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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Mini Candy Cane Heart Valentines

Mini Candy Cane Hearts

Each year I try to find something different for my kids to bring to school for Valentine’s Day besides the tiny, convenient, and inexpensive cards you find at all the stores. (Hmm, they sound really good putting it that way!) I was inspired by a post I saw a while ago on Nest of Posies’ blog but she used popsicle sticks with the candy hearts. I knew that wouldn’t transport well in a backpack to school so I just made little hearts to pass out to classmates.

I knew I wanted to make these for Valentine’s Day even before Christmas, so when I saw the mini candy canes for sale, I bought a couple of boxes back in December. If you don’t have any leftover mini candy canes, keep this in mind for next year!

All you need are mini candy canes, candy melts, sprinkles, waxed paper, and a baking sheet. A disposable decorating/piping bag or two is optional, but I highly recommended them. You can use a spoon, but they just might look a little messier that’s all. I wouldn’t recommend using a resealable bag as a piping bag because the melted chocolate will make the bag too floppy and hard to manage.

MCCH candy melts and bags

The candy melts and disposable (decorating) bags are both from Wilton and can be found at most craft stores like Michael’s or at Wal-Mart. I also purchased goody bags that were the perfect size at Michael’s.

The candy melts get melted inside a decorating bag in the microwave. There are instructions on the back of the bag, but basically you want to melt them slowly on 50% power. Put about half the candy in the bag, twist to close somewhat and tuck the end under the bag, heat for 1 minute on medium/50% power. Then heat at 30 second intervals on 50% power until it is melted – kneading the candy after each time. When it’s melted it should be thin and flow smoothly out of the bag.

First step is to lay out your mini candy canes on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. You can do this while you are melting the candy melts.

MCCH lay out hearts

When your candy melts are ready, cut off the tip of your decorating bag. (Do this only when you have your candy canes ready!) Squeeze out the melted candy, filling each heart, making sure to get where the ends meet and along the edge of the candy cane. You don’t want to overfill, but you do want to cover the whole inside.

Filling candy cane hearts

You will want to add some sprinkles after each time you fill a heart, or if you get good at filling you can do it every 2 or 3 hearts. The candy will start to set up so you want to make sure the sprinkles will stick.

Candy cane hearts with sprinkles

After my baking sheet was done, I stuck it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set up. It will set up on its own without that step, but it helps to speed up the process. If you need more, you can melt the other half of the candy melts and do another tray. I made 2 trays, used one bag of candy melts, and got about 36 mini hearts.

Notes: You can use a second decorating bag for your second batch of candy melts to make it less messy. I used just one, but I put a paper plate under the bag in the microwave to catch any drips. Make sure not to overheat the candy melts. If you do it slowly, on medium power, and kneading it at each time interval, you will be okay. If you overheat it, it may lose it’s ability to set up/harden.

Candy cane hearts

Hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day and think of making these next year if you don’t happen to have some mini candy canes lying around!
Micha

Red Hot Love Fudge

No, you are not seeing things. Yes, Valentine’s Day is over. But it’s still February so I didn’t think you’d mind too much. Besides, think how prepared you’ll be for next year!

I had every intention of posting this for Valentine’s Day, but I wasn’t happy with my recipe until now since I had to order one of the ingredients. “Red Hot Love Fudge” should deliver what it promises! Well, at least it should have enough cinnamon in it to live up to its name.

I have always loved those little red hot candies and when I came across a website that sold a similar type of fudge for Valentine’s Day, I had to figure out how to make my own. Occasionally I whip up some of the easy chocolate fudge from the Eagle Brand’s website, so that’s where I started. I took it in a whole new direction. It’s super easy and I think I got it just right…

Here are the ingredients you need:

Ingredients:
1 – 14oz. can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 – 12oz. bag of white chocolate chips (I used Nestle)
2 – 4oz. baking bars of Ghirardelli White Chocolate
2 – jars of red hot cinnamon candies (Cake Mate Cinnamon Decors)
12-14 drops of Cinnamon Flavoring Oil (I use Lorann and bought the 1 dram bottle plus dropper. I had to order this, but you might be near a cake or candy supply store to purchase it there)

Instructions:
Before you start working with the chocolate, line an 8×8 square pan with wax paper, making sure it comes up on all sides.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a medium saucepan. Add the bag of white chocolate chips. Break up the white chocolate baking bars into smaller pieces and add them as well. Melt together over medium-low heat, stirring constantly so you don’t burn the chocolate at the bottom of the pan and everything melts evenly. Do not walk away!

When it has completely melted and looks nice and creamy, remove from heat.

Using the eye dropper of your cinnamon flavoring oil, add in about 12-14 drops. Feel free to taste as you go, in case you like yours with less cinnamon. The candies will give it a cinnamon flavor, but in my opinion it wasn’t dominant enough. I felt it needed the flavoring oil as well. My perfectionism cost me a timely Valentine’s Day post, but you’ll have that here occasionally. 🙂

Now stir in one bottle of the red hot candies. Add some of the second bottle, but you want to save some to sprinkle on top of the fudge. I think I used about 1 1/2 bottles to mix in, and half of a bottle for decorating. It’s up to you.

When all is combined, pour that delicious goodness into your prepared pan. (You used wax paper, right?) Spread the fudge so it gets in all the corners and is somewhat even on top. Plop on the rest of those candies wherever your heart desires. Keep in mind how you will be cutting it so that each piece will have the candies on top.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, or until firm.

When it is firm enough, simply peel away the wax paper and place the block of fudge onto a cutting board. You can cut it into squares using a big, sharp knife or use heart cookie cutters. (The cutters take a little bit of muscle, but they look really cute.) If you are giving this as a gift, you’ll want to cut off the wrinkly edges and keep them for yourself.

So there you have it. Enjoy it now or wait until Valentine’s Day next year. Let me know what you think! (P.S. Use some of that cinnamon flavoring oil and make your own cinnamon toothpicks…remember those?)

~Micha