Trick or TrEat Taffy Crabapples
I am always amazed when stores start displaying Halloween merchandise in August. A part of me grunts "don’t rush it people! Enjoy the rest of the summer!" while I secretly start to giggle at the prospect of gobblins and witches knocking at the door on Halloween night. Halloween is not part of our rituals where I am from. We honor the departed the day after, usually with a trip to church and a visit to the cemetary. That’s heavy when you’re a kid. Even if kids here only think of dressing up, I am much too happy to oblige in their "Trick Or Treat". I am even happier to make a couple of inspired Halloween treats for us, like these Taffy Crabapples.
Ever since Bill welcomed me home with a basket of crabapples upon returning from San Francisco, I have had it in my head to make little taffy crabapples. When I got an email from Brooke from Tongue And Cheeky asking me if I wanted to be part of her Trick or TrEat project, I jumped on the occasion. Not that I need an excuse to make up for Halloweens past and I certainly don’t need an excuse to play with caramel.
What is Trick or TrEat? Well, today, nine favorite food, craft and lifestyle bloggers await behind nine haunted houses with an array of holiday treats created just for you. At the end of this post, you will find two of these mystery houses. To join in the holiday fun, simply click on one of the buttons and you’ll be linked to the next home on the block. You can also discover all of the Trick-Or-TrEat contributors and find direct links to their posts on the Trick Or TrEat website.
We did get a bonus Halloween moment the day after I made these. The humidity and heat in South Carolina caused the taffy to bubble up, giving the crabapples an unflattering pustular look. I thought that was pretty hilarious and decided to tuck at one just to see how the taffy coating would react. It opened up like a pretty wrapper and revealed the crabapple inside giving me the perfect photo op. Who would have thought? I guess that’s Halloween: you never know what is really around the corner!
Will I be nice witch or a wicked one on Halloween night? Ahahahah! Happy Halloween!
Whose houses are next to visit on the block? Check after the jump!
This is a great recipe to get the kids involved in the kitchen with you. Do prepare the taffy coating yourself (there is hot caramel and bubbling action there) but let them dip the apples and play with shaking them to let the extra caramel coating drip off. If the stems of the apples are too short or too flimsy, stab a lollipop stick right at the stem and dip. I left the taffy crabapples plain, but you can certainly roll them in chopped nuts, chopped chocolate, nonpareils, etc…
Makes about 16 coated mini apples.
12 lady apples
1 cup (200gr) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
wooden skewers or thin lollipop sticks to hold (optional)
Line a bkaing sheet with either some slightly greased parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
Place the sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan set over medium high heat. Slowly let the sugar melt and turn into caramel. This method is called a dry caramel and can be a bit tricky. If you are not comfortable with it, add up to 1/4 cup water to your saucepan and slowly bring the sugar to caramel color.
Standing back a bit, carefully add the butter, heavy cream and salt. Do not worry, it will bubble like mad. When the bubbling slows down, stir the mixture until smooth.
Carefully dip the crabapples into the hot taffy and twirl them above the pan to let the excess drip off. Place the dipped apples onto your prepared baking sheet and let set.
To see what other Trick-Or-TrEat hosts have cooked up for your viewing pleasure, click on the links at the bottom of the house drawings, not the houses themselves.
Right: Jaime at Sophistimom. Left: Megan at Not Martha.
Maria October 26, 2009 um 3:59 pm
What a fun Halloween treat! I love your photos!
kat October 26, 2009 um 4:05 pm
When I click on the houses- tells me I don't have permission to view the photos on flickr
Lisa @celebrate CREATIVITY October 26, 2009 um 4:06 pm
What a wonderful browse. Great photos too.
I've now bookmarked you and I'll pop in again sometime.
Helene October 26, 2009 um 4:07 pm
Kat: click on the links at the bottom of the drawings and you will be directed to the other hosts' posts.
sweetakery October 26, 2009 um 4:19 pm
oh wow! what a yumm Halloween treat! beautiful photos…and i want some taffy crabapples!
megan October 26, 2009 um 4:24 pm
These are adorable and so cute as well.
Julie October 26, 2009 um 4:27 pm
Lovely!! I wanted to do crabapples – love the tartness with the sweet coating – but we had early snow and freezing at the beginning of October, and all my apples froze right on the tree! Then turned to mush as they thawed. Boo!!
Alexandra October 26, 2009 um 4:47 pm
Hello! A great way to 'adultify' a childhood favorite!
