I didn't even realize until I was thinking of using the title, 'Grillcake Skewers, Caramel Apples & Spooky Treat Kabobs' that everything was on a stick. Hence the new title.
Today is another sweet post, so you may want to close your eyes, or risk 5 lbs. being added on!
So this weekend saw me in a sweet treat mood...not only was I working on my weekly treats for my friend's bookstore, I decided to take a stab at some few treat ideas for the Halloween season. But before I dive in, I wanted to share my entry into the fab Pizzazzerie's Cupcake Skewer Contest
....a twist on my grillcakes!
Sadly, I didn't win...I know, right? I though for sure the paper straws and the flags that say 'Well Done, Rare, Hickory' etc. would have been over the top and make me a shoo-in. That's OK, I had so much fun putting it together and my kids thoroughly enjoyed eating my creations!
I've never made caramel apples before. I have a fear of things that require a candy thermometer. Luckily, melting some caramels and a little water at 50% power requires neither specialized equipment nor major phobias.
Yeah, some of you will be saying in your snootiest voice, 'making the caramel yourself is so much tastier and better than buying it.' Ha, I say! You need said thermometer and what do you think I had kids for? They were unwrapping fools, and it doesn't take that long. Now if I were making a hundred apples, that would be a different story. I'm going to pass on a few nuggets of wisdom for all you out there wanting to take the plunge.
1. Don't make the caramel yourself. There are soooooooooo many different recipes and stuff that you will lose interest. Some have corn syrup, heavy cream, different types of sugar, vanilla, etc. etc. If you are a kick-ass baker/candy-maker, then by all means, go for it! Don't let them lie to you that it's easy. Hence the candy thermometer. If you screw it up, the batch is wasted. See what I mean?
2. If you are using store-bought (versus ones you picked yourself or from a farmer's market) apples, they have a layer of wax added that keeps them all shiny. Dip them first in boiling water for about 10 seconds, then wipe the wax off the apple. Trust me, I do great research before undertaking any project and the caramel will just slide off waxed apples.
3. Use chilled apples. It will make them set faster once you dip them in the caramel. Once again, everyone says use warm apples. No, cold is better.
4. Let the caramel drip off, scrap the bottoms and cool for a few seconds before adding topping. Can you tell which of my apples were cool and which ones weren't? (Hint, they are the ones sitting in a pool of caramel.)
5. If the apples aren't going to be eaten soon and it's humid/warm, you should keep them refrigerated, the caramel will become soft and slide off, even on dewaxed apples.
I can't wait to experiment with chocolate drizzle, cookie crumbles, etc. I'm feeling that I may use even smaller apples for our Halloween party, they were quite fun to make!
And speaking of Halloween, I'm already experimenting with treat ideas for school. Since all treats must be store-bought, I'm thinking about throwing my hat into the candy-kabob ring. Winco Foods has an awesome bulk food section, and I definately scored on appropriate gummy items...fangs, brains, pumpkins, worms of course, and sharks. Yeah, I know, sharks?
I use a metal skewer to make a hole to make my wooden skewer go in easier.
And then you just start putting your treats on! A pretzel rod treat bag, baker's twine and a fun tag from Eighteen25
and we're set! Now, I would just have to make 50 of them for both classes, so I may reconsider.