Monday, October 22, 2007

My October Cooking Class-Theme "Autumn Harvest"

I just made my center piece for my cooking class! I think it turned out just gorgeous!!! Elsa and I worked on it today, after shopping for the arrangement pieces. We were able to mix mostly real with some faux plants. Most of the pieces came from out in town. The real plants came from D-Plaza garden shop and the faux from a little shop in downtown Iwakuni. I am using one of my picnic baskets from Longaberger to hold it all.

Our Menu:

Indian Shuck Bread with Maple Butter
Pumpkin Curry Soup
Pear, Grape, and Pecan Salad
Roasted Wild Mushroom Steaks
Potatoes Anna
Apple-Pear Crumble Pies
Apple Cider

My gift to them are "Chocolate, Toffee Glazed Almond, Caramel Apples." When I was thinking about my theme and the gift, I had thought about my childhood and my mother had made candied apples for us for Halloween. I remember it very well and it was a special memory for me. I loved them so much! I thought I would share my childhood experience with them, too.
Here is the recipe to make them at home:

"Gourmet Caramel Apples"
6 Granny Smith apples
6 wooden sticks (I used chopsticks and wrapped ribbon around it)
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toffee glazed almonds
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased aluminum foil.
Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan.

Spread the "coating" out on a dinner plate. Roll the apples in the mixture to coat. Place on the aluminum foil and chill.

Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the apples and return them to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Different types of Apples you can make:
"Halloween Caramel Apples"
Orange and black Sprinkles
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
"Peanut Butter Crunch Caramel Apples"
3 cups chopped peanut butter filled sandwich cookies
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
"Smore's Caramel Candy Apples"
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 cup miniature peanut butter cups
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
"Seattle Caramel Apples"
3 cups trail mix
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
"Rocky Road"
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Get creative and make up your own!
Use Gummies,Pistachios, M&M's, Etc... :o)

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