Slutty Caramel Apples {dairy free option}

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Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipeShe’s Fast. She’s Messy. And, She’s Easy:
Slutty Caramel Apples

(aka Easy Homemade Caramel Apples from Scratch)

Happy Halloween, y’all!

Since it is Halloween, I thought I would share some old favorites with you before getting into today’s recipe. Have you gotten your fix of classic spooky films by Val Lewton, Roger Corman and/or William Castle yet? Any Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee or Vincent Price lovers out there? I just relish in these old, classic spookfest films this time of year!

Let’s Talk Spooky Films

My favorite Val Lewton film is Cat People (1942). I saw it when I was very little and it stayed with me. To this day, I just love it! Simone Simon was fabulous in the lead role. So beautiful and so cat-like. Unforgettable. Carnival of Souls (1962) is a film I once woke up to in the middle of the night in the dark living room of my childhood home with only the glow from the television set. That film would haunt me until I could figure out what the title was! I was totally creeped out (the haunting score of this film is a character in and of itself). The images were burned to my childhood memory. And, I wanted more. I didn’t know what the film title was until many years later. And, of course, I eventually learned that the The Twilight Zone ep, The Hitch Hiker (S1 Ep16), which first aired January 22, 1960, actually predates this film! Who knew? Here is a link to the episode at CBS.com (not commercial free): The Hitch Hiker. Watch it! I swear, Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone and who wrote the teleplay) was a genius. However, I still love the creepfest film, Carnival of Souls, my first introduction to zombies!

To read more about the film that inspired the likes of David Lynch and George Romero, click here.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

What about Boris Karloff? Love. Him. My favorite film besides all his Frankenstein films is The Black Room. Creep city! And, each Christmas when we watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, we enjoy listening to his perfect narration. Magnificent!

Meanwhile, October has been Vincent Price Month at TCM and I DVR’d the entire offering. I am just smitten with Vincent. It just isn’t Halloween without him or Young Frankenstein or my favorite Tim Burton films. But, I digress. Back to Vincent. I could gaze upon his face and listen to his voice for eternity. His face? So utterly handsome and debonair…to the point of being hypnotizing…especially when sporting his beard and moustache. His voice? Charming yet mysterious. Just mesmerizing. His iconic laugh? Totally sinister and yet delightful at the same time. Swoon!

The Big Lug’s favorite Vincent Price film is The House of Wax. In fact, we just watched it together last weekend. He saw it as a kid and it spooked him then. My childhood favorite, and therefore the film I most remember Vincent Price for, is The Fly. My ultimate favorites are the Edgar Allan Poe tales such as, The House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum. I tend to enjoy spooky films set in the Victorian era best. Sweeny Todd, anyone? Of course, I immensely enjoyed Tim Burton’s rendition of Sweeny Todd starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Chilly-creepy.

My Vincent Price fixation started at a very early age. You see, I grew up watching Sir Graves Ghastlythe best spooky movie host. Ever. Children loved him, including me. His program featured all the best horror films not just “B films” like other hosts. I don’t care which horror host personality you grew up with, Sir Graves (Lawson J. Deming, 1913-2007), and his graveyard cohorts (played by him), reign supreme!

See what I mean? Just look at him!

Sir Graves Ghastly

Check out the Sir Graves Ghastly YouTube vid below (there are a handful more at YouTube):

Sir Graves Ghastly – The Fabulous Intro!

Sir Graves Ghastly Presents ran from 1967 through 1983 and was a kid favorite on Saturday afternoons on TV2. Since I was a competitive roller skater, I did not often get the opportunity to watch his program on Saturday afternoons because I was at practice. When I did though, it was such a treat! In 2011, Lawson J. Deming was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame as his character, Sir Graves Ghastly.

The show opened with sounds from the album by Walt Disney, Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of The Haunted House (1964). It is the best ever spooky audio recording. Midnight Syndicate is excellent (however, I don’t have their latest yet) and is what The Big Lug and I listen to now on Halloween. But, it is not quite like the “sounds of Halloween” found on the vintage Disney tracks. My favorite sounds were the rustling leaves, the blowing wind, the wailing spirits and the howling of wolves (werewolves?) as well as the ominous footsteps and rattling chains. It was especially fun to play and listen to whilst handing out candy on Halloween Night. It really contributed to the atmosphere. In fact, Mom used to play it each year for us kids.

Here’s a really cool image of Sir Graves Ghastly where you can get a good view of his wicked vampire attire. Pretty cool, eh?

Sir Graves Ghastly

We also grew up watching The Ghoul Show. Boys especially loved The Ghoul, his on-stage antics in skits, as well as his companion Froggy and his memorable greeting, “Hiya gang, hiya hiya hiya!” He was on late at night, following the local news, and was so over the top! Lucky kids, eh?

The Ghoul Show

Now you know where my “inner goth” comes from as well as my love for Halloween (including vintage imagery), all things Edgar Allan Poe, zombies and spookfest movies. These are wonderful childhood memories!

