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October 20, 2011

Caramel Apple Marshmallow Dip {Improv Cooking Challenge} + {Week 4 of The 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets!}

Top of the morning to you! I was recently contacted by Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain to participate in a monthly cooking challenge called The Improv Cooking Challenge, where each month we all have to make a dish that features two specific ingredients. I was all over that! 

The Improve Cooking Challenge

For October, the first month, we had to make something with Caramel and Apple. That's where all those caramel apple recipes I've bookmarked came in handy, and I finally settled on this version of Caramel Apple Dip. I've seen variations of this simple yet delicious snack slash dessert recipe showing up all over the blogsphere and knew it would be made one fall day with some crisp apples. This was the perfect opportunity.

As you know, I'm also participating in The 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets weekly challenge, hosted by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic. Not gonna lie, it's tough to come up with a recipe to make every week, as well as find the time to make it during the week. So I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? So I'm submitting this Caramel Apple Dip to both linkies. This counts as a holiday "sweet", right? I say yes. Nod with me.

The slight modifications I made to the recipe were that I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar, and Hershey's caramel topping not Ghiradelli. We only needed 4 apples total instead of 6-8, (since there is only me and Peej), and used 2 granny smith apples and 2 honeycrisps. Had to use those honeycrisps since they're in season! Her recipe says to use 1/4-1/2 cup caramel, so we used 1/3 cup. We also didn't really measure out the heath bits... we just used as much as it took to completely cover the dip. I'll leave Tina's measurement of 1/2 cup heath bits since we just winged it. Oh yeah, and I added in the word "marshmallow" to the title, because in the future I hope to make a similar caramel apple recipe that doesn't include marshmallow, so I'll probably call that just Caramel Apple Dip, so I'll need to be able to differentiate the two. 

I'm always thinking ahead like that. Ok not always but usually. Ok not usually but sometimes. Ok ok hardly ever.

Caramel Apple Marshmallow Dip
ever so slightly adapted from Mommy's Kitchen
  • 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1/3 cup Hershey's caramel topping, + more for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heath toffee bits (or however much you want to cover the dip)
  • 2 granny smith apples, sliced
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, sliced
Blend cream cheese and marshmallow cream in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Add 1/3 cup caramel, dark brown sugar, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Transfer to a decorative bowl, or the center of a platter. Drizzle more caramel topping on top and sprinkle generously with toffee bits. If using bowl, place it in the center of a platter and surround with the sliced apples.

We couldn't stop eating this! It's a sweet dip, so it was kinda like our dessert before dinner. I'm so glad I've got some leftover for a snack tomorrow at work, too!

Don't worry, PJ already knows about my love affair with caramel  :)

Be sure to check out the Improv Cooking Challenge blog hop below!

And check out some tasty treats at The 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets blog hop below, too!

Peace, and bacon grease!


Jo-Anna@APrettyLife said...

Oh my this looks so fun and delish! My kids would LOVE this!

Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) said...

I have made this dip before and it's delcious! At least the apples help me THINK I'm eating healthier! :-) Love all those other caramel apple recipes--will have to check them out!

Lady Behind The Curtain said...

I LOVE your recipe!!! Thanks for participating in THE IMPROV COOKING CHALLENGE! I can't wait to see what you make next month with Pumpkin and Cream Cheese!

Kristen said...

That combination of marshmallow fluff and cream cheese sounds TO DIE FOR!! And so healthy, to, what with the apples and all ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yum!! I love it!! I could eat apples dipped in caramel every day (okay, may not--but still they are yummy). This dip looks fabulous! I loved that you used this post for both. I was debating about it and settled on two separate posts.

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh, this looks incredible, and, it's gluten-free! Can't wait to make this for an upcoming potluck - thanks for sharing this recipe!

Desi said...

@ Brenda - Definitely check out all the other incredible caramel apple recipes! Thanks for hosting the 12 weeks of Christmas!! :)

@ sugarspiceiced - I probably COULD eat apples dipped in caramel every day. And yay for using this recipe for both posts... that's the slacker in me lol. Go you for doing two separate posts! I still need to make my rounds!!

Desi said...

@ Louanne - I didn't even realize it was gluten-free! Thanks for pointing that out... so I can say it's healthy, right? :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds incredible! My husband would totally die over this! Popping over from Improv Cooking Challenge (I'm #22).

Desi said...

@ megseverydayindulgence - I hope your husband doesn't actually literally die over them! But I hope they do make him very happy :) I still have to check out all the Improv Cooking Challenge recipes... I'll definitely check yours out when I get home!

The Poet Herself said...

Sounds delicious! Mmmm. I don't think I've seen this combination before, but I like the sound of it. :)

Lisa said...

Wow, that has gotta be one of the most delicious looking link-ups ever. As for your caramelly goodness, I say, forget the apples and just give me a spoon!

Pup Fan said...

I love the idea of adding toffee chips!

Chris said...

Uh out.

I'm a member of a 4 ingredient grilling challenge each month and it is consistently the hardest post I have each month!

Don't get me wrong, it's fun....but I guess there's a reason they call them a challenge, ha ha.

Lisa~~ said...

A delicious looking dip and what fun for a party.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge recipe: Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies.

Cook Lisa Cook

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, this looks really good!

Jamie said...

Wow, now that's an apple dip. Looks amazing. It's perfect for a holiday get together.

Tricia @ Recipe Roundup said...

Desi! All that caramel apple goodness looks UH-MAZING!!!

Jilly said...

Yummiest dish. This is something I wish I could make right now. But I have to buy some of the ingredients first. really very delicious dish it is!!
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Desi said...

@ Pup Fan - Yes the toffee bits add a nice crunch :)

@ rebekahdawn - Thanks so much! And yes it tasted as good as it looks!

@ Tricia - I love caramel so much. Forget the apples!! :)

@ Jilly - Once you get the ingredients definitely make it because you can throw it together in minutes!! :)

MsFoxsSweets said...

Thanks for stopping by! These look smashing darling! I just had to say that. The dip looks too yummy! Beautiful idea to bring to a party!

Vicki Bensinger said...

Oh my goodness, your caramel apple dip sounds wonderful. So easy to make and I know it's delicious! I can't wait to make it. This will be a nice holiday treat while family is in town.

It's my first time stopping by. I'll be back again.

Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog said...

Whoa! This looks awesome! I love your recipe and can't wait to try it - thanks for sharing :-)

Patty Albertson said...

That dip looks wonderful! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm STILL making my way through all the posts!