Candy Apple Pie

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

Candy Apple Pie? Say what? This is a twist on the basic apple pie you know and love. Because sometimes your apple pie needs a little kick in the…pie hole.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m a recipe hoarder? I have tons of recipes clipped from magazines and printed from the internet in the hopes of trying them all. Most of these have been around for a couple decades (Gasp! Am I that old?), like one I had printed out from allrecipes for Candy Apple Pie. I was intrigued by the concept and for years wanted to make it, but never got around to it. Until now. Their recipe seemed okay, but I didn’t like how the apples got cooked on the stove and then just plopped into a pie shell without baking. I wanted a real apple pie, but one that tasted like a candy apple from the fair. (‘Cause really, how many of us can actually EAT those things??) So I used the basic apple pie recipe that I’m used to and tweaked it for this purpose.

{Full recipe at bottom of post}

Start by peeling, coring, and slicing 5 large Granny Smith apples (or other tart apple). You need a generous 6 cups. Make sure you get the big ones or you will need more apples. I love my “Apple Peeler Corer Slicer” that I got from Pampered Chef many years ago. It really makes the job easy. If you make a lot of apple pies, you need this!

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. Add the flour and sugar and mix well. (I just use my hands!) Then add the cinnamon imperials (or Red Hots) and the cinnamon oil. (The flavoring is optional but bumps up the cinnamon flavoring and I recommend it.) Mix again to make sure the candies are dispersed well throughout.

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

This is the Lorann Cinnamon Oil flavoring I used. Just 6 drops will do it! The bottle is really tiny, but you only need a little bit. I got mine from Amazon, but I’ve also seen it at Hobby Lobby craft store.

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

Place one of the prepared pie crusts into your pie plate and spread your apple filling evenly into the crust.

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

With the other pie crust that goes on the top, I thought I’d make little heart cut-outs since Valentine’s Day is coming up. It will need some kind of venting for the air to escape if you don’t have a tiny cutter like mine. (Mine is from a set of heart cutters used for fondant.) Just make some slits in the top instead.

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

Cover the apple filling with the other pie crust. Tuck the top crust edge under the bottom crust edge and crimp together to seal.

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

Place on a baking sheet lined with foil to catch any leakage and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for an hour. (After about 40 minutes or so, the edges will be browned. You will probably need to cover those edges with foil so they don’t burn before the pie is done.)

When nice and golden brown, remove from oven and cool for 1-2 hours. Make sure it’s cool before serving or the filling will not be set up and it will just run all over.

Candy Apple Pie ~ Zim on a Whim

Also check out my Red Hot Love Fudge recipe for another Valentine’s Day treat!

Candy Apple Pie

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com and combined with my own apple pie recipe.

Ingredients:

5 large Granny Smith apples, or enough tart apples to make 6 generous cups
2 prepared pie crusts (I use Pillsbury brand found in the refrigerator section of your grocery store, but homemade is even better!)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon imperials (or Red Hots) – same as a 4 oz. jar
Optional but recommended: 6 drops LORANN Cinnamon Oil, and coarse decorating sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel, core, and slice apples to make a generous 6 cups. Place in large mixing bowl.
Add flour and sugar and mix. (I just use my hands.)
Sprinkle in cinnamon imperials and add 6 drops only of the cinnamon oil flavoring (if using).
Mix well so candies are dispersed throughout.
Place one pie crust on your pie plate. Smooth it out flat against pie plate and don’t worry about edges yet.
Fill the pie shell with the apple mixture and spread evenly.
Unroll the second pie crust and place it on top of the apples. (If desired, cut out heart shapes from a tiny cutter before placing on top.)
Tuck the top pie crust edges under the bottom pie crust edges and crimp together to seal. Press down the sealed edges on your pie plate.
If you didn’t cut out the heart shapes, make several slits in the top crust for the air to escape.
Place on foil lined cookie sheet and into a preheated oven.
After a few minutes in oven, you can sprinkle the coarse decorating sugar on top.
Bake for 60 minutes. (After about 40 minutes, check the edges and cover just the edges with foil if they are getting too brown.)
Remove from oven and cool for 1-2 hours before serving so filling is set.

Enjoy!

Micha

 

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“King Cone” Ice Cream Cake

King Cone Ice Cream Cake | Zim on a Whim

It’s just not summer without the sound of the Good Humor truck cruising through the neighborhood. It keeps at a pace that’s just slow enough to grab your money if you hear it in time, yet quick enough to evoke a bit of anxiety in every child so they run out yelling, “STOP!” so as not to miss it.

Along comes the Summer 2013 edition of the Kraft Food & Family magazine and low and behold is the Sundae Cone Cake they have created. As soon as I saw it, I knew we had to try and make this. I love Good Humor’s King Cone – it’s an ice cream sundae in a cone. This “cake” was a big hit here and not that hard to do.

All you need are these ingredients…

King Cone Ice Cream Cake | Zim on a Whim

…some foil, a big bowl, and a microwave to melt the chocolate.

Line a big bowl with some foil, pack in the slightly softened vanilla ice cream, and press some of the cone pieces into it to form a “crust”.

King Cone Ice Cream Cake | Zim on a Whim

Freeze for about 4 hours, remove from freezer, and unmold onto a plate. Press the rest of the cone pieces into the side of the cake.