You have an eye for innocently sexy compositions…
Patricia Scarpin October 26, 2009 um 4:51 pm
These are much too cute! I don't even know if there are crabapples here in Brazil, but I did see them in England last month. They are so tiny and yummy and you've taken them to a whole new level, Helen – a level of deliciousness. 😉
Carrie October 26, 2009 um 5:16 pm
Ooo..this recipe sounds perfect. Our farmer's market last Saturday had some darling crabapples and I wasn't sure what to do with them. They were a bit tart but I bet with the taffy they would be perfect. Thank you so much for the post. Carrie
Jessica October 26, 2009 um 5:26 pm
OMGOSH I am loving this recipe! I can't wait to try it!
RecipeGirl October 26, 2009 um 5:26 pm
Very nice job Helen… I'm not positive I've ever seen a crabapple! They're so cute! I did a caramel apple recently- my first time. I don't really like to eat them, but making them was fun. Beautiful, fun photos!
All About Food October 26, 2009 um 5:32 pm
I will definitely eat, thank you! Especially these cute little taffy apples. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing!
laura October 26, 2009 um 5:55 pm
YUM! love these!
El October 26, 2009 um 6:19 pm
They look delicious!
Jane October 26, 2009 um 6:39 pm
How beautiful! I've never seen a run-of-the-mill photo or recipe on your blog. You set the standard, Helen! Wonderful.
Basht October 26, 2009 um 6:53 pm
I wish the kids around here still trick or treated… last year a total of 3 children came knocking. And giving out homemade treats doesn't work here, the parents never let them have something that isn't prepackaged. Which is sad because those look like the perfect thing.
TheBellaLife October 26, 2009 um 7:16 pm
Absolutely Lovely! Not only yummy… but beautiful. You amaze me.
Lauren October 26, 2009 um 8:44 pm
Loving the photos =D. Those crabapples look fantastic! Love the idea of using taffy!
Rachel October 26, 2009 um 8:54 pm
Helen – these are beautiful!I am curious what makes them taffy apples instead of caramel apples.
Where I am from taffy is a softer candy in between a marshmallow and carmael intexture, and flavored with all sorts of things. Often pastel rainbow colors.
Annemarie October 26, 2009 um 9:42 pm
Sigh – Just. So. Beautiful. Reminds me that I don't visit your blog often enough!
Bee October 26, 2009 um 9:43 pm
I already have a long list of Halloween treats to make — I'm about to roll out gingerbread dough for bats in a minute — but I think that I will have to add this recipe, too.
Your pictures are just fabulous. I didn't realize how tiny those apples were until they were put into perspective by your (?) lips.
pigpigscorner October 26, 2009 um 9:56 pm
Those apples are so cute!! I've never seen such tiny apples.
test it comm October 26, 2009 um 10:07 pm
Great photos! Despite the fact that my grandparents used to have two crab apple trees, I have yet to try them. This sounds like a great way to get into them.
Rose October 26, 2009 um 10:51 pm
Oh my those are DARLING! I've been seeing crabapples at my local market and haven't had a recipe to use them with!
These are adorable!
La Cuisine d'Helene October 26, 2009 um 11:41 pm
These apples are stunning. Love the concept of Trick or Eat.
Sunshinemom October 26, 2009 um 11:57 pm
I love the pictures!! Did you texturise them? They look so different from your usual style. Very beautiful!
Jo October 27, 2009 um 12:09 am
What a nice treat and I don't think I've ever seen these in Singapore. The pics are great as usual but I particularly like the last one … was it you Helen?
spicyicecream October 27, 2009 um 1:08 am
These are so gorgeous!! I'm always a little sad that we don't celebrate Halloween in Australia (or have great pumpkins in October) it looks like so much fun!
Engineer Baker October 27, 2009 um 1:10 am
So fun! This makes me want to skip on home and steal some crabapples off the tree in the front of my parents' yard. And I can't explain why, but I love that last photo. It's very different from your usual style.
La Tartine Gourmande October 27, 2009 um 2:42 am
The opening photo and the one with la bouche are pretty cool!
Nutmeg Nanny October 27, 2009 um 2:43 am
Those little crab apples look adorable! All I can think about when I see them is how my brothers would pick baskets of them (from our tree) and then wait for me to walk outside and chase me around the yard and pelt them at me…hahaha.