My Movie Pick for You

Do you delight in ghost stories? Today, I am sharing a movie pick with you. Hopefully, the first of many to come.

My ghostly movie pick to share? This is essential if you enjoy the gothic, horror or suspense film genres: The Woman in Black. It’s not just for Halloween either! Although, it could very easily become a new Halloween tradition to watch each year.

The Woman in Black

Why do I recommend this film? It’s brilliant, people. The night I watched it, there was a thunderstorm. (Sublime, right?) Several years ago, The Big Lug and I were renting a very large house that we think was haunted. I’m serious. There were such strange sounds. Once I heard a loud crashing sound downstairs in the kitchen. It sounded like a china cabinet full of dishes and glassware crashing to the floor. Only thing is, we didn’t have a china cabinet. Scared the bejeezus out of me! When I ran down to inspect (thinking our male cat got into some serious trouble), there was nothing out of place. Nothing. Not even the pantry was disturbed. There were all sorts of “occurrences”. Let me tell you, The Big Lug doesn’t get spooked easily and he reported a few things he witnessed, too. So, who knows…right?

But, the night we watched this film, just the two of us and our kitties, in that large creepy house, it was chilly. And, as I mentioned, it was storming outside complete with thunder and lightning. So, I had a blanket covering me on the sofa. When things got especially creepy or eerie while watching the film, the blanket slowly moved upward to my chin and then over my mouth…probably to muffle any screams I had anticipated. I swear, when “the scene” came, while watching The Woman in Black, I about ate my blanket! Indelible. A totally unforgettable film-watching experience that will make the tiny hairs on your neck stand up! That is all I am going to say about this fabulously creepy film, a British television production. Read the Amazon.com reviews, first. Then, get ahold of this film (I don’t care how) ASAP and see it!

Meanwhile…our Halloween, here in Indiana, will be taking place Friday night. Along with a handful of other Heartland and Midwest states, we are postponing celebrations and trick or treating until tomorrow night due to severe weather patterns. (In fact, my post is late because I had little Internet access and, when I did, it was severely slow and I had trouble uploading the images for this post.) I hope and pray everyone will be safe during this time and that any strong high winds or tornadic activity causes no harm to anyone.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Let’s Talk Food

Well, today is my first day back on the blog after a much-needed break. However, I was right back in the kitchen on Monday following vacation and I couldn’t resist working on a special Halloween recipe for you all. I came back refreshed and full of new ideas and concepts to try in baking—especially formulating new recipes for special diets to include the ever-challenging grain and dairy free categories. And, I am happy to share all of my “kitchen notes” with you on just what I was able to accomplish this week. I’m just beaming and overjoyed with the satisfying and yummy results! Then, we’ll get into the apple and pumpkin recipes I promised in the coming weeks. I promise.

First…a big THANK YOU.

Thank you, my friends. Thank you for stopping by with your caring and sweet comments. They made me smile and made my week! Y’all are just the best. And, I am so grateful I have met you via your blogs and that you enjoy reading mine as much as I enjoy reading yours. You are an extremely passionate and talented bunch and I feel blessed to count you as my blogging friends. Believe me when I say that I have missed you! I promise…I shall catch up with your blogs. Seriously. I can’t wait to see what you have been up to!

Also, a big thank you and huge hug to the fabulous contributors on my newly shared board at Pinterest, “Sweets We Crave!”. Y’all are doing a phenomenal job pinning delectable sweet treats to share with others. The board is growing rapidly in followership and so are you! We are up 500+ new followers in just a couple weeks! Seriously. My favorite pin of the week? Salted Caramel Snickers Fudge Brownies by Ashley of Baker by Nature. That girl can bake like no one’s business! Her photography has totally evolved, too. Just beautiful. Cheers to you, Ashley!

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

If you are a reader of this blog and over at Pinterest, and wish to be sent an invitation to pin on my “Sweets We Crave!” board, just follow me (Pinterest requires this before invites can be sent) and send a request for an invite via comment on one of my pins. I’d love to have you!

Meanwhile, I nearly fainted when my Bloglovin’ feed reached 500+ blog posts to read! Isn’t that crazy? And, I am seriously behind in reading and responding to emails. For this, I apologize sincerely. But, I needed a “complete and total break” as The Big Lug so lovingly prescribed. However, I did read a few blog posts this week between working in the kitchen and had time to comment. Naomi over at Baker’s Royale is expecting another baby and Christina over at Dessert for Two is moving to St. Louis. Such good news this week from fellow bakers!

Also, I did pin a little bit over at Pinterest—especially last weekend. This week, I only managed to pin two (2) pins, Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake by Christina of Dessert for Two and The Blackbeard cocktail by Todd over at HonestlyYUM.

Speaking of the very talented Todd over at HonestlyYUM, have you seen his latest work? His posts are so appropriate to share on Halloween! I am in total delirium over his photography and creative cocktail recipes as well as his post on Day of the Dead. Check out the links below.

