Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our trip to Riley's Farm was not only fun, it inspired Emilee and I to make homemade caramel apples.  This recipe is sinful and decadent, and definetely worth repeating.  I got a little involved chatting and didn't measure the brown sugar accurately...not the best idea.  Made for some VERY chewy caramel.  So measure carefully, but enjoy! 

Caramel-Dipped Apples

1 1-pound box dark brown sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

12 chopsticks
12 medium apples
Assorted decorations (such as chopped nuts, dried apricots and dried cranberries, toffee bits, mini M&M's and candy sprinkles) Melted dark, milk and/or white chocolates

Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan (about 3 inches deep). Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes.

Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with clean wooden spatula and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl (do not scrape pan). Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel; cool, without stirring, to 200°F, about 20 minutes.

While caramel cools, line 2 baking sheets with foil; butter foil. Push 1 chopstick into stem end of each apple. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.

Holding chopstick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. Place coated apple on prepared foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.

Chill apples on sheets until caramel is partially set, about 15 minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple; return to foil. Repeat with remaining apples.

Firmly press decorations into caramel; return each apple to foil. Or dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week.

Bon App├ętit
October 1999

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An apple a day

Who knew you could pick apples in Southern California??  Deciding to ignore the heat and participate in some serious fall festivities, we headed to the hills with our friends the Cooks in search of the juiciest apple.  Riley's Farm did not disappoint.  Granted, it was quirky. Half was themed "Colonial" and half "Revolutionary"so there were costumed employees, complete with blacksmith, white-haired judges, soldiers, and peasants.  There were mock rile shootings, trials, and farming.  After growing up in Virginia, it seemed very "Jamestown-esque" or "Williamsburg-y", only tiny and very random.  But the apples were begging us to pick them, and we found them to be truly scrumptious.  And who doesn't enjoy a good rile line-up now and then?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sweet Love

Wedding weekend in the Maschhoff household!  My beloved sister-in-law Kristine traded in her last name for a really great guy last Saturday.  We are thrilled to have Michael Eller join the fam. 

While it was unseasonably HOT last weekend in Southern California, the festivities were endless and the wedding timeless.  Joe was honored to perform the wedding ceremony for Kristine and Michael, and did awesome.  I wondered whether the tears would flow, but he remained composed and gave an inspiring charge to both those in attendance, as well as Michael and Kristine.  Noelle was pleased to be asked to be a flower girl at the ceremony, but this flower wilted under the pressure.  Tears DID flow, and she instead made a very beautiful niece on a church pew. 

Micheal and Kristine's reception took place in a vintage car museum...so cool.  We loved the street tacos, the champagne bar, the 'shake your booty' music that we didn't recognize (it was a humbling moment in realizing my age), how they smeared cake on each other's faces, the gorgeous table settings, and most of all... Michael and Kristine Eller! 

Here's to Michael and Kristine....may your love deepen and grow, may your marriage be filled with blessings, and may you more acutely know and experience the depths of your Savior as you live this new life united as one.  We love you!

The flower girl and a precious niece and nephew

The Bride and Groom
 The Kiss! (I like Lee's thumbs-up of approval)

Presented to you for the first time....Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eller

The post cake-smashing make-up smooch!