge. And today, I have a major sweet tooth. So, I skipped ahead to Nutella Mug Cake!

Sorry, meatloaf. Maybe you’ll get made on Sunday.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella

1) Combine all ingredients in a LARGE mug. Mix the dry ingredients first and add the Nutella last.

I used my ginormous cat lady mug, which is usually reserved for ramen noodles.

Giant Cat Mug

Giant Cat Mug

I also ran out of Nutella (imagine that) and had to substitute 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter.

2) Whisk ingredients with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3) Top with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, etc. I pulled out my fat-kid card and threw some mini-marshmallows on top during the last 30 seconds of microwaving.

You should definitely check out this blog: livelovepasta. They use normal-sized mugs there.

livelovepasta

livelovepasta

My marshmallows may have been a little white-trash compared to homemade whipped cream, but it was still delicious! Some vanilla ice cream would have been lovely, too.

ShinyHappyPeebles

ShinyHappyPeebles

However, this is definitely a two-person dessert. Or, a very unhealthy lunch for someone with a major sweet tooth. 🙂