Do you have a special something you make each year at this time?
My mother and dad worked together to bake yeast rings with fruit and nuts to share with others. I can still remember the fun they had as they cooked, and the joy of the recipients as I helped make the deliveries. Several years ago I started making hot mustard sauce from the Denton Woman's Club Cookbook and the semi-hot sweet pickles I call Mean Green Pickles to share with friends, so I save small glass jars all year long.
Louise Brooks has a unique gift she and her two granddaughters make each year that I'm sharing with you today - caramelized apples, as beautiful as the ones Neiman Marcus sells. She follows the directions on the back of a 14-ounce package of Kraft caramels.
Louise says they make as many as 50 each year, working assembly-style - a tradition the granddaughters will always treasure!
• one 14-ounce package of Kraft caramels
• 5 medium apples (Red Delicious or Honey Crisp are best)
• 2 tablespoons water
Cover a large plate with wax paper. Grease well with butter. Set aside.
Insert wooden sticks (they come with the package) into tops of apples.
Place caramels and water in large saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted.
Dip apples into melted caramel until evenly coated, spooning caramel over apples, if necessary. Let excess caramel drip off. Scrape off bottoms of apples, then place on buttered wax paper. Refrigerate.
That's where the package directions end, but the Brooks girls take it further by redipping in chocolate but not covering all the caramel coating. You may also roll the apples in finely chopped pecans or just sprinkle a few on top.
To make the finished product, wrap in red cellophane and tie with a bow, tucking in a sprig of holly.
Note: Louise says tongue depressors (found at most drugstores) are actually better than the wooden popsicle sticks inserted in the apples, as they are sturdier and the apples won't fall off as easily.
MARTHA LEN NELSON can be contacted by calling her at 940-382-9597 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .