I have to jump in here and say that this caramel contest has been a blast. Which brilliant girltalker came up with this idea anyways? (I won’t say who.) I mean, how many opportunities come along in life where you are obligated to prepare and consume numerous desserts? Does it get any better? I won’t say that it wasn't a lot of work; we were more than a little tired by the time we took this picture. And I didn't exactly enjoy cleaning up the big mess when the fun was over. But it was all worth it. Don’t be shocked if you find a similar contest showing up on the blog in the future…maybe “All Things Chocolate” should be next. Oh, and let me just state that the food pictured below is only some of what we made last week.
Today's big winners are Meredith Huspeni for Caramel Apple French Toast and Chasity Elseman for Caramel Apple Muffins. Delicious recipes ladies!
Caramel Apple French Toast
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 - 3 large tart apples, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 slices day-old French bread (3/4 inch thick)
In a small saucepan, cook brown sugar, butter and syrup until thick, about 5-7 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; arrange apples on top. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla. Dip bread slices into the egg mixture for 1 minute; place over apples. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350° for 35-40 minutes.
Caramel Apple Muffins
(From Southern Living)
* 1 (3-pound) bag small apples (12 to 14 apples)
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
* Quick Caramel Frosting
Peel, core, and cut 4 apples into 24 (1/4-inch-thick) rings. Sauté apple rings, in batches, in a lightly greased skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet, and place 1 apple ring in the bottom of each of 24 lightly greased muffin pan cups.
Peel and finely chop enough remaining apples to equal 3 cups. Set aside.
Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until blended. (Batter will be stiff.) Fold in finely chopped apples and 1 cup pecans.
Spoon batter evenly over apple rings in muffin pan cups, filling cups three-quarters full.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan, and cool, apple rings up, on a wire rack.
Press the handle of a wooden spoon gently into the center of each apple ring, forming a 1-inch-deep indentation in the muffins. Spoon warm Quick Caramel Frosting evenly over muffins, filling indentations. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans.