Chonky Boys: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches that Scream Summer!

Featuring my thick and nuggy Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookies, these ice cream sandwiches are the stuff that summer dreams are made of.  If you've ever had the Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Disneyland , you are going to LOVE these!  These big and bold chocolate chip cookies are based on a recipe from my culinary school studies at Auguste Escoffier, but with a few modifications to give them that Jennuine touch.  They make the perfectas book for a fat slice of real vanilla bean ice cream.  And those mini chips?  You just gotta have that extra cronch! Thank goodness this recipe only makes 8 sandwiches, otherwise I would be eating them for breakfast lunch and dinner.  This way, my big family can help save me from my inner child diet-saboteur.   Print With Image Without Image Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Yield: 8 Author: Jenn Erickson Loaded with chocolate chips and buttery, brown-sugary vanilla flavor, these mall-sized cookies form a perfect partnership with a

A Very Special Apple for Teacher -- Homemade Caramel Apples With a Twist

Every year, since my eldest daughter was in Kindergarten, we've enjoyed making these special caramel apples at the end of the school year as gifts for the teachers. The teachers always enjoy the decadently dipped apples and appreciate the fact that the gift doesn't leave them with another little tchotchke to to take up space on their desk.  

The nice thing about these caramel apples is that the recipe is versatile enough to be enjoyed all year. They're just as perfect in the fall as a First Day of School Gift as they are at year-end. They make wonderful favors for parties and celebrations. In fact, I can't think of a time that a beautifully crafted, gourmet apple wouldn't be welcome!

Here's how to make your own:

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples

8 medium sized apples (we like Fuji and Pink Lady)
8 new pencils (I use a small handsaw to shorten the pencils by 1")
Clear packing tape

For the Caramel (source:

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8-10 medium-sized apples, washed, thoroughly dried, sticks inserted in tops

Candy Thermometer
Tray or baking sheet lined with a silpat or greased parchment paper

To decorate:
10 oz. chocolate, chopped
Heath Toffee Bits
White chocolate or white candy melts
Mini chocolate chips

A roll of cellophane

1. To remove wax from apples, fill a clean kitchen sink with hot water and 1 cup salt.  Add apples.  With a vegetable scrubber or clean abrasive sponge, scrub each apple. You will begin to see the wax float on the water.  Drain sink.  Rinse apples in hot water. Remove to a counter lined with a towel.  Thoroughly dry apples with a lint-free towel.  

2.  Prepare pencils by wrapping the unsharpened tip with a small piece of packing tape.

3.  Twist stems from apples or use kitchen shears to snip them away.  Insert a pencil into each apple, taking care not to push it all the way through.

4.  To prepare caramel, stir together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk and salt in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

5. Cook on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes until the caramel darkens and thickens and reaches the "firm ball" stage of candy-making 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

6. Remove finished caramel from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.

7. Dip apples into hot caramel. In order to get as thick a caramel coating as possible, dip each apple at an angle and spin to coat.  Dip as much of the apple in to the caramel as possible, as it will shrink back when set down.

8. Pull apple out and allow excess caramel to drip off. Then turn the apple upside-down for a moment (apple on top, stick on the bottom) and let the caramel settle for a few seconds. This prevents large bare spots at the top of the apple.  Place dipped apples on the lined pan.

9. Let cool for an hour to set.

To decorate:

Melt a small bowl of high quality chocolate.

Dip the bottom portion of apple in melted chocolate.

Place back on a parchment or silpat lined tray.  Refrigerate to help set the chocolate.

Put remaining chocolate in a pastry bag or ziploc bag and snip a tiny hole in the tip. Drizzle melted chocolate on an apple and sprinkle the chocolate with toffee bits before the chocolate sets.  Repeat with remaining apples.  Refrigerate 10  minutes to set the chocolate.

Melt some white chocolate or candy melts with 1 teaspoon oil.  Place in pastry bag or ziploc bag and snip a very tiny hole in the tip.  The white chocolate is very sweet, so you'll want the drizzle to be very fine.  Drizzle white chocolate over an apple and immediately sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.  Repeat with remaining apples.  Refrigerate to set the chocolate.

To wrap the apples, cut a square from a cellophane roll, large enough to come up over the apple and to the stick.  Secure with a ribbon. Using a cellophane square makes wrapping and unwrapping the sticky apple much easier than when using a cellophane treat bag.

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