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Apples everywhere! Make a caramel apple cake.

Last Tuesday I attended a meeting in Rosemary’s Davenport’s Dallas townhome.  I love to go to Rosemary’s for several reasons— she is a charming hostess, her home is lovely and her food is always exceptional!  Rosemary served a “to die for” Caramel Apple Sheet cake along with other delicious goodies causing people to line up after the meeting to get their filled, take-home treat bags.  See, she is a charming hostess! 

And for sure, it is apple season!  Beautiful, red, juicy apples are everywhere this time of the year.  And there are so many varieties.  Gone are the days when your choices were Red Delicious, Granny Smith and sometimes McIntosh or Johnathon. Today, we have Gala, Jazz, Ambrosia, Pink Lady, Fuji and now the new genetically modified Arctic apple that promises not to turn brown when cut. 

There is no place around the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where you have better apple pickin’   than Central Market.  Today I saw Courtland, Paula Red and, new on-board —the Riverbelle.  Some growers are comparing this variety to the Honeycrisp.  

The Honeycrisp is one of the most popular of all apples. Big and beautiful, its sweetness, firmness, and tartness make it an ideal apple for eating raw as a delicious snack or holding its shape and texture when cooked.  

Rosemary chose a Honeycrisp for her Caramel Apple Cake, but you can choose your favorite. Peeling or not peeling the apple is another “your choice.”  Rosemary peeled the apple and with only one apple to peel, no big deal!  Well, maybe! I also chose the Honeycrisp, but was lazy and left mine unpeeled.  Plus I wanted to see if it changed texture or lessened the appeal of the cake.  It did neither. 

You must make this wonderful cake during this holiday season.  You can get 15 to 20 squares so it is great for holiday entertaining.  It would also be a simple, but tasty, dessert following a bowl of stew on Halloween night before the kids go Trick or Treating. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.   

Caramel Apple Sheet Cake with Fresh Apple 

      Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1 cup water

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 medium apple, diced small (about 1 1/4 cups)

For the Icing

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons caramel topping* 

*Use caramel topping, not syrup.  Trader Joe’s caramel sauce worked well.

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Fold in the diced apples. Gradually stir in the warm melted butter and mix well.
  4. Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan (batter will be loose.) Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 25-27 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when touched. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  5. Make the icing by combining the butter and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl; microwave for 45 seconds, and then in 15 second intervals until butter is melted. Whisk to combine. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and caramel topping; whisk to combine.
  6. Pour icing over the cake while it’s cooled, but still slightly warm. Allow to set for about 15 minutes.
  7. Slice into squares and enjoy!
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