Happy Halloween! Happy Fall Festival! Happy caramel apple celebration! Caramel apple, a temptation I find hard to resist. A temptation I can go all year without even thinking about at all. Then they start appearing, here, there, then everywhere! Then they seem to call my name one by one, “Hey, look at me! ” Hey, look how delicious I am?” “Hey, look I’m covered with pecans!” Hey, you can have me, you just worked out this morning!”… and on and on until, well, you know. Until I give in and righteously justify that I do indeed DESERVE one. Better yet, I deserve to get some apples and caramels and make my own, adding as much caramel as I want! So it happens almost every year. I buy some caramels and apples with all good intention to make some, then the hectic days arrive. Usually, by the time I get around to it, I’m over my caramel apple craving, but left with the supplies. Now I know how easy it is to make caramel, but I love to remember the way I did it as a kid, hence the wrapped caramel -caramel comfort! (Besides, it gives me something to eat while making something else to eat!)
So, one day after Halloween, my eggless Caramel Apple Bread Pudding was created. My husband wouldn’t dare touch a caramel apple, but this is a dessert he actually enjoys with me. Is it just me or does sharing a dessert AND the calories make you enjoy the splurge even more?-less calories, less guilt!
This is perfect to use for any bread! I am making two servings with what I had on hand. One with a croissant and one with a slice of seven grain bread. Simply spread butter (we’re splurging remember!) on one side. Spray dish with non-stick spray, (or you can butter the dish, too!) You can then add a thin layer of sugar or brown sugar on bottom. (I’m just saving some more calories!) Add your bread buttered side down. Pour in some milk (almond milk is tasty) to soak, not drown! Let soak for 5 minutes. (You can add a touch of your favorite liquor or brandy, too!)
Core and slice an apple. (Use the core when you steep your tea!) Layer the apple slices on half of bread slice, if using, or inside croissant. Add your caramels. I slice mine (give a quick spray of non-stick spray on knife for easier clean-up), but you could use them whole for a thicker caramel layer.
Add some cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold over bread slice or close croissant. Bake 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. Let cool (a little, the smell will be hard to resist). That’s it. Top with some vanilla ice cream, if you wish.
A quick and easy dessert. A good reason not to throw away the ends of the bread. In fact, save the ends in freezer until you “have a craving” Thaw and use. This dessert is one that can be made ahead and reheated. A mini croissant in a ramekin works for a dinner party.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: What other seasonings and flavors could you add? It’s delicious with eggnog and vanilla. What other fruit could you use? What other type of bread? Raisin bread is my husbands favorite, but we are sharing, and I hate raisins! (Nice for him to sacrifice!) Personalize it to your taste! It’s easy! (I’ve even used a snickers bar, instead of caramel!)
FOOD FUN: It’s Fall Y’all. Get out and experience the colors and flavors of Fall. Find comfort in the little things… like that little wrapped caramel from your childhood!