Category Archives: Food + Drink


Homemade Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Crushed Peppermint

Goodness, I’m excited about today’s recipe. Let me start by saying that if you have never experienced the bliss that is a fluffy homemade marshmallow, it is time to hop on that sweet treat bandwagon. (Remember these big and fluffy raspberry marshmallows?) Truly, homemade marshmallows are SO much better than store-bought and making homemade marshmallows is the coolest thing ever. There’s something totally magical about watching sugar whip up into marshmallow fluff, and then just a few hours later, the marshmallow sets into this giant squishy pillow. You sort of feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen and the end result is too much fun.

Dipping these fluffy homemade marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint is just the icing on the cake … errr, marshmallow.

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Psst … Looking for other party-worthy recipes for the holidays? Check out our super popular holiday dessert charcuterie snack board, the cutest easy Christmas tree browniesmarbled peppermint barkclassic graham cracker cracksugared cranberries (to top cakes and cocktails), and sparkling pomegranate punch.

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

So as you can imagine, when Hope, our food contributor, shared this awesome holiday recipe with me, I couldn’t wait to share it!

From Hope:

Pillow soft, fluffy homemade marshmallows seem like such a luxury. They look fancy without taking much hands-on time to make. Dipped in chocolate and crushed peppermint, homemade marshmallows become the perfect treat for your evening hot cocoa, or a beautiful, simple gift perfect for visiting house guests, hostesses, teachers, and more!

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Crushed Peppermint

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 packages plain gelatin powder
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate
  • 6-8 candy canes, crushed (can also buy crushed peppermint at the store)
  • Optional: In addition to rolling the marshmallows in crushed peppermint, to make the marshmallows themselves peppermint flavored, substitute 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract for the vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Spray a 9×13-inch pan or a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and dust with powdered sugar. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour ½ cup of the cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the next steps.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ½ cup of water, the sugar, corn syrup and salt over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to 240 degrees F, using a candy thermometer to check. If you don’t have a candy thermometer you might be able to use a clean meat thermometer. (My parents sent me this candy thermometer spatula earlier this year and it has been perfect for marshmallow and caramel making.)
  • Once the mixture reaches 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Turn the electric mixer with the gelatin mixture on a low speed and carefully stream the hot sugar mixture into the bowl while the mixer is running. Beware of hot sugar that might splatter if you pour it too quickly or into the whisk! Add the peppermint extract and gradually increase the speed of the mixer to high. Beat on high for about 8-10 minutes, or until white and very fluffy. The mixture should have tripled in volume and will look like marshmallow cream at this point.
  • Spread the marshmallow fluff into your prepared pan. Dust the top of the marshmallows with powdered sugar and let rest for 8 hours, or overnight.
  • After they have set, coat a sharp knife with nonstick cooking spray (this makes cutting cleaner and easier) and cut the marshmallows into cubes. Roll each marshmallow in a bit of powdered sugar to keep them from sticking to each other. If you are not coating them in chocolate and peppermint right away, store the marshmallows in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Pour your crushed candy canes or crushed peppermint in a small bowl.
  • In a medium microwaveable bowl, melt your chocolate by heating it for 1 minute in the microwave, stirring halfway through. Continue to heat the chocolate and stir in 10-second increments until it is fully melted.
  • Tap the powdered sugar off of a marshmallow and dip it in the melted chocolate. The powdered sugar can prevent the chocolate from sticking to the marshmallow. If you are having trouble with the chocolate sticking, try spreading it onto the marshmallow with the back of a spoon. Holding the chocolate-dipped marshmallow over the peppermint bowl, sprinkle crushed peppermint on all of the chocolate covered areas. Place the finished marshmallow on your prepared pan. Repeat these steps with all of the marshmallows you want to cover.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Candy

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Aren’t they just so darn pretty?

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Pro tip: top your hot cocoa with one of these fluffy chocolate and peppermint covered marshmallows for the yummiest decadent holiday treat. And of course, don’t forget to Instagram!

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

These peppermint and chocolate covered marshmallows also happen to make great gifts. Stack a couple of your fully cooled marshmallows, wrap them in a bit of cellophane and tie it off with a ribbon and you’ve got the sweetest holiday gifts to hand out.

