DIY Project/Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Candy Apple Favors

mrk_candy caramel apples packaged perfect wedding favor
credit: mrk_photo on flickr.com

Food is the perfect wedding favor (it never goes to waste!), and what would be more perfect for an edible wedding favor in the fall than do it yourself homemade candy apple favors? These yummy chocolate caramel covered apples will leave your guests drooling when they see them at your place setting, and they are quite darling wrapped in cellophane with a colored bow to match your theme! You can even attach little tags with your names, wedding date..even your personalized monogram! They are so easy to make and can be customized in so many different ways to create a delicious favor all your own.

You’ll Need…. (This recipe creates 5 apples, multiply as needed to treat all your guests!)

  • 5 large Granny Smith apples
  • wooden craft/popsicle sticks
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 14 oz. package of individually wrapped caramels (unwrapped)
  • 7 oz. chocolate candy bar broken into pieces (Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate will do! Or, you can do without it completely if you only want your apples covered in caramel!)
  • tbsp Shortening (if also dipping in chocolate, ignore if only dipping in caramel)
  • Goodies/topping to further decorate your treats – chopped nuts, sprinkles, coconut, chopped pieces of candy/candy bars (chopped peppermint candy or even heath bars!)
  • Wax Paper
  • Cooking Spray

Let’s start!

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and dip each apple in briefly to remove any wax that may be on the skin from the grocery store. Wipe dry and let cool.
  2. Insert craft/popsicle sticks into each apple, through their core.
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spray with cooking spray to prepare a place for your apples to cool.
  4. Melt unwrapped caramels in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave with the two tablespoons of water. Cook on high two minutes, stir (be careful it gets hot!), and continue heating and then stirring in one minute intervals until the caramel is completely melted.
  5. Holding each apple by the stick, gently dip each apple into the melted caramel and then carefully transfer it to the wax paper you prepared earlier. If you are going to be dipping your apples into chocolate, refrigerate for 15 minutes. If you are only dipping your apples in the caramel skip ahead to step 7 to coat your treat with nuts, chopped candies or sprinkles instead of allowing to dry and then refrigerate to set.
  6. Next, heat chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave with the tablespoon of shortening until melted and smooth. Dip each caramel coated apple into the melted chocolate to cover the caramel and then hold apple over the bowl allow the excess chocolate to drip off.
  7. Once you have allowed the extra chocolate to drip off, gently roll in the chopped nuts, sprinkles or chopped candies you chose to decorate your apple treats.
  8. Set on wax paper and allow to set (If you skipped chocolate, it’s best to set your apple in the refrigerator)…and you’re done!

That’s all you need to do to create these delicious autumn themed favors! Once the apples have set wrap them in cellophane (clear or colored to match your theme!) and tie with your favorite colored ribbon. Place one at each guests place setting or gently arrange in a big basket for your guests to grab on their way out. It’s so easy to make, and they are so delicious! Your guests won’t leave these treats behind and their tastebuds will thank you 🙂

candy covered caramel apples
credit: erica8431 on flickr.com

caramel apples with peanuts coconut and sprinkles

credit: eric_kilby on flickr.com

DIY Project: Chocolate Covered Stirring Spoons


credit: talkoftomatoes on flickr.com

Chocolate covered stirring spoons are a delicious idea for a diy wedding favor or coffee bar treat! Also, with the large variety of colored spoons at party stores and the variety of colors you can find of the candy making chocolate wafers..they can be made to fit your wedding theme to a tee! Guests will love dipping these hand dipped chocolate spoons in their favorite hot drink..from coffee to hot chocolate! Yum!

You will need:

  • plastic spoons
  • chocolate (the chocolate wafers found in most grocery stores and craft stores are perfect! They are small discs of chocolate that come in a ton of different colors, and are created specifically to be melted down for projects like this! Otherwise, any chocolate should do if you aren’t looking for any specific colors.)
  • baking paper
  • cellophane bags or wrap
  • ribbon
  • optional: parchment cone (disposable pastry bag)
  • optional: candy sprinkles

Now let’s make some yummy spoons!

