I have followed Amy's blog as long as I can remember and I absolutely love her and her cooking blog to pieces. Amy is always cooking something scrumptious and tasty on her blog besides working her awesome opera singer and voice teacher job. Amazing right?
Pregnancy cravings make you kinda batty for weird things. So when Amy, is loving all things with sweet and salty...I completely understand and I can totally sympathize. There were a couple weeks when all I wanted to eat were a basket of french fries with a large cold glass of lemonade. Actually I still crave this salty and sour combo, and I still get weak in the knees for my go-to comfort food of the moment.
I had seen a recurring theme in the past couple months from Amy's blog of caramel-related posts. Her take on Southern Caramel cake (inspired from the book/movie "The Help:), caramel popcorn, and salted caramel pumpkin blondies (which are totally perfect for Thanksgiving dessert). I knew that I wanted to make something with caramel and apples because they go together like peanut butter and jelly. I used the pie dough from my go-to pecan tart recipe, the apple filling from my go-to apple pie mixed with salted caramel sauce. It was a blissful bite-sized treat that I'm pretty Amy will love and a great dessert to share for this all-sweets themed baby shower.
Don’t miss any of the celebration and be sure to check out all of the other wonderful sweet treats at Sing for Your Supper and Apple a Day. Lots of well wishes for Amy and Joel on their upcoming precious little singer!
Salted Caramel Apple BitesOriginal Krystal recipe
Sweet Pie Dough:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature (1 stick)
1 bar of cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Salted Caramel Sauce (store bought or use this recipe)
2 1/2 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced, and diced into 1/2 inch bits (recommend Granny Smith, about 3 apples)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon tapioca pearls
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped finely
Garnishment: Sea Salt (if desired)
Prepare salted caramel sauce or use store bought (recommend Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel). Warm the salted caramel sauce in the microwave, and set aside.
In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, and butter. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula to mix it together or you may have to use your hands to incorporate all the dough together. Almost kneading the dough if necessary, the dough feels like sticky play dough. Set aside.
Peel, halve and core the apples. Cut each half into thin slices and small bits. Place apples in a large bowl and stir in the warmed salted caramel sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle the tapioca pearls in and mix to combine.
Prepare little balls of dough, about a quarter size to fill mini muffin pans. I use a mixture of mini muffin tins. (24 Cup Minis but I prefer these denser 12 cup ones). Place the balls into the muffin tins. Repeat with the rest of the sweet dough.
Using your fingers, shape the balls into the mini muffin tin and carefully press into the pan forming a mini tart crust. Make sure the bottoms are not too thin or the filling will seep through. Add about 1 tablespoon of apple filling into each tart. Top with 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans and if desired a pinch of sea salt on top of each bite.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest in the pans for at least 5 minutes, and place on cooling rack.
Yield: 2 dozen
Review: Sweet apple pie perfection. As I was sitting in the kitchen prepping away the batch, the lingering smell of sweet apples and caramel waved around our house like a tease. My husband and I were in love with them, and they were the perfect bite size treat. I also brought a platter to a family dinner and they were equally loved and devoured. It's a toss-up between these apple bites or my pecan tarts that everyone wants for Thanksgiving.