Halloween Pumpkin Punch by HonestlyYUMHalloween Pumpkin Punch

The Blackbeard by HonestlyYUMThe Blackbeard (Cocktail)

Pumpkin Carving Idea by HGTVDía de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Oh! You must see Rachel’s photography, over at Baked By Rachel, too. A misty cemetery in autumn. Swoon! Perfect for Halloween. Love. It.

By the way, a little diversion from Halloween. If you saw me pinning a certain heavenly cookie last weekend, Lofthouse-Style Soft Batch Frosted Vanilla Cookies with pastel sprinkles, from here to kingdom come (onto several group boards), and at first glance it appeared as though I was totally insane, it was in support of my blogging friend, Katrina, over at In Katrina’s Kitchen. Katrina has been away from her blog and is recuperating. If you have some extra time, please go by her blog and give some love and pin some of the sweet treats her fellow blogging friends have posted during her leave of absence. The Lofthouse-Style Soft Batch Frosted Vanilla Cookies are the contribution by the talented Rachel over at Baked by Rachel. She even shares her pumpkin version, Lofthouse-Style Soft Batch Frosted Pumpkin Cookies, on her own blog. Check it out and give her some love as well. I’m sure they will both appreciate it very much!

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Now, Let’s Talk Slutty

Haha! No, no…not that kind of slutty. This kind of slutty: The slutty that started it all. The trend known as “slutty brownies” started with what is now called “London Slutty Brownies.” The brainchild behind starting this food trend is Rosie, of The Londoner blog, with her Slutty Brownies.

Side Note: Incidentally, one of the killer pastry recipes handed down to me by my grandmother, from her grandmother, is called Londoner Kuchen. I have never seen it in print anywhere. And, I have looked! Londoner Kuchen was a Christmas tradition in our family and I cannot wait to share it with you here on the blog. So, look for that special vintage Christmas recipe this holiday season!

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

OK. I can hear y’all now. Has Stacy gone completely mad? She’s an all-natural baker, so why all the Oreos, a processed food, encrusted on these beautiful Honeycrisp apples? Isn’t she paleo?

Well, as our dear Russell, of Chasing Delicious blog, observed in his article, A Day In the Life Of a Food Blogger: Twenty Things No One Tells You About Food Blogging, and so succinctly put it, (note that this thought was placed at the all important No. 1 spot, ha!):

“1. You eat horribly but yell at your readers for not eating healthy. Seriously y’all. FROM SCRATCH AND ALL NATURAL ONLY! *Eats entire box of Oreos for lunch*”

Exactly.

In my defense, however, living a paleo/primal lifestyle in the modern world today involves an 80/20 rule—that is, if you wish to invoke such a rule. It’s all about freedom. And, anyone who knows me well, knows full well I am ALL about freedom. I don’t judge. That twenty percent? It is reserved for treats either off or on protocol. To keep us all from going off the rails on a crazy train, we strive for 100% protocol compliance. The keyword here is strive.

However, there is “wiggle room” to keep us all sane when we trip ourselves up or even deliberately schedule times for special treats like holidays and special occasions. Again, twenty percent of it. And, I do declare that Oreos fall into wiggle room territory. This blog’s concept is ALL about the wicked and the good. That’s the whole point. I strive to offer up the most wicked of creations, along with the good, whilst trying to remain all-natural and organic whenever possible.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Product Spotlight
All-Natural & Organic: Newman-O’s

This interruption sounds like, “Brought to you by…” Doesn’t it? No, no. This is no commercial. At this time, I do not accept advertising on my blog and I am not a compensated spokesperson or even an Amazon.com affiliate. This is just me, sharing.

Although all-American Oreos are not all-natural, I did indeed happen upon an all-natural and organic replacement. Not only that, to my delight, I also found a wheat and dairy free replacement to Oreos that is both all-natural and organic. And, they’re scrumptious! I know…I can hear you exclaim, “Shut the front door!” Honest, I kid you not. I would never lie to you. Whole Foods Market came to my rescue…once again.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Whilst shopping during my thrice-a-week trips, several weeks back (in late August when I first had the idea of “slutty caramel apples” knocking around in my head), I found Newman-Os. Not only Newman-Os, but, wheat and dairy free Newman-Os! (Sorry this is only good news for those allergic to wheat, like me. They are not gluten free as they are made with barley flour. Really, I wish they made them with gluten free buckwheat flour. Perhaps this is in the works. We can all hope.) At any rate, this is very good news!

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Here is the product information to include the sizes, varieties and lists of ingredients for the two (2) varieties we are concerned with for today’s recipe:

NEWMAN-O’s

Product Description: Crème filled wafer cookie

Varieties: Original; Chocolate Crème; Ginger-O’s; Mint Crème; Peanut Butter; Wheat-Free Dairy-Free.

