Roasted Apples with Homemade Butterscotch Sauce

A happy new year to all of my Reckless Readers! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and you are ready for a dessert that is so delicious it will knock your socks off! Seriously, this one is absolutely amazing and I’m going to eat all of it. Send help.

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It all started when I was going through one of my favorite cookbooks (What’s a Cook to Do? by James Peterson) and brainstorming on what I wanted to blog about this month. I saw a recipe in there for homemade butterscotch sauce. I know how amazing homemade caramel sauce tastes since I used to make it when I was working at Dixie, I could only imagine how amazing homemade butterscotch sauce tasted.

After I decided to definitely write about this recipe for the mere fact that I would then have an entire jar of butterscotch sauce in my house, I saw a note at the end of the recipe suggesting to pair this sauce with roasted fruit. Roasted fruit! What an excellent idea, James Peterson! (Seriously guys, this is my favorite cookbook)

I love roasted fruit, because the roasting process amplifies the flavor of the fruit and makes for a seemingly fancy (but super easy to make) dessert.

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I could barely wait to get started, and I’m pleased to report that the result was addictingly good. As I sit and type this now I am eating the leftovers and all I can say is, I’m thankful that no one is here to watch me lick my plate clean.

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SO, without further ado, here is the recipe;

Roasted Apples

Slightly adapted from What’s a Cook to Do? by James Peterson

Ingredients;

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut in half*
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

*A Note on ingredients; use a harder apple that is good for baking (Braeburn, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Empire, Jonagold, McIntosh). I used Honeycrisp apples.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut up the butter into small pieces. Scatter half of the butter on the bottom of a heavy bottomed, oven proof pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the butter and bottom of the pan.

Place apples on top of the butter and sugar. Arrange the rest of the pieces of butter on top of the apples, and sprinkle the entire pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

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Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the apples are easily pierced with a fork and the butter on the bottom of the pan has browned slightly.

Heavenly Butterscotch Sauce*

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Recipe from What’s A Cook to Do? by James Peterson

Ingredients:

  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

*This recipe makes 1 1/2 c of butterscotch sauce, store at room temperature. And by the way, I think this sauce would make and excellent gift if you happen to be looking for a diy gift for any occasion.

Directions:

Pour sugar into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat (if using a gas stove top use medium-low heat). It is helpful if the bottom of the pan is shiny, rather than dark on the bottom so you will be able to see the changes in color.

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Allow the sugar to melt, stirring frequently.

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The sugar has caramelized when it is a dark reddish brown and has completely melted with no lumps.

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Add the water to the mixture and boil until the mixture is evenly combined. Next, add the butter and boil until the syrup is frothy, changes to a deep brown color and has a nutty smell to it (5 minutes or so).

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Carefully, add the heavy cream, stir to combine, and allow to boil for a few seconds.

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The mixture should be a smooth sauce, remove from heat and allow to cool.

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Dessert Assembly:

Remove the roasted fruit from the pan and place individual servings on plates (or bowls).

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Drizzle with the butterscotch sauce.

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Add a healthy dollop of whipped cream on top.

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Serve while the fruit is still warm.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Apples

Slightly adapted from What’s a Cook to Do? by James Peterson

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored, and cut in half*
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

*A Note on ingredients; use a harder apple that is good for baking (Braeburn, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Empire, Jonagold, McIntosh).

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut up the butter into small pieces. Scatter half of the butter on the bottom of a heavy bottomed, oven proof pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the butter and bottom of the pan.

Place apples on top of the butter and sugar. Arrange the rest of the pieces of butter on top of the apples, and sprinkle the entire pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the apples are easily pierced with a fork and the butter on the bottom of the pan has browned slightly.

 

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Butterscotch Sauce*

Recipe from What’s A Cook to Do? by James Peterson

Ingredients:

  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

*This recipe makes 1 1/2 c of butterscotch sauce, store at room temperature.

Directions:

Pour sugar into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat (if using a gas stove top use medium-low heat). It is helpful if the bottom of the pan is shiny, rather than dark on the bottom so you will be able to see the changes in color.

Allow the sugar to melt, stirring frequently. The sugar has caramelized when it is a dark, reddish brown and has completely melted with no lumps.

Add the water to the mixture and boil until the mixture is evenly combined. Next, add the butter and boil until the syrup is frothy, changes to a deep brown color and has a nutty smell to it (5 minutes or so).

Carefully, add the heavy cream, stir to combine, and allow to boil for a few seconds. The mixture should be a smooth sauce, remove from heat and allow to cool.