There's nothing like homemade marshmallows. Dipping those fluffy marshmallows in chocolate and crushed peppermint for the holidays is just the icing on the cake ... errr, marshmallow. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Love these fluffy homemade marshmallows covered in chocolate and crush peppermint? Head to our recipe page to check out what else we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own holiday marshmallows, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

Recipe and Photos by Hope Woodhouse for Glitter, Inc.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

How to Make The Cutest Easy Christmas Tree Brownies

You may have noticed on the holiday dessert charcuterie snack board that there were the cutest Christmas tree brownies. I mean, come on … they’re really, really, really stinkin’ cute. And in the season of holiday parties, a really stinkin’ cute Christmas tree shaped brownie is going to win you lots of brownie points. Get it?! Yeah, I’m slap happy from lack of sleep. (Hi, I’m Lexi and I have a nine-week-old. And a toddler. I’m, like, really tired.)

You're going to want to make these really stinkin' cute Christmas tree shaped brownies for ALL of your holiday parties! Click through for the DIY. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

But also, since we’re talking tired here, this dessert is easy. Yep, these adorable brownies are surprisingly simple to make, and they’re absolutely perfect for your holiday parties.

You're going to want to make these really stinkin' cute Christmas tree shaped brownies for ALL of your holiday parties! Click through for the DIY. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

And when I say easy, I mean EASY. Just cut the brownies into triangles, add a candy cane trunk, squeeze on some icing, and sprinkle on your favorite sprinkles! They travel well (keep them in an air tight container once you’ve made them) and take them to your next Christmas party, give them as gifts, or bring them to your kiddos’ school for a treat.

You're going to want to make these really stinkin' cute Christmas tree shaped brownies for ALL of your holiday parties! Click through for the DIY. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

But I can’t take the credit here. I found the adorable design on One Little Project, and then recreated my own. The Christmas tree brownies turned out so cute, and I got so many requests for details after sharing that jam-packed dessert board, that I figured I would share the easy how-to here.

The secret to such a widely loved holiday dessert is brownies. Brownies in any form are delicious, if you ask me. My Dad and I are HUGE brownie fans, and I’ll pretty much never turn down a brownie. Really, who would? I honestly don’t care whether it’s homemade from scratch or some variation of a box brownie mix*; they’re all delicious in my book.

*By the way, since we make a lot of vegan recipes around here, I thought I’d share an awesome vegan boxed brownie mix we recently stumbled across. This box whips up a pretty delicious vegan, gluten-free brownie. Oh, and frosting in a tub, and frosting in a tube; they’re both dairy-free. Woohoo!! (Scarlett is allergic to milk protein, so we’re always experimenting with vegan and dairy-free recipes.)

You're going to want to make these really stinkin' cute Christmas tree shaped brownies for ALL of your holiday parties! Click through for the DIY. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

The holiday spin on these easy christmas tree brownies, combining peppermint, chocolate, frosting and sprinkles … ummm, heaven. But I digress.

You want to know how to make these adorably cute and easy Christmas tree brownies, of course.

You’ve got it!

You're going to want to make these really stinkin' cute Christmas tree shaped brownies for ALL of your holiday parties! Click through for the DIY. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Easy Christmas Tree Brownies

Ingredients

  • baked brownies (you can use your favorite homemade recipe, but boxed brownies work great here too)
  • colored frosting or white vanilla frosting with food coloring
  • sprinkles
  • candy canes

Instructions

  • Line an 8"x8" baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  • Prepare the packaged brownie mix according to the package directions and bake as directed OR make your favorite homemade brownies.
  • Allow brownies to completely cool; at least 1 hour.
  • Remove the brownies from the pan, and cut into triangles. (Cut in three rows, then cut in alternating diagonals. Some will be smaller than others. It's no biggie.)
  • Unwrap the candy canes, and use a sharp knife to gently cut/break the candy canes into pieces that are about 1.5" long.
  • Press one end of the candy cane into the bottom of the brownie triangles.
  • Spoon out approximately ½ of the tub of icing into a bowl.
  • Use either a tube of colored frosting (we love these) or add green food coloring to white frosting until you're happy with the color, spoon the green icing into a ziploc bag, seal the bag and cut off a small corner of the bag with sharp scissors, and pipe using the bag.
  • Starting at the top of the brownie triangles, gently squeeze out the icing in a curvy zigzag as you go down the tree.
  • Top with sprinkles.

You're going to want to make these really stinkin' cute Christmas tree shaped brownies for ALL of your holiday parties! Click through for the DIY. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Looking for other party-worthy recipes for the holidays? Check out our marbled peppermint bark, classic graham cracker crack, sugared cranberries (to top cakes and cocktails), and sparkling pomegranate punch.

Be sure to let me know in the comments or on social media (@glitterinclexi) if you make these Christmas tree brownies! I’d love to see how they turn out (and if you’re just as obsessed as I am!)

