Today’s post is from my first guest post writer, Danielle Rouse. I’d been admiring her clean recipes and beautiful photos for awhile and just thought you all would love to see some of her creations. What a great recipe to start off with!
My youngest was just begging me to make these Caramel Apples for him when he saw the photo! (My oldest isn’t keen on dipping things (remember my post on Healthy Meals Your Kids Will Love?) but I’m sure I can put the caramel on something that he’ll gobble up. I know–this is a “pre-made dipped thing” but that’s just the way that Asperger’s Syndrome works sometimes. If you have a child with autism, you’ll most likely understand what I mean.)
Anyway, these delectable apples would make a great addition to any Easter celebration. And you can for sure check out my Healthy Easter Treats Galore if you are lacking at all in that department .
Now…on with the post!
I was very excited when Adrienne asked if I would like to write a guest post here on Whole New Mom. I am a regular reader and admirer of Adrienne; her sense of family and frugal mindedness ring true with what I wish for my own family. When I was thinking about what I would share with all of her wonderful readers, I thought these delicious gourmet apples would be the perfect treat. I first made these a few weeks ago to take to a child’s birthday party. They were a big hit with my kids and I think they will be perfect as a healthy Easter treat.
We seem to eat a lot of apples, pears and citrus fruit this time of year. By this time, my frozen seasonal fruits and berries are all but used up, and the cost of imported, out of season fruit is just too high. Organic apples and pears at $4.99/3lbs, stretch a lot further for my family of 5 compared to the $5.99 for ½ pint of raspberries. Although dipped apples seem to be associated with the fall and Halloween, having them around Easter time makes economical sense to me (since I live in Canada and our growing season is still a long ways off).
Caramel and chocolate dipped apples are going to be a hit with kids at any occasion. My kids love any food on a stick, but a sweet crisp apple dipped in homemade dairy free caramel and chocolate was especially exciting to them and me! I worked with maple syrup to make Candy Pepitas a few weeks ago. This success gave me the encouragement to try and create a caramel sauce mixing maple syrup with sunflower seed butter. I used store-bought sunflower seed butter, but if you have a Vitamix, Adrienne has a recipe for Homemade Nut and Seed Butter that looks fantastic.
I was thrilled with the results of this sweet, sticky, creamy sauce, and I hope you will be too. (My pears were too ripe for the sticks to stay in, so I gave up on them.)
The kids and I decided we needed to dress the apples up a bit for Easter, like we did with these Reindeer Krispie Pops. They really are a fun treat to make together, because they are messy, and of course that’s what draws kids in…well at least mine! So have a bath ready and let them dig right in .
Gourmet “Caramel” Chocolate Apples
2/3 cup sunflower seed butter (See Homemade Seed and Nut Butters)
1 cup pure maple syrup (You can also try other sweeteners of course. See Substituting Sweeteners for Cooking and Baking.)*
Pinch of sea salt (From Adrienne: I love Real Salt.)
1. In a medium pot combine all ingredients.
2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
3. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and watching carefully to avoid burning.
4. Remove from heat (pour into a bowl for dipping if desired).
5. Allow the sauce to cool slightly. There is a knack for getting the sauce to the right consistency; if it is too hot and thin, it will run right off the apples, if it is to cool and thick it wont have a nice smooth appearance. I let it cool for about 2 minutes (you can easily warm it back up, or add a splash of water to get the sauce to the right thickness).
6. Line a cutting board or baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
7. Take 6 apples (we used organic Gala) and push a stick through the top stem.
8. Dip them into the caramel and place them on the non stick surface. Place them in the fridge to set while you make the chocolate coating.
1-1/4 cups of chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini. You could also try Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips but you might want to add extra sweetener.)
1 Tbsp coconut oil (Tropical Traditions‘ expeller pressed does not have a coconutty flavor.)
1. In a double boiler, over low heat, combine chocolate chips and oil and melt to a smooth and shiny consistency.
2. Remove the caramel apples from the fridge and dip them into the chocolate.
3. Place them back into the fridge to set briefly while you make the *peanut topping*.
(Note from Adrienne: I’m thinking about those gourmet apples in the store. One could really get creative with these and top with all kinds of things. Other kinds of chocolate or other “sprinkly” type toppings. Yum. Fun.)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or any acceptable nut or seed.)
1/4 cup coconut sugar (Substituting other sweeteners should work just fine here.)
1 tsp coconut oil (You can see other Tropical Traditions products here.) 2 tsp coconut flour
1. Roughly chop the sunflower seeds and place them on a skillet.
2. Add the coconut sugar and oil and saute over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar gets a bit melty and caramelized.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut flour.
4. Remove the apples from the fridge. Cupping your hands, press the warm *peanut* topping around the bottom and side of your chocolate apples.
5. Store wrapped in a plastic treat bag, wax or parchment paper. Decorate with pipe cleaner ears, googley eyes, pom-pom nose and tail for holiday treats.
Interested in other healthified versions of candies and such? How about:
What else could you top your apples with?
Danielle Rouse is the creative energy behind the allergy friendly recipe Blog, Fresh4Five. This mother of three has a passion for nutrition and cooking with fresh and wholesome ingredients. Danielle has become an expert at developing recipes to meet the complex dietary needs of her family. Fresh4Five hosts an array of family-friendly recipes that are free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, and Nuts. Danielle also offers a growing collection of recipes, specifically tailored for celebrating Allergy Free, Children’s Birthday Parties.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement here.
Shared at I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Craft-O-Maniac, C.R.A.F.T., Skip to My Lou, The Prairie Homestead, The Better Mom, and The DIY HSHP.