 

Chocolate Bark

I love working with chocolate. The possibilities are endless, and let’s admit it, a chocolate drizzle makes everything better. Because I just love playing with chocolate so very much, I have 2 chocolate bark variations in this post. They are easy and fun to make, and if you need a last-minute “cookie” for a cookie swap or holiday party, these are always a big hit. Also, as far as DIY gifts go, these are pretty awesome. So make one, make them all, and for the love of my girlish figure, someone please come over and eat all of these!

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Before I get started on these beauties, let’s have a quick chat about melting chocolate. For these recipes and for melting chocolate in general, I recommend using baker’s chocolate or melting chips, rather than say a solid chocolate bar, or white chocolate chips. The reason for this is that I’ve been burned before, or more accurately I’ve burned chocolate before. A lot actually. It’s so easy to do. Especially white chocolate, so that’s why I recommend using a chocolate that is intended to be melted. Also, white chocolate can totally be a pain in the butt, and some white chocolates actually need some oil added to them, so really save your sanity and buy melting chips or baking chocolate, it melts nicely and nothing needs to be added to it.

Also, I do not like melting chocolate in the microwave. If this is your preferred method, you have my blessing, but if you, like myself, belive your microwave is an inconsistent appliance out to get you, set up a double boiler.  You don’t need any special equipment for this; all you need is a pot with about and inch or two of water in the bottom and a heat proof bowl that can put on top of the pot so that it receives the heat from the steam but is not directly in the pot.

Put the pot on your stove top and put on medium heat. Break up the chocolate you are melting into medium-small pieces. Set aside 1/4 of the amount and save for later. Put 3/4 of the chocolate in to the bowl resting on top of your pot.

Depending on the amount of chocolate you are melting and how large the pieces are, this could happen pretty quickly so keep a close eye on your chocolate. Stir the chocolate gently as it begins to melt. Once it is about 75% melted remove the bowl from the heat. Add the reserved un-melted chocolate and stir to combine for 30-60 seconds.

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Put the bowl back over the pot, and let the mixture continue to melt. Once the mixture is almost melted, but still has some small lumps, remove from the heat. Stir the chocolate until smooth.

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Melt your chocolate like that and you will not burn it, and it will be just lovely to work with.

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Christmas Bark with Cranberries and Pistachios

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chocolate (any kind you like, white, milk, dark, etc)
  • 1/4 c pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries, roughly chopped*

*Don’t like cranberries? Try dried cherries, or freeze-dried strawberries

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Directions:

Melt the chocolate per the instructions above. Pour the melted chocolate onto a flat pan lined with parchment paper.

Spread the melted chocolate out to the desired thickness.

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Or using a large spoon dollop chocolate onto the parchment paper to form bite-size circles.

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While the chocolate is still warm top with the nuts and dried fruit.

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Allow the bark to cool and harden at room temperature.

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This will take some time, but if you put it in the fridge the chocolate will most likely bloom (bloom= unsightly white circles and dots will form on your chocolate). Once the chocolate has cooled completely cut up into smaller pieces (if desired).

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Aren’t these just lovely? So festive, I love it!

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Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz white chocolate
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup crushed candy canes

Directions:

First, melt the white chocolate and pour on to a flat pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the melted chocolate out to the desired thickness. Allow the white chocolate to cool and harden. Once the white chocolate is mostly dried, melt the dark chocolate, and pour on top of the white chocolate. While the dark chocolate is still warm sprinkle the candy canes on top.

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Allow the chocolate to cool and harden completely before cutting.


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Christmas Bark with Cranberries and Pistachios

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chocolate (any kind you like, white, milk, dark, etc)
  • 1/4 c pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries, roughly chopped*

*Don’t like cranberries? Try dried cherries, or freeze-dried strawberries

Directions:

Melt the chocolate per the instructions above. Pour the melted chocolate onto a flat pan lined with parchment paper.

Spread the melted chocolate out to the desired thickness, or using a large spoon dollop chocolate onto the parchment paper to form bite-size circles.

While the chocolate is still warm top with the nuts and dried fruit. Allow the bark to cool and harden at room temperature. This will take some time, but if you put it in the fridge the chocolate will most likely bloom (bloom= unsightly white circles and dots will form on your chocolate). Once the chocolate has cooled completely cut up into smaller pieces (if desired).

 

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Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz white chocolate
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup crushed candy canes

Directions:

First, melt the white chocolate and pour on to a flat pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the melted chocolate out to the desired thickness. Allow the white chocolate to cool and harden.

Once the white chocolate is mostly dried, melt the dark chocolate, and pour on top of the white chocolate. While the dark chocolate is still warm sprinkle the candy canes on top.

Allow the chocolate to cool and harden completely before cutting.