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails

I’ve got holiday parties at the forefront of my mind and I can’t stop planning menus. I’ve always loved having a great signature cocktail for a party (ahem; strawberry watermelon prosecco spritzers, pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktails, and sparkling blackberry lemonade spritzers) – and holiday parties in particular, in all their festive glory, totally deserve a memorable cocktail. Which is why, this sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little spiked happy dance. I mean, for starters, look at it!

This sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little spiked happy dance. It's the perfect holiday cocktail! Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

It’s perfectly merry and bright and has the holiday color scheme on lock. But then of course, there’s the whole delicious factor.

Hope, our food contributor, sure knows how to whip up an incredible cocktail.

This sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little spiked happy dance. It's the perfect holiday cocktail! Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Hope, on her sparkling pomegranate punch cocktails:

As a hostess, I love serving a pretty, tasty, hands-off punch during the holiday season so I have more time to visit with friends and family. This sparkling pomegranate punch satisfies all of those categories. The pomegranate juice and orange slices create a beautiful, jewel-toned punch, while the delicious orange ginger simple syrup gives it a little tang and just the right amount of sweetness. With a splash of rum, the pomegranate punch is party ready!

This recipe easily multiplies, so you can make enough for a crowd of any size!

This sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little spiked happy dance. It's the perfect holiday cocktail! Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Ingredients

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

  • 3 1/8 cup (25 ounces) orange flavored sparkling water*
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup to 1 cup Cointreau, or other orange liqueur, to your liking
  • 4 tablespoons orange ginger simple syrup (recipe to follow)
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • seeds from ¼ of a pomegranate

*My favorite right now is the Trader Joe’s cranberry clementine sparkling water

Orange Ginger Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root
  • peel from 1 orange

Instructions

To make the orange ginger simple syrup:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, ginger root, and orange peel and bring to a boil. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and simmer for 1 to 2 more minutes. Set the simple syrup aside to cool to room temperature. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a few weeks. If you make it ahead of time, store the ginger and orange peels in the same jar so they can continue to flavor the mixture.

To make the sparkling pomegranate punch:

  • Combine all of the ingredients together in a pitcher or large liquid measuring cup. If you are making this ahead of time, leave out the ginger beer and sparkling water until you are ready to serve.
  • To serve, add a few orange slices to each glass, fill with ice, pour in the punch, then top with pomegranate seeds. Cheers!

Courses Cocktail

This sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little spiked happy dance. It's the perfect holiday cocktail! Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

This punch also totally works without the alcohol. The combination of fresh pomegranate juice, homemade orange ginger simple syrup, and bubbly sparkling water is tangy and sweet and makes for such a yummy mocktail.

This sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little spiked happy dance. It's the perfect holiday cocktail! Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Love this party-perfect punch? Head to our recipe page to check out what else we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own sparkling pomegranate punch cocktails, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your boozy creations!

Recipe and Photos by Hope Woodhouse for Glitter, Inc.

This sparkling pomegranate punch has me doing a little happy dance. It's the perfect holiday cocktail or mocktail! Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Lexi

How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board

This post has been sponsored ©2017 Mars, Incorporated and its Affiliates.This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help to make Glitter, Inc. possible! 

‘Tis the season of holiday baking, party planning, gifting and décor, and you know I can’t resist sharing tons of fun and accessible inspiration for your own festive parties. And this year, I am WAY too excited about this holiday dessert charcuterie snack board.

So why a dessert charcuterie board?

Well, last year, we threw such a fun ugly sweater party for the holidays, so I knew I wanted to keep that trend going. I was hoping to find a dessert that would fit right into a fun ugly sweater party, or equally festive holiday party. And who doesn’t love dessert? I’ll admit, the dessert table usually becomes the focal point of most of my parties because, well, dessert. I also love baking, and pulling together ALL of the sweets to really wow guests.

I’ve also been crushing on all of the amazing charcuterie boards all across food blogs and Pinterest, and I thought it would be so much fun to put together a sweet charcuterie board full of all of our favorite holiday desserts and sweet treats. The dessert charcuterie board really allows you to get creative and bring together all different sweets and desserts for your guests, so that everyone can choose a little bit of what they love.

