Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Foto: Caramel Apples

It's no secret that, from time to time, Kelli and I can have a bit of a sweet tooth. (Marin, I'm guessing, will have a sweet tooth, too, at such point as she has more teeth. She's currently at 6 and counting, with numbers 7 and 8 currently breaking through...) We'll often have a small portion of some kind of dessert a few nights a week after dinner. Usually it's cookies, or a sliver of pie, or scones, or as with one night earlier this week, some leftover corn tortillas from a taco dinner that became cinnamon-sugar tortillas for dessert. Our belief (or perhaps it's a rationalization?) is that a little dessert in moderation on a fairly regular basis prevents mega-binges that would really throw us under the dietary bus.

Even so, from time to time, we feel a little more indulgent and crave a sugar bomb. More often than not, the craving comes in the form of a caramel apple. (And with a crunchy, fresh apple underneath all that caramel, it almost feels sorta a loaded with sugar kind of way.) Oftentimes, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory - ubiquitous throughout Colorado - delivers. But for us, the creme de la creme are the caramel apples at a little candy shop in Estes Park, the gateway community on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park about one hour north and west of us.

Lately, though, Kelli's been using our candy thermometer and a good bit of persistence to develop our own caramel apple recipe. Sure, there are plenty of recipes out on the Internet. But we wanted something that was distinctly NGNP, and which suited our tastes...just the right sweetness, just the right richness to the caramel, just the right soft-yet-firm texture.

Our (Kelli's) early attempts were a bit like Goldilocks trying the porridge of the three bears - too hot, too cold, just right. One round of caramel apples looked beautiful initially, but as the caramel cooled and set up, it became hard and brittle. On another occasion, it was too liquid, running off the sides of the apples and pooling in the tray on which they were standing. Now, we're very close. I think one more round of testing to confirm that the recipe works, and we'll be ready to share it here. Hooray! Until then, I hope today's Friday Foto makes you drool just a little bit. I know that I, for one, could go for a caramel apple right about now...

Have a great weekend.

- Pete


theMom said...

These look truly amazing. I don't think I love caramel apples well enough to go to all the work however.

Good for Kelli, though. It's great to feel the satisfaction of developing something that's just right!

Jen said...

Sounds yummy, can't wait to see the recipe and try it out!

GFDINER - Kathy said...

WOW. You have made my day. I love caramel apples and haven't had one since no gluten 1 1/2 years ago. Please pass on when you get it right. Thanks for all the work Kelli. I love your blog. I have started a new one
check out
Have a great weekend and happy cooking and eating.

peterbronski said...

Hi theMom... Yeah, making the caramel requires quite a bit of attention, especially to temperature as you're heating the sugar.

Hi Jen... Thanks! Recipe will be posted soon (just need to make another batch of apples...yum!).

Hi Kathy... So happy to have made your day! Thanks for sharing your blog. I look forward to checking it out.

Cheers, Pete

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Caramel apples are something I typically indulge in rarely. They are so gooey, but tasty. I remember putting our son in the bathtub to eat one when he was little. LOL It worked and he didn't care. ;-) Yours look really good!


Kat said...

If you tell me they are dairy free as well I will be in love....

Can't wait to see the final recipe.