  1. Start by melting down your chocolate. This can be done however you feel most comfortable! Some like to use a microwave or double boiler. Personally, I like to take one of my medium size pyrex glass bowls and set it on top of a medium sized sauce pan that is boiling a small amount of water. Either method you use, make sure you stir often and do not allow the chocolate to burn! Once melted, allow the chocolate to cool just slightly so it will adhere to the spoon without being too runny.
  2. Next, dip each plastic spoon one by one into the melted chocolate (fully submerging the head) and lay them on a sheet of baking paper. If you are going to add candy sprinkles, sprinkle them on spoons before chocolate hardens! Allow the chocolate to cool and set.
  3. Optional – If you want to add more color to the spoon, feel free to melt another color chocolate in the same way as above, fill a parchment cone with the chocolate and pipe swirls, designs or zig zags across the head of each spoon.
  4. Once the chocolate on the spoons have completely set, wrap each spoon with cellophane and tie with a pretty ribbon.

That’s it! Once completed you can either set one spoon at each place setting for a yummy favor (maybe include a small bag of hot chocolate or coffee too!), or group in large mugs or vases near the coffee bar. Your guests will love this thoughtful treat..and you’ll love how affordable and easy they are to create! So delicious!


credit: talkwithtomatoes on flickr.com

DIY Appetizer: Maple-Pepper Salmon Bites

With the Great American Seafood Cook Off just a few days away, I thought I would share one of my favorite do-it-yourself appetizer recipes – Maple Pepper Salmon bites. I’ve brought these easy yummy bites to many family gatherings and they’ve always been a huge hit! I think they’d be a perfect starter for a wedding (or even a contender in the cook off!). You would just need to multiply the recipe to serve the amount of people you plan to feed. The recipe below serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 24 ounces of skinned salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • toothpicks for serving

Let’s get cooking!

  1. First, take your salmon and cut it into bite sized pieces.
  2. Combine maple syrup and soy sauce in a medium sized bowl to create the marinade. Add salmon pieces, making sure the fish is fully immersed in the marinade.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. After fish has marinated 24 hours, preheat the oven to 500 degrees fahrenheit and spray a sheet of aluminum foil with your vegetable oil.
  5. Put the freshly ground pepper in a small plate or bowl. Gently dip the salmon bites in the pepper and place them on your greased foil.
  6. Cook in over 3-4 minutes. Watch them carefully when baking as to not overcook!
  7. They are now ready to serve! Stick each bite with a toothpick and you’re ready to go.

Tips and Suggestions:
-Marinating the salmon pieces in a zip-loc bag works fantastic.
-Sometimes, adding a little bit of fresh ginger to the marinade can add contrast to the flavor, a mix of salty and sweet!
-If you are concerned about burning the salmon, some cooks have made these bites on baking paper instead of foil very successfully.

I think you’ll really enjoy this delicious take on salmon appetizers, and your guests will too! If you try this recipe please comment or send an e-mail with pictures of your yummy bites. We’d love to hear your suggestions for revising the recipe to make these bites uniquely yours, or any yummy seafood recipes you enjoy making and think would be great to pass on!

You may even get ideas to suggest while watching the Great American Seafood Cook off! I’m excited to see what delicious recipes the chefs will offer! There are always such unique dishes from all over the states..I wonder what the 14 chefs will come up with this year! A great thing about the dishes at the cook off is the freshness and sustainability of the ingredients. It is so important to make sure the seafood we are eating is being caught fresh locally, and the source of the fish is known. Doing this ensures good health and protection of the environment..So there is always fresh healthy seafood to go around! Plus, it just tastes better! Freshly caught Alaskan Salmon is so much better than worldwide farmed salmon any day. Every delectable creation whipped up at the cook off follows these guidelines. Yum..I can’t wait!

Now go get cooking! I’m getting hungry just typing this recipe 😛