It can’t be just me… you know the mom that thinks ‘oh yes I can make that’. And not only can I make it, ‘I should make it with the kids’. I would like to think many parents have made things with their children that did not always turn out as planned or pictured. Sometimes it is hard not to get caught up in the picturesque world of Pinterest. As of recently I have tried very hard to take the pressure off of myself and just focus on making positive memories. I had mentioned to my oldest son the idea of making our own caramel apples. One mention of it and he would not let me live it down. I have to admit, I thought it would be a fun activity as well. It would allow him to help me decorate them and we could enjoy a fall activity together.
I recently saw a picture of dipped apple slices and thought that this would be way easier for everyone to eat and enjoy. They seem not only more manageable but we could decorate them in different ways.
While my little sou chef was chopping at the bit to get started I knew I needed to have all my ducks in a row. I sent him outside to make himself busy while I got busy prepping. Naturally I gathered all of my supplies: apples, sticks, caramels, chocolate chips, m&m’s, crushed Oreo, crushed pretzels, and peanuts. I rolled out a piece of parchment paper and organized everything frantically, while my four year old was outside digging his way to “buried treasure”. I began slicing the apple long ways and sticking the stick up the middle of the apple slice. Crack! The slice broke in half…awesome, let’s try that again. Crack goes another one! Rookie mistake! I should have grabbed Popsicle sticks to use instead of the skewered ones I was suckered into buying next to the apples in the grocery store. I grabbed one of the thicker slices and tried one more time to no avail. Screw this! I went over to my fruit bowl and grabbed three more apples and stuck the skewers into the tops of them. I bagged the slices of apple (I basically mutilated) and left it off to the side. Silver-lining, I have apples already sliced and ready to go for my little ones. People pay big money for that at the store. Just cut the apple yourself…
Now that I had a more definite plan I went ahead and melted my caramel in one bowl, my chocolate chips in another, and crushed up some of the goodies for us to decorate with. I called my dirty little boy in for him to wash up and get ready to help make these apples. He was so excited to walk in and see the set up. You must be thinking why does she have all of these ingredients out! Remember my previous statement about making everything perfect? Well I cannot do just “plan caramel apples”. Oh no! I had to go all Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and do “gourmet apples”. Side note- if you have never had one of their apples you MUST have one.
Once he was washed up, I asked him what toppings he wanted to use on his apple. As I turn to look at him I notice my 18 month old climbing up on the chair to join his older brother. I now have two little sou chefs. I began coating the apple in the caramel and realized that the toppings were now being “taste tested” by my sou chefs. Okay no biggie…we are making memories. I allowed the oldest to sprinkle on what he wanted and bit my tongue as I saw these apples were coming out nothing at all like what I had envisioned. We drizzled on some of the melted chocolate and ended up adding EVERY topping imaginable on them. We were about 1 and half apples in and both my sou chefs decided to bail on me. I guess they had their fair share of toppings. We had caramel all over the place, chocolate all over both of their mouths, and I am pretty sure a trail of candy out the back door to the yard.
I decided to finish the job and at this point and was more than ready to clean the sticky off my children, my kitchen, and myself. Once decorated, I sat the apples on the parchment paper to dry and realized I still had some caramel and melted chocolate left over. I grabbed a few of the apple slices and some pretzel sticks and coated them in both the caramel and chocolate and placed them on the parchment paper as well.
As I stood there looking at the mess we had created I see that all of the toppings are now bottoms. Everything was slowly sliding down the apple morphing into an even scarier sight. Perfect! The apples are now sitting in a puddle of caramel with random treats floating around the apples.
Working on staying positive during a very sticky, not at all what I had pictured event, I decided to use a play on words and call our apples “scary caramel apples”. They sure did look scary! Ha! Rest assured they tasted better than they looked.
In the future, I will definitely do things differently from this experiment. Lessons were learned, apples were made into diabetic coma pops, and memories were made. This was fun.