Caramel Apple Dip

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ometimes in baking, as in life, our biggest mistakes open the door to our greatest accomplishments. This recipe is proof we can turn our blunders into the most delicious lessons. Every Christmas we make candy for family and friends. Homemade caramel is always one of the most popular items in the box of treats. The trick with caramel is cooking the mixture to softball stage without overcooking and creating hard caramels. One year as the caramels were cooling I quickly realized the mixture was getting way too firm. Rather than paying for the dental work of all of our friends, I decided to scrap the batch. As I went to throw it out I noticed the large bowl of apples on my kitchen table. I decided I would make a dip with the caramel. This would appease my frugal inner self and entice the kids to eat the bowl of apples they had been ignoring all week during our candy making. I added cream cheese and sour cream to the still warm caramel and the result was so good it is hard to describe. This dip is so creamy and buttery it is addictive. We serve trays of sliced green apples with this caramel at almost every party and event held at our house. This dip has gone from the backup plan for hard caramels to a prized recipe requested all year long. Try this recipe…you won’t be disappointed. Here is hoping that all of our kitchen fails, turn into the sweetest of mistakes!

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese frosting



s soon as there is a chill in the air our kitchen is filled with the earthy aroma of pumpkin. From breads, muffins, cupcakes, pies, and cookies pumpkin makes everything feel and taste like fall is here. One thanksgiving I wondered…could I swap the sour cream from my sugar cookie recipe with pumpkin puree? The result was amazing. The pumpkin kept the cookies soft and moist, while the pumpkin paired with spices gave the cookie a depth of flavor not found in a regular sugar cookie. We paired this cookie with cream cheese frosting rather than a traditional buttercream, as we find the tangy flavor of the cream cheese perfectly pairs with the spice notes found in the cookie. In our family this cookie has become as much a Thanksgiving tradition as pumpkin pie.

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