Caramel and apples are one of those classic flavour combinations, the kind of pairing that so many recipes feature because they just taste so good together. When Sheryl of Lady Behind the Curtain invited me to participate in her new Improv Cooking Challenge and announced that the first challenge combination would be caramel and apples, I knew that I would have a hard time deciding between all the different variations of caramel and apples. I vacillated between an apple pie, an apple gallete, a French apple tart, apple turnovers, upside down caramel cake, caramelized apples served with ice cream or crepes! With mounting frustration, the only thing that I could conclude was that I just couldn't decide.
Finally I settled on a slightly different caramel and apple combination. I decided to make Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Dip, a simple snack delicious enough to satisfy one’s sweet tooth. The rich, thick, sinfully delicious caramel/peanut butter dip is served with slices of apple, but you can trust me on the fact that this dip is so good that you might even forgo the apples and just start eating it by the spoonful.
I used the Homemade Coconut Vanilla Bean Peanut Butter I had made previously instead of regular peanut butter in this recipe. My brothers claimed that the coconut flavour didn’t pair well with the apples, but I thought it tasted great. I have to admit that I’m probably a little biased, since I love anything with peanut butter or caramel sauce in it. So I would advise using regular peanut butter unless you also tend to eat Homemade Coconut Vanilla Bean Peanut Butter by the spoonful.
Click below for the recipe.
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Dip
Yield: 1 cup
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter (or use the version I made here)
- apples, sliced (I used Granny Smith)
For the caramel sauce, have all the ingredients ready. Put the sugar in an even layer into the bottom of a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, stir the sugar until it is completely melted. Continue to cook for a minute or two more, until a deep amber color is achieved. While whisking, slowly add the cream. Be careful; the mixture will bubble and steam like crazy. If there are any lumps, you can return the saucepan to the heat and stir until melted, or just strain them out.
Add the salt and vanilla and stir until combined. Allow the caramel to cool completely (putting it into the refrigerator will help speed up the process) before stirring the peanut butter in. Serve the dip at room temperature with the sliced apples.