Sizes: 13-ounce package; 8-ounce package

Ingredients:

Original: 
Organic Unbleached Wheat Flour, Organic Powdered Sugar (Organic Sugar, Organic Corn Starch), Organic Sugar, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Canola Oil (Expeller Pressed), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Unsweetened Chocolate, Salt, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate (leavening), Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier).

Wheat-Free Dairy-Free: 
Organic Powdered Sugar (Organic Sugar, Organic Corn Starch), Organic Barley Flour, Organic Sugar, Organic Palm Fruit, Oil, Organic Corn Flour, Organic Rice Flour, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Canola Oil (Expeller Pressed), Unsweetened Chocolate, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate (leavening), Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier).

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Now, I bring you…Slutty Caramel Apples

Since this post has gotten very long (a special edition for Halloween), and I’m rushing to get it posted to share with you before Midnight (but, still having Internet connection troubles), let me briefly tell you what makes this recipe for Slutty Caramel Apples wicked good.

Originally, I had planned on using Martha Stewart’s recipe for caramel apples. However, I was desirous of offering something fast and easy with no candy thermometer required—especially since we are all in a hurry these days but also because “fast and easy” goes with “slutty”. Haha!

Well, as I usually do, I turned to the folks at Cook’s Illustrated to look up a how-to recipe I have used in the past from their March 1, 2011 issue, Caramel in the Microwave. As I recall, this recipe for Caramel Sauce was easy and I whipped it up in a flash when a craving hit for a caramel ice cream sundae for dessert.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

During my search to see if anyone in the food blogging world used this same microwave technique to make caramel for dipping apples, I entered the keywords, “easy caramel apples”. Just look at what I found in my Yahoo! search, right under the entry for Real Simple:

Caramel Apple Recipe | How to Make Caramel Apples | Eat the Love

It was by fellow food blogger, Irvin Lin! Irvin is one of my favorite food bloggers and bakers. We are both members of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) and I look forward to meeting him IRL (in real life) one day at a conference. And, let me tell you…Irvin’s ratio in his recipe for caramel is spot on for apple dipping. He only uses 2 tablespoons heavy cream whereas the recipe by Cook’s Illustrated uses ½ cup of hot heavy cream. On the other hand, Irvin’s recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter whereas CI calls for only 1 tablespoon. I liked where Irvin’s head was at when creating an easy caramel in the microwave for apple dipping.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

When I developed my recipes for Salted Vanilla Caramel for Dipping Apples (both the conventional and the dairy free version) on Tuesday, I decided to go with Irvin’s ratio with just a few tweaks. First, I call for more salt. This is a given for my salted version. Second, I call for a hint of pure vanilla extract…but, not too much to overpower the natural caramel flavor. I just wanted to enhance it. And, I left in the fresh lemon juice that the CI recipe called for. It makes a difference. Irvin calls for conventional corn syrup as does the CI recipe, but since most of my recipes are corn free (due to allergies), I call for agave nectar that I always have in the pantry on any given day.

In his recipe, Irvin states, “One thing to note, don’t try this method with organic sugar. You have to use plain old regular refined white sugar. The impurities left in the organic sugar (and what makes it so beige) burns before the sugar can caramelize.” This is indeed the case for demerara or turbindao sugars.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

As for my choice of sugar, I went with organic granulated cane sugar because I prefer it over regular overly refined granulated sugar. Although Irvin states that this recipe should not be made with organic sugar, I found that using organic granulated cane sugar, the 365 Organic® brand offered by Whole Foods Market, was not only no problem but it performed very well in caramelization. But, it did take a bit longer to cook (reach caramelization) at about 7 minutes. Perhaps the organic granulated cane sugar by Whole Foods Market is refined enough to be effective.

Surprisingly, the dairy free version of this recipe worked extremely well! To make the recipe dairy free, I had to replace the butter and cream with butter-flavored palm shortening (I use Spectrum® brand which is non-hydrogenated and Kosher Certified) and either almond or coconut milk, respectively. In my testing, each of these substitutions performed exceedingly well! Please see the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe for tips to prepare Slutty Caramel Apples with the dairy free option.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

These Slutty Caramel Apples really hit the spot! The homemade (from scratch) Salted Vanilla Caramel is dreamy and so incredibly easy using the microwave method. As Cook’s Illustrated states:

“Many cooks shy away from making caramel. The process involves nothing more than melting sugar on the stovetop, but it can be tricky nonetheless. The sugar must be heated slowly and carefully to avoid overcooking—an all-too-easy occurrence even when you’re using a thermometer. And there’s always the risk of getting splattered by the molten syrup as you stir. We recently learned of an easier, virtually hands-off approach: Use the microwave.”

Caramel truly doesn’t get any easier than this. Bravo, Cook’s Illustrated! And, many thanks to Irvin!

The toppings for these messy-beautiful ladies include the typical “slutty” ingredients in chopped form: Oreos® (both the original and Golden varieties) or Newman-O’s (either the original or wheat and dairy free varieties), classic or dairy free chocolate chip cookies and homemade fudgy brownies either classic or dairy free. In fact, it will take you longer to chop all the topping ingredients than to make the caramel sauce! It is that quick and easy as well as foolproof.

