YaYa’s in the Kitchen: Chocolate & Caramel Baked Apples
Chocolate & Caramel Baked Apples
It’s time to shift from Halloween recipes to Thanksgiving, so here goes!
An early start to the day in the life of This SLP
YaYa showed me that the moon was out when she started her morning to come to my house!
Three of my favorite ingredients…
Earlier this week, YaYa tried to explain that I should dip my sliced apples in the caramel sauce and then take a bite. However, I prefer to use the apple as a spoon to get the caramel sauce out of the container. I usually eat the apples later.
Apparently, this started YaYa thinking…
So, she found a kitchen science activity with three of my favorite ingredients! Our adapted recipe was inspired by the “Caramel Stuffed Apples” recipe found on Delish.
Tools & More:
- SAFETY FIRST: This recipe uses a sharp knife, caramels that could be a choking hazard for younger children, a hot oven, hot melted caramel, and all that a kitchen science activity includes. YaYa and Mom “supervise” me, but I am the main “chef”!
- Adult to help you in the kitchen
- Knife to cut the apples in half. YaYa cut ours while I waited at the table.
- Tool to scoop the seeds and core the apples, we used a melon baller
- Small bowl for mixing cinnamon and sugar
- Small bowl for making ganache
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Pastry or BBQ brush for the melted butter
- Spoon for mixing
- Spoon to drizzle ganache
- Baking pan
- Oven mitts
- Spatula to lift apples out of the pan
- Plates for serving
- Hand wipes to keep hands clean
- Paper towels or sponge for cleaning up
- 2 large green apples, halved and cored – We used Granny Smith apples
- Caramel candies 3 or 4 per apple half – We used Kraft caramels
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup water
- Cinnamon Sugar, about 3 Tbsp – We made our own
- Chocolate chips/morsels – We used Nestle’s semi-sweet morsels
- For ganache, you will also need 1/4 cup half and half or cream
- Chopped nuts (we used pecans), or other “toppings” like sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, coconut, etc.
NOTE: We did not melt the chocolate as in the original recipe (but you can). Instead, we made ganache with 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate bits and 1/4 cup heated hot (but not boiling) half & half. Pour heated cream or half & half over chocolate, let it sit for about 5 minutes, stir till smooth. The liquid should be hot enough to soften/melt the chocolate.
NOTE: This recipe makes 4 servings, half an apple per person. You can easily adjust the recipe for more or less servings. Our activity took 60 minutes. The length of the activity is driven by the age of the child, one’s experience in the kitchen and the amount of language, literacy, and learning you share!
NOTE: If you know your child will not sustain attention for 60 minutes, consider prepping ahead of time and let your child assemble! Maybe visit the kitchen during stages and add the finishing touch. This is a social time, not a competition or test!
- Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash and dry your apples.
- Let an adult cut the apples in half, unless you are old enough to safely use a sharp knife.
- Using a scoop of some kind, we used one for melons. Ask for assistance if you need help, it’s a bit tricky. Scoop out the seeds (this is called coring) and a bit more to make a hole for the caramels. This is a good time to taste the apple!
- Place the apple halves in a baking dish.
- Brush the melted butter onto the apples and sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar.
- Then put 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, count out your caramels and take off the wrapping.
- With adult help, take the apples out of the oven.
- Place 3 caramels into the cavity you created in your apple halves.
- Bake 15 more minutes.
- Prepare your chocolate ganache.
- Look into the oven and watch the caramels melt!
- Check at 15 minutes and if melted, take the apples out of the oven, if not, let it bake a little longer.
- Once you take the apples out, you can use a small spoon to drizzle the chocolate ganache on the apples and sprinkle the chopped pecans (or other toppings), including extra cinnamon sugar! YUM…
- If you’d like, you can plate each half and let each person drizzle the ganache and sprinkle their toppings. NOTE: The caramel will be HOT, wait for it to cool before eating!
Our Pictorial Sequence
We believe that looking at our pictures as you share the activity is a helpful way to introduce the directions with your little one BEFORE you start.
Language, Literacy & Learning Tips!
As a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, each activity is filled with goals and objectives for each “friend”.
At home you should gear each activity to the appropriate level for your child/ren, have fun and enjoy!
- Learning is about experiences filled with comparing and contrasting. So consider the following and adjust to fit your family’s schedule.
- Allow your child to make the list for shopping, go to the store with you and “read” the ingredients from the list. If needed, add pictures to the written list.
- Kitchen science, cooking and baking, allow for meaningful experiences filled with language, literacy, and learning opportunities.
- Adjust the activity as needed for your child. Use our pictures to help you sequence your experience.
- Outline the Plan and use drawings or our pictures to set up the activity and let your child know what to expect.
- Allow your child to do what s/he can safely accomplish with less help rather than more.
- Have a “tasting” spoon, fork, bowl, plate etc. because you know tasting is important.
- Clean hands are key, so wash, dry and repeat as needed.
- Plan extra activities during baking time (we counted the caramels and made the ganache during our baking times).
- Include the clean up aspect to the activity.
Where to begin…well, at the beginning…
- Review a plan, draw pictures for non-readers, outline the steps, use the recipe to help your little one know what to expect. Sequencing is important!
- Key words: First, second, then, next and last
- Line the ingredients up left to right to follow the sequence of your directions. This allows for visual cues. Remove items as they are added to increase clarity.
- Encourage your child to ask questions for clarification and give him/her time to think and wonder.
- Allow for pauses before you cue or prompt, but do not make this a test, it is meant to be creative, delicious and a positive social family activity.
More from YaYa:
Examples of Comparing/Contrasting
- Show your child the variety of apples. Compare/contrast size, color, shape, taste etc. You can do this at the store, at home, or online. Try to find some with stems and even leaves.
- Taste various apples, some are sweet, tart, soft, crunchy, but all grow on trees.
- Whole, half, more, less, all, one, some, etc.
- Estimating # of caramels based on the size you scooped out.
- Counting the total caramels, how many go in each?
- Solid, melted, sticky, juicy, cold, hot, warm, etc.
- Wrap, unwrap, scoop, pour, stir, mix, smooth, lumpy, sweet, tart, etc.
- The list is (almost) endless…
Learn more about YaYa’s in the Kitchen by looking through our previous recipes and the first posts outlining how YaYa started this program.
An early start to the day in the life of This SLP,
Special Thanks to my SLP families for inviting me into your homes and the lives of your families!