Usually when my folks come to visit us, we end up taking a trip to the outlet mall. One store we always seem to make a stop in happens to be a Chocolate shoppe. In their front window, they boast a HUGE copper pot which is used to make their gourmet apples. Try as we might... when my mom is with me, we cave and buy one.
I let that primal urge for needing chocolate covered apples be my inspiration for this month's bake sale and made some gourmet apples of my own.
For baking and eating purposes, I usually stick to Breaburn apples. sometimes a Fuji.. OCCASIONALLY a Gala.. but mostly I'm a Breaburn girl. However... when it comes to gourmet apples.. I personally feel that nothing beats a Granny Smith.
I've said before how I love caramel, so it should be no surprise that I started this batch of 'healthy desserts' by a generous dunk in caramel. I used the Kraft caramels.. which was much easier than making my own caramel.. but I assure you that unwrapping about 50 of those little squares was mundane. I just know I like the taste of Kraft caramels and can count on them to melt and re-form well.
after the caramel set, I coated each apple in a mix of chocolate bark and baker's chocolate (I do not like the taste of store-bought chocolate bark.. bleh! so I always add in a better quality chocolate to the mix to make it taste like REAL chocolate. for things I serve at my house or that I know I will eat, I typically skip the use of bark and go straight to Dove or Ghiradelli or Hersheys.)
I let the chocolate cool slightly, then rolled 2 in crushed Heath Bar pieces. I topped another 2 with a store-bought jar of nestle's rocky road-flavored ice cream mix-ins. the last apple was topped with mini m&ms. (speaking of; does anyone know how I can buy those? I snagged a little snack-pack that my daughter had gotten in a goody bag from school, but couldn't find them anywhere in the store?)
Lastly, I drizzled just a little more chocolate on top of the whole mess and packaged them up to sell. When all was said and done, each apple weighed over a pound. now THAT'S my idea of health food!
LESSONS LEARNED: I'm not sure how they sold, and I know that while they were packaged nice enough, I think it was really hard to see them under all the plastic wrap. Given the state of hurried buying that happens in the hall after mass, I'm not sure potential buyers would get the full effect of their looks. I know, cause I'm one of the buys, and dealing with people in front of and behind me, and holding on to my daughter.. well.. it's more of a get-in-and-buy-and-get out mentality at the table. I don't really get to PERUSE the goods like I would elsewhere. so perhaps I'll try to find a better way to present them. a giant clear box would be good, I think.