King Cone Ice Cream Cake | Zim on a Whim

Melt the chocolate and stir in the oil. Cool slightly, then drizzle over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with crushed nuts.

King Cone Ice Cream Cake | Zim on a Whim

And that’s it! A delicious, no-bake dessert that is easier than running after an ice cream truck.

I hope everyone is having a good summer so far!
~Micha

“King Cone” Ice Cream Cake (recipe from Kraft)

Ingredients:
1 tub of vanilla ice cream, slightly softened (1.75 qt.)
6 sugar cones, divided
4 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Squares
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Directions:
1. Using the back of a spoon, pack the softened ice cream into a foil-lined 1-1/2 qt. bowl. Crush 4 sugar cones and place over the ice cream. Press them gently into the ice cream to form a crust. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.

2. Unmold cake into plate. Remove foil. Break up remaining cones into pieces and press them into the side of the cake.

3. Melt the chocolate according to package instructions. (Use medium power and do it in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval). Stir in the oil and let it cool slightly. Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve!

* You can make this ahead of time and store in the freezer for up to 3 days. Before serving, remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to make serving easier.

Mini “Sno-Caps” Cupcakes

I happened to be walking down the candy aisle in the grocery store when these cupcakes popped into my head. It took me a couple of weeks before I finally decided on how I wanted to make them. (I must have a thing for combining my favorite candy with cupcakes, as you can see from my Good & Plenty cupcakes!) For these little yummy treats, I baked up some chocolate mini cupcakes, frosted them with dark chocolate icing, and topped them with my own dark chocolate nonpareils or “Sno-Caps”.  Nestle’s Sno-Caps are so tiny and bite-sized that I thought the cupcakes should be as well.

Here’s how I made them in more detail:
1) Bake a batch of mini cupcakes in a mini muffin pan using cake mix from a box or your favorite chocolate cake recipe. (I used Duncan Hines Devil’s Food flavor because it’s my favorite!) They take only 15 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

2) Let cupcakes sit in muffin pan for 5-10 minutes after baking and then remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

*I made 48 mini cupcakes and still had leftover batter. The frosting recipe and instructions for the nonpareils are for 48 mini cupcakes. I just used the rest of the batter to try out my whoopie pie pan and froze the cakes for another time! 🙂

3) While mini cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting.

Dark Chocolate Frosting
Ingredients:
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
*****************************
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a small but heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with butter, milk, and salt. Stir constantly (so chocolate doesn’t burn) until thick and smooth. This should only take a few minutes. Remove from heat. Add in the vanilla and stir a little to combine. Pour into a mixing bowl, scraping with a spatula to get all the chocolate into the bowl. Add in the powdered sugar. Blend on low speed with mixer to combine, and then beat on higher speed until well combined. The frosting should be thick and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

4) To make your “Sno-Caps” you’ll need:

6 oz. or more of white nonpareils (small, ball-shaped sprinkles, found in baking aisle of grocery store or where they sell cake decorating supplies)
1 – 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet morsels and 1 – 10 oz. bag of bittersweet morsels
or
2 – 12 oz. bags of semi-sweet morsels
(Depends on how sweet you like your dark chocolate…I used half Ghirardelli Bittersweet morsels and half Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet morsels. I find that the Ghirardelli melts more smoothly, so I recommend that brand if you can get it.)
Disposable decorating bag or a Ziploc bag
Wax paper

Pour half of the chocolate into a microwaveable bowl. (If you are mixing them, pour half the bittersweet and half the semi-sweet into the bowl) Microwave the chocolate on medium power for a minute. Stir morsels. Microwave another minute on medium power. Stir. Microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals now, stirring each time, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Do not over heat and do not use high power! Set bowl aside for a few minutes to cool a bit. While it cools you can make a template for your nonpareils. Using wax paper and a Sharpie marker, trace the circles of your mini muffin pan onto the paper.

Flip wax paper over…and line a rimmed baking sheet with it. (You want your baking sheet to have a rim so the sprinkles won’t spill out, but it should fit in your freezer as well.)

Get your decorating bag or Ziploc bag ready. Fill your bag about 3/4 full with melted chocolate, snip the end, and using a swirl motion fill the circles on your wax paper. I tried to make “mountains” like the Sno-Caps candy but when I added the sprinkles they mostly flattened out anyway.

I only did about 12 at a time. If you make too many at once, your chocolate will start to set up and the nonpareil sprinkles will not stick properly.

Generously sprinkle the nonpareils over your chocolate swirls, covering all the chocolate.

Stick the baking sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so, to let the chocolate harden. When they are ready, take the pan out of the freezer, peel off the chocolates, and set aside. Pour the unused sprinkles into a bowl to reuse (using the wax paper like a funnel).

You can either make all of these “Sno-Caps” first, then frost the cupcakes and assemble with the nonpareils, or you can do it in batches like I did. (I made 12 Sno-Caps, frosted and assembled 12 cupcakes, then made the rest in groups of 12 (melting chocolate as needed.)

5) Frost mini cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting…

6) Stick your custom “Sno-Cap” on top and gently press it into place.

I tried to create these as close to the candy as possible. The chocolate candy top adds a nice little touch. But…if you want a short cut, go ahead and just frost the cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting and sprinkle generously with white nonpareils (or turn over and dip them which might be easier and cleaner.) Just don’t let me know you copped out! 😉

Happy Sprinkling!
~Micha