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Kitchen Notes: Good News to Report

Want to know the best part of my mission to create Slutty Caramel Apples with a dairy free option? On Monday of this week, I was incredibly victorious in developing a recipe for the most sublime fudgy, moist and tender homemade brownies, both dairy and grain free (which is naturally gluten free as well), known to man! I kid you not. In fact, I cannot wait to complete the post and share this recipe with y’all. As you can see in the images of the chopped “slutty” ingredients, the tiny brownie bites look mighty moist and tasty. I’m just over-the-moon with the results.

To create the recipe for my dairy and grain free Ultimate Moist & Chewy Fudgy Brownies, I used my Mom’s Cocoa Brownies recipe (remember, most chocolates contain dairy and this recipe is dairy free) and a combination of ingredients as well as an interesting yet tried and true culinary technique to make them extremely buttery, chocolate-y and irresistible. I’m telling you…you simply cannot eat just one! I challenge anyone to taste-test this dairy and grain free version against a similar scrumptious brownie made with conventional ingredients and tell me which is which. You simply cannot tell the difference. Even The Big Lug, my Chief Taste Tester, was amazed. Honest and truly, these brownies are ah-mazing!

Slutty Caramel Apples by WickedGoodKitchen.com #halloween #recipe

Happy Halloween to You!

Meanwhile, The Big Lug and I will be enjoying a Halloween After-Glow weekend party of sorts. This is rather fitting as our Halloween here in Indiana has been postponed until Friday night. (It really did not feel like Halloween today either with the rain, strong winds and Internet outages.) We will be catching up with the spookfest films we have remaining to watch via DVR, too. Also, I just might break down and order the Dark Shadows DVD Collection of the original series that I have been pining after for so long starring Jonathan Frid (1924-2012). Isn’t he spectacular?

Here’s to hoping your Halloween is both fun and safe! In the words of Sir Graves Ghastly… Happy Haunting! Neeeeee-yeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhh-ah-ah-ahh!

xo,

spatsign

 

 

 

P.S. I had thought about reserving this post for next Halloween since it is late. However, The Big Lug encouraged me to post it today anyway. I hope you enjoyed it!

Slutty Caramel Apples {dairy free option}

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 gourmet-style caramel apples.

Slutty Caramel Apples {dairy free option}

Homemade, from scratch, caramel apples just do not get any easier than this! This innovative recipe uses the microwave to achieve a completely foolproof and scrumptious caramel. Recipe includes dairy free option.

Ingredients

  • For the Apples
  • 4 medium to large apples, such as Honeycrisp, clean of wax coating
  • For the Salted Vanilla Caramel
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons (238 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons (52 grams) organic light agave nectar
  • 2½ tablespoons (38 grams) purified water
  • ½ teaspoon (2.4 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2½ tablespoons (35 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2½ tablespoons (38 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract, such as such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • For the “Slutty” Toppings
  • 1½ cups chopped fudge brownies
  • 1½ cups chopped chocolate chip cookies
  • 1½ cups chopped chocolate cream-filled wafer cookies, such as Oreos®
  • 1½ cups chopped vanilla cream-filled wafer cookies, such as Golden Oreos®
  • For the Chocolate Drizzle
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet chocolate chips, such as Guittard®
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) white chocolate chips, such as Guittard®
  • Special Equipment & Supplies
  • 4 popsicle sticks or thick skewers
  • Two (2) baking sheets
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Trivet
  • Two (2) pastry bags with couplers and tips or
  • Two (2) heavy-duty zip-top plastic food bags for drizzling chocolate
  • Ribbon of choice, optional
  • Scissors, to cut ribbon

Directions

Prepare the Apples, Ingredients & Work Surface: Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and set them aside until ready to use.

If your apples are especially shiny, they are most likely coated with wax. The wax must be removed in order for the hot caramel to stick. See Tips below, in the Notes section, on how to easily melt away the wax before dipping apples.

Prepare each apple for dipping by removing the stem and then inserting the sticks. I used a paring knife to create a small slit then used the smooth side of my meat tenderizer mallet as a hammer to get the sticks inserted firmly into each apple.

Pre-measure the ingredients for Salted Vanilla Caramel. To one lined baking sheet, add your topping ingredients in piles. This will make coating the dipped caramel apples easier and less messy.

Prepare the Salted Vanilla Caramel: In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine sugar, agave nectar, water, salt and lemon juice. Stir until well blended and sugar is completely saturated.

Microwave uncovered on high setting (full power) for 5 to 8 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave oven. Pay close attention to the bowl and the color of the bubbling sugar both at the top and the bottom of the bowl. Look for it to turn from light amber to medium amber. Once it turns medium to dark amber, carefully but immediately remove the bowl using thick oven mitts. The hot caramel will continue to cook and darken more.

