When I lived in Dallas and I had a super-duper stressful work day, my favorite treat was Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Caramel Ice Cream. It was so creamy and caramel-y, and yes, totally over the top. Made all my worries just drift away… well, until the carton was gone, that is.
So, guess what? Costa Rica has an abundance of Dulce de Leche! It’s readily available throughout Latin America, and in Costa Rica comes in a can or squeeze bottle. (I may or may not have grabbed this can out of the garbage for this picture.)
With this Dulce de Leche, I made the easiest caramel apples ever. You might be thinking “easier than those circular carmel wraps separated by white paper that you can buy in the States”? Well no, because I’m not in the States, silly…
It’s easy to chop up some peanuts. I used salted nuts – but you can use whatever kind you want. I also thought about making them “candied nuts”… oh yes. Next time.
And while we’re at it, let’s add another little touch of Costa Rica – Café Rica coffee liqueur. I used a tablespoon, because quite frankly, that’s all I had left. This is added to the Dulce de Leche and heated over low heat.
I know you want a piece of this. Apple, I mean. Just look at this. Can’t you just taste the caramel-y goodness? It’s pretty darn good, my friends! And yes – healthy. It’s an apple, after all.
So while in Costa Rica, I am putting this abundance of Dulce de Leche to good use. Here is one use, in this classic caramel apple recipe:
- 6 sticks
- 6 apples (mcintosh or gala, or whatever kind you want really)
- 1 (380 gram) can of Dulce de Leche (13.5 ounces)
- 1 TB Cafe Rico - coffee liqueur (optional)
- 180 grams Salted Peanuts - chopped (6.3 ounces)
- 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- Insert the sticks into the apples. Line trays or baking sheets with wax paper or a silpat liner. Place chopped peanuts on separate plate.
- Place Dulce de Leche and liqueur in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat.
- Dip apples all the way into the Dulce de Leche, shaking off excess (I kept Dulce de Leche in the pan, and tilted it slightly). Roll bottom halves of the apples in chopped peanuts, then place on prepared trays. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
- Melt chocolate and drizzle over the nuts and caramel. Return and store in refrigerator.
- Try variations! There are tons of things you can sprinkle over the caramel besides nuts: chocolate, candy bar pieces, rice crispy cereal, roasted coconut…
Now go make some. I know you want to!