Helene October 27, 2009 um 2:55 am
Bascht: here too kids don't take homemade treats from people but these were going to the neighbors' kids so it's all good.
Rachel: we have salt water taffy here too. I would call them toffee apple myself but the recipes I have seen always call them taffy apples so I went with it.
Sushinemom: no textures but a couple of presets.
Thank you everyone!
Cakelaw October 27, 2009 um 3:37 am
These are neat!
Anita October 27, 2009 um 5:23 am
hehehe – great idea – both with the crabapples and the Trick-Or-Eat hosts 🙂
Simones Kitchen October 27, 2009 um 7:27 am
Halloween is not really big here although it becomes more of a 'thing' lately but still having halloween in the stores in August is probably not gonna happen.. 🙂 I love these little caramel apples! Gorgeous!
Kate – Aapplemint October 27, 2009 um 11:01 am
absolutely stunning pictures Helene !
Amanda October 27, 2009 um 11:46 am
Found your blog through recipe girl by following the houses, love it! Subscribing 🙂
Barbara October 27, 2009 um 11:56 am
That first photo is dear.
When I was young we were never allowed to eat crabapples. Can't imagine why except they aren't always sweet and they made our dog sick!
Katie October 27, 2009 um 12:07 pm
They are so adorably cute!! Crabapples can be quite tart but their sugar coating would be brilliant. Almost too good to eat!
Chocolate Shavings October 27, 2009 um 1:40 pm
Those are really quite adorable! I just made caramel apples – but I'll keep this in mind for my next batch of freshly picked apples!
Silvia October 27, 2009 um 3:24 pm
Wow! I once wrote a comment on Jen's blog saying that I found your blog intimidating because everything looks soo pretty, but I think I will make those cute caramel apples with my 6-year-old daughter. Here in Mexico we celebrate "el dia de los muertos" on the 1st and 2nd of November with some special bread (pan de muerto) and decorated altars and we remember loved ones who have passed away by cooking their favourite meals. Happy Halloween!
Ivy October 27, 2009 um 3:53 pm
Oh so cute!
I really, really love crab apples too but, it's hard to get my hands on them here. 🙂
Have a lovely day!
Mrs. Stoyko October 27, 2009 um 6:03 pm
The first shot, the hand holding the apple, is to me, a thing of beauty and I just thought you should know. It stopped me in my tracks… beautiful capture, and beautiful apples! There are so many inspiring creative people in the food blog world, what feast for the eyes!
Joy October 28, 2009 um 2:01 am
Those are so adorable! I just saw crab apples at the farmer's market last weekend and was so curious to know what they taste like. I hope they still have some when I go back so I can get a couple. This is the perfect size for caramel apples because I always end up eating just a fourth of them.
morgana October 28, 2009 um 12:30 pm
Lovely pics and treats. It's the firt time I know about crabapples and the y look really good.
Cyndi October 28, 2009 um 11:05 pm
Very cute! The perfect size for a snack!
Ash October 29, 2009 um 1:21 am
Stunning! You always do an amazing job!!
I need to get my hands on some of those little apples cause I so want to make these now!
Amy J in SC October 30, 2009 um 4:14 pm
Great idea and like always love the photography!
Vicki October 30, 2009 um 7:26 pm
These are adorable! And as always, you make it seem within the realm of possiblity for a novice baker to make.
Anonymous October 31, 2009 um 3:01 pm
Thanks for the recipe! Loved by all the children in the house. We made today's blog entry in your honour. 🙂
Helene October 31, 2009 um 3:07 pm
thirtydirtyfingers: Thanks for the feedback! And the thank you for the blog entry, too kind!
Stephanie October 31, 2009 um 8:04 pm
These are really beautiful. I've been on an apple kick since they came into season and made my first batch of honey caramel apples. The didn't look so nice as these so I'm going to take some notes. (I did however make a steller apple bacon cheddar sandwich!)
So glad I stumbled onto your blog. Thanks for sharing.
My Sweet & Saucy November 2, 2009 um 6:40 am
These are adorable!!!
Unknown August 31, 2010 um 6:39 pm
Where in San Fran did he get the crabapples? I would drive the 5 hours to go get them. I make spiced crabapples, and would love to be able to add them to homemade applesauce!
Helene August 31, 2010 um 8:58 pm
Tiffani: I think there is a misunderstanding, I was talking about how last year my husband welcomed me home with a basket of crabapples after my trip to SF.