Quickly transfer to trivet onto work surface where you will be dipping apples. Over the trivet, with oven mitts still on, swirl the hot caramel in the bowl to gently mix it evenly. The caramel will turn somewhat darker, into a dark amber shade similar to whiskey.

While still hot, add butter to caramel and stir carefully yet vigorously as it will suddenly bubble up. (It is important to stir quickly after adding ingredients so the caramel won’t seize up.) Once the butter is fully incorporated, add cream and vanilla. Once again, stir vigorously as the caramel will bubble up. Continue to stir gently until caramel has cooled slightly and thickened, about 2 minutes. Caramel is now ready to dip apples.

Dip the Apples: Take each apple by the stick and dip into bowl of caramel while tipping the bowl and turning the apple to coat as desired. When pulling the apple out of the bowl, swirl the apple in a circular motion to allow the excess caramel to drip off. Then, use a spoon to scrape off any excess caramel.

Coat the Apples with Toppings: Immediately dip each caramel apple into desired toppings turning it by the stick. To the areas where the toppings did not immediately stick, drizzle extra caramel onto the apple with a spoon and then use hands to carefully and gently press them into the caramel. Set each apple onto other lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples. Should the caramel start to set or harden in the bowl, soften it by microwaving for 20 to 25 second intervals then stirring gently until smooth again.

Once apples are all dipped and coated, chill the apples on the lined baking sheet for 45 minutes. This will help make the chocolate drizzle set up. See Tips in the Notes section on how to melt chocolate for drizzling apples.

Drizzle Melted Chocolate on Apples: Using pastry bags, or heavy-duty zip-top plastic food bags with a small hole snipped into each at one corner, drizzle melted chocolate and white chocolate as desired at the top of each dipped and coated apple. Chill apples until the chocolate is set. Once chocolate is set, embellish each apple stick with ribbon by tying a bow.

Recipe Notes

Tips:

For Dairy Free Option: Substitute 2½ tablespoons (30 grams) organic butter flavored palm shortening, such as Spectrum®, for the unsalted butter and 2½ tablespoons (38 ml) almond or full fat coconut milk for the heavy whipping cream in the recipe for Salted Vanilla Caramel. Substitute dairy free or vegan brownies, chocolate chip cookies and cream-filled wafer cookies, such as Newman-O’s by Newman’s Own Organics®, for toppings called for in recipe. For the chocolate chips, substitute Enjoy Life® Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips which are dairy, gluten and soy free. Guittard® Real Semisweet Chocolate Chips and Extra Semisweet Chocolate Chips are gluten free. However, they are processed on the same equipment as milk chocolate. Therefore, they should not be considered dairy free.

If you do not have time to make your own brownies or chocolate chip cookies, purchase some from a bakery or vegan bakery (for dairy free options). A great time saving tip!

Be sure to read the recipe through entirely. Have all topping ingredients chopped and ready as well as all ingredients pre-measured. In addition, have your workspace prepared. This will make dipping, topping and drizzling the apples with chocolate much easier and enjoyable.

If you do not own a pastry bag with tips and couplers to drizzle melted chocolate, simply use a heavy-duty zip-top plastic food bag with a small hole snipped in one corner. Twist bag closed and, if desired, secure with a twist tie.

To Easily Remove Wax Coating from Apples: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In batches of just 1 to 2 apples at a time, cook the apples in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove promptly with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking sheet or cutting board lined with paper toweling. With a large sheet of paper towel, rub each apple vigorously to remove the wax. Make certain the apples are completely dry before dipping into hot caramel.

To Melt Chocolate in the Microwave: Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl on medium power (50%) for 2 minutes or on high power for 20 second intervals to prevent scorching. Chips should not be completely melted. Stir until chips are completely melted and smooth.

To Melt Chocolate on the Stovetop: Melt chocolate chips in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Stir constantly until smooth.

Be creative and consider other topping ideas to make your apples as elegant or “slutty” as you wish.

Other Topping Ideas: Chopped dried fruit such as apricots, dried cherries, cranberries or raisins, chopped candied citrus peels or ginger, chopped nuts, coarsely chopped or broken graham crackers or pretzels, mini marshmallows, m&m’s candies, popcorn, potato chips, etc.

To Package for Gift Giving: Place a baking cup (cupcake liner) inside a cellophane bag on the bottom. Place apple on top of baking cup inside bag; gather bag closed, secure with ribbon and tie a bow.

To Make More Apples: Unlike other recipes, do not double this recipe to make eight (8) apples. If you would like to dip more apples, prepare a fresh batch of caramel with a clean bowl and utensils. The reason is because overflow can happen in the microwave with hot caramel which can be both dangerous and messy. Also, a small batch of caramel is more efficient to reach caramelization.

To Store: Store apples uncovered in the refrigerator until ready to eat, if eating them soon.

To Make Apples Easier to Eat: Use a sharp knife and cutting board to carefully slice both sides off the apple on either side of the stick. Then slice off the remaining two sides. Slice the halves into smaller sections.

Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
Salted Vanilla Caramel (Method): Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Caramel in the Microwave, March 1, 2011.
Salted Vanilla Caramel (Ingredients Ratio): Adapted from Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/slutty-caramel-apples-dairy-free-option/

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Welcome back my dear. So nice to see you here with a killer recipe. The title is a fun one;).
    First of all so glad you had a nice break, you deserve it. Thanks for the invite to the group boards, I am enjoying pinning.
    These treats are so yummy looking Stacy, I especially love the drizzle, ghosh it has all goodness going for it. A big bite of the apple might satisfy any kind of sweet craving. Love it girl.
    Hate scary movies, can’t wait them for even a minute…I was soooo freaked out after watching Sixth Sense, you cannot even imagine. Anyways, take care and hugs.

    • Thank you, Ash! It’s good to be back and getting creative in the kitchen. As always, thank you for your support. I’ve missed you! We need to catch up soon. xo

  2. You are brave soul – watching all those ghoulish movies! I am a total horror movie wimp – I cannot even watch Carrie without totally freaking out!
    So cool you get to do Halloween on Friday!
    Now to these slutty apples – I fall in that category of people who have not tried making caramel sauce – and am fascinated by yours – and these apples look like a sugar lovers dream! Thanks for sharing!
    And WELCOME BAAAACKKK! I missed ya but glad you got some rest!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted…3 Layer (peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate) Bars!My Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Shashi! It’s good to be back. Oh, our Halloween was wonderful! Beautiful weather…perfect for the kiddos in our neighborhood. I’m so glad Indiana postponed it by a day. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Arghhh, I can’t watch scary movies. Always nightmares that follow. But these caramel apples are not scary and I will love to try!!
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker recently posted…Pumpkin Coconut PieMy Profile

    • Ha! You, too? Thus far, comments reflect no horror or suspense film fans just scaredy cats. 😉 Thanks for stopping by, girl. Have a fabulous weekend!

  4. Welcome back Stacy! I’m so glad to hear that you got to take a much needed and well deserved break, sometimes a step back is exactly what our soul and spirit need 🙂
    Oh my goodness, can we talk about how incredible these look? I have never seen such a gorgeous decked out caramel apple – they look mouthwatering and so festive with the beautiful bows. I wish I was a kid again just so I could come trick-or-treating to your house for one of these apples – I would be in heaven 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Halloween and glad to see you back here again! Hope you have a sweet weekend:)
    Kelly recently posted…Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Reese’s Mini CupcakesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kelly! I greatly appreciate your kind words. You are just the sweetest. It is good to be back. Breaks are so important and I agree with you…essential for the spirit and soul. Thanks again, my friend! You have a wonderful weekend, too! xo

  5. Thanks goodness for the Big Lug convincing you to post this one, Stacy!! We have missed you and have been waiting for you to get back on the blogwave, what a great re-entry with these Slutty Treats!! Great post, comprehensive and very well done as per your usual work. Happy week to you and the BL!
    Dan from Platter Talk recently posted…Chocolate Hazelnut Candy BarsMy Profile

    • Aww…thank you, Dan! I’ve missed you and your blog as well, my friend. You are the sweetest and I appreciate your warm welcome back. Have a wonderful week!

  6. Glad to see you back, Stacy! 🙂

    I LOVE scary movies, but I’m more partial to the ones I grew up with- Freddy Krueger, Halloween, etc. 🙂 A fabulously creepy movie to check out if you haven’t seen it is A Tale of Two Sisters (it’s Korean).

    I’m diggin’ these slutty apples! They look absolutely divine!!

    • Thank you, Jennifer! Oh, I enjoy Halloween as well. I grew up watching it…it’s a classic! Freddy scared me when I was younger. Happened to catch Sisters (1973) by Brian De Palma one late night while on vacation. Although, I had the plot figured out from the beginning. The ending (about last 20 minutes of the film) were kind of interesting. I’m sure, back in the day, it was really good. Thank you for the film recommendation of A Tale of Two Sisters. Just went to IMDb to read about it. It is now in my Amazon cart! You are so good with film and TV entertainment recommendations. Thank you, my friend. Have a fabulous week!

  7. Welcome back Stacy! Missed you around here. Thanks for the invite to your board! 🙂 I’m so diggin’ this slutty caramel apples. A great way to start your post after your break! 🙂 Pinned! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Peanut Butter Cup Snack CakeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Anne! And, you are so very welcome. Glad to have you on my group boards over at Pinterest! Thanks for the pin, m’lady. Have a wonderful week!

  8. Your apples look incredible, I love all those “slutty” toppings! 🙂 Clearly your break inspired you in the kitchen and what a fine place to start!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…briocheMy Profile

    • Thank you, Laura! I appreciate your kind words, compliments and encouragement. The break felt great and I did come back feeling refreshed with new ideas. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  9. Someone walked by me when I was reading this post and they pretty much stopped in their tracks.. Slutty, what? Hahaha, brilliant.

    I love this post and how much spirit is there!

    Welcome back girl, so excited to see what you got up your sleeves! 🙂
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Creamy Cheesy Broccoli SoupMy Profile

    • Thank you, Pamela! Compliments coming from you about a Halloween recipe mean so much since you are such a lover of this fun holiday, like me. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous week!

  10. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    You’re back! Awesome!! And what a great way to be back, with these gorgeous apples. I’m suddenly starving!!

  11. Oh girl, these apples look TOO good to be true! I want to get down with one right now!
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted…Loxster RollsMy Profile

  12. Ooo you’re back!! And with a spooktacular post too! 🙂 hehe I don’t do well with scary movies or the holiday so I haven’t seen many of those movies you mentioned above – i probably wouldn’t be able to sleep at night 🙂 I adore these slutty apples!! ahh love the name!! Pinning for sure friend!!
    Julie @ Table for Two recently posted…Poblano Potato GratinMy Profile

    • Aww…Julie, you are the best! Yes, you kind of have to be into scary movies and the whole Halloween thing to watch the movies I listed. Thank you for the compliments, my friend. And, thank you for pinning! xo

  13. These look amazing! I love how the apples are piled high with toppings. Just how I like them!
    Rachel @ the dessert chronicles recently posted…Baked Apple Cinnamon OatmealMy Profile

  14. Oh wow — these are some decadent and fun looking caramel apples! What a treat! I haven’t seen that movie before, but love Halloween and spooky movies.
    Amy (Savory Moments) recently posted…Green tomato and apple chutneyMy Profile

    • Thanks, Amy! I’m glad to know that someone else enjoys spooky films. There are a bunch of scaredy cats around here, LOL!

  15. Oh, Stacy, you make me laugh! I’ve never heard of “slutty apples” before – you must’ve invented them! I”ll definitely not be able to eat just one! I wonder what my coworkers would think if I bring a couple of these “slutty” apples as my lunch?
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Pumpkin chili recipeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Julia! Glad I could make you laugh and smile. It was the whole point of this post with the “slutty” ingredients. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous week!

  16. WOAH!!! those are some loaded carmel apples!! Yum!!! DO you ship??? =)
    Mr. & Mrs. P recently posted…September and October Instagram RecapMy Profile

  17. So glad you took some time off – we all need to do that once in a while. I have to say I’m a chicken when it comes to scary movies ;). What a treat you’ve created!
    Jeanette recently posted…Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip RecipeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jeanette! Haha…there’s lots of you scaredy cats out there with spooky films. I hear ya though. Thanks for the compliments and for stopping by, my friend!

  18. Oh darn, I wish those Newman’s cookie were gluten-free, now you have me craving one!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted…Celery Root and Cauliflower Purée with Garlicky Greens (Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Paleo)My Profile

    • So true, Sylvie! I really don’t know what they were thinking at Newman’s Organics. They could have totally made Newman-O’s gluten free by using buckwheat flour vs. barley flour. Well, at least I have a special dairy and grain free treat I will be posting tomorrow for ya…moist, fudgy brownies! Thanks for stopping by, my friend! xo

  19. Oh dear, these would make anyone long of a little sluttiness. 😉
    Sommer@ASP recently posted…Quickie Kifli CookiesMy Profile

    • Well, hello there…Miss Sommer! So nice to see your pretty smiling face here in my comments section. A little foodie sluttiness can never hurt a girl. 😉 Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  20. These take caramel apples to a whoooooole new level of AMAZING. Obsessing over these super slutty apples!
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted…Biscoff Apple Empanadas & a Lucky 13 Recipe Contest + Lucky Leaf Giveaway!!My Profile

  21. LOVE the name of your apples and I’m drooling its tempting my sweet tooth to walk next door to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and getting something similar to yours! 🙂
    http://www.prettybitchescancooktoo.com
    Tamara Coleman recently posted…Bacon Breakfast TacosMy Profile

  22. Carnival of Souls!!!!!! Haunting and so very, VERY creepy! Thought I was the only one that had seen this movie as anyone (friends, family or recently acquainted) I’ve ever asked about it knows nothing about it and has never seen it. Like you, caught it late night without knowing the title until the very end when the title flashed again. Also, regularly, like grew up, watching “The Twilight Zone” every weekday evening at 6 PM. The hitchhiker episode was enough to make me never pick up a hitchhiker…inherent danger aside. Love these Halloween recipes and will be trying them. Had to comment to let you know that I, too, love those movies!

    • Hahaha! Thanks for writing, Deb! Carnival of Souls. Very haunting and creepy! I’m so glad I am not alone either in catching this film late night. I truly enjoyed The Twilight Zone growing up. Did you ever catch Kolchak: The Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin (who played the father in A Christmas Story)? Another good one! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I am glad that I’m not the only girl who enjoyed these types of films and TV shows growing up! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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