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

The beauty of a dessert table charcuterie board is that you don’t need to stress about making everything homemade. Pull together everyone’s favorite holiday cookies and treats, head to your favorite local bakery for things like shortbread, snowball cookies, and chocolates, and fill in the gaps with whimsical Christmas candy like candy canes, chocolate covered cherry cordials, peppermint bark, and everyone’s favorite red and green holiday M&M’S®. You can also make simple desserts like brownie Christmas trees (you can use boxed brownie mix), caramel corn, and chocolate-dipped pretzel rods and marshmallows (just melt chocolate in the microwave, dip, cover in sprinkles, and allow to cool and dry completely on wax or parchment paper.)

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

This is the kind of dessert spread that is sure to impress!

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

The M&M’s Ugly Sweater Packs are available exclusively at select Kroger stores and they’re on a season-long sale for 2/$4. But hurry, the packs are only available while supplies last.

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

I scooped up a few bags of peanut Ugly Sweater M&M’S (though of course they’re available in the classic milk chocolate version as well) in the seasonal aisle. How cute is that packaging?

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

As for the theme of this dessert set-up: the holiday M&M’S Ugly Sweater Pack was giving me plenty of inspiration here.

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Keep scrolling for a breakdown of what you’ll need for your very own holiday dessert charcuterie board.

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board

This holiday season, put together a sweet charcuterie board full of all of our favorite holiday desserts and sweet treats. Don't be afraid to get creative!

Ingredients

  • holiday M&M's
  • shortbread
  • almond cookies
  • snowball cookies
  • chocolates
  • candy canes
  • chocolate covered cherry cordials
  • peppermint bark
  • brownie Christmas trees (or regular brownies; add red or green frosting for a splash of holiday color)
  • caramel corn
  • trail mix
  • muddy buddies
  • chocolate- or yogurt-covered pretzels
  • chocolate-dipped pretzel rods
  • caramel squares
  • marshmallows

Instructions

Find the biggest serving board or wood cutting board that you have and set up a designated dessert station. Place groups of sweet treats in bunches. You can use shorter jelly jars and bowls for loose candies (mostly to keep them from rolling away.) Be sure to unwrap any of your candies like candy canes, chocolates, and caramel squares, before putting on your charcuterie board.

NOTE: If you make any desserts, like brownies or chocolate-dipped pretzels, allow to cool completely before placing on your tray.

Voilà! A holiday dessert charcuterie, sure to impress all of your guests!

Courses Dessert

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc. How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc. How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc. How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc. How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc. How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc   How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

I loved mixing a few homemade goodies with plenty of store-bought and bakery-bought goodies.

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

If you make your own holiday dessert charcuterie board, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

How to make the ultimate dessert snack board for the holidays; a.k.a., a sweet charcuterie spread. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - How to Make a Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Looking for more holiday inspiration? Check out last year’s ugly sweater holiday party and farmhouse style winter wonderland holiday party.


Lexi

How to Make a DIY Caramel Apple Bar

I love putting together a great dessert bar, as evidenced here, and basically every other party I’ve thrown … well, ever. I love the ease of a dessert station – especially when you can add a mix of homemade goodies plus store-or bakery-bought sweet treats that don’t require any baking or extra work, other than a little prep. Sometimes, after creating a big meal or party, the last thing you want to do is focus on baking dessert after dessert.

And caramel apples, well, they’re delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. I mean, who doesn’t anxiously await the fair to have one huge caramel apple? I also love that caramel apples just scream fall, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, a simple dessert bar, like a DIY caramel apple bar, seems just right.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Dipping slices into your favorite sauces and toppings sounds kind of ideal, right? So the DIY caramel apple station it is.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

A DIY caramel apple bar is creative, inventive, and totally lets your guests play with their food, in the best kind of way. Basically, this is the kind of dessert station everyone will love and is perfect for the grownups, and especially the kids. We loved it so much (because of course we went to town on the leftovers after we shot these photos), I’m planning to serve up some variation of this the next time we have friends over. It’s perfect for inviting friends and their kids over, but I’m also thinking this would be a big hit at book club.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

With everyone’s favorite topping and dipping options — like toffee bits, crushed peanuts, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips —  a caramel apple bar has a little bit of everything. It’s the easiest way to get really creative with your dessert, and the legwork to set up a DIY caramel apple bar is pretty minimal. Win, win.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

How to Make a DIY Caramel Apple Bar

Ingredients

  • apples
  • melted chocolate (white, milk, and/or dark)
  • melted caramel, jarred caramel sauce, or cold caramel fruit dip (in the produce section at the supermarket)
  • Nutella
  • marshmallow sauce or fluff
  • crushed peanuts
  • chopped almonds or almond slivers
  • toffee bits
  • mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter chips
  • mini M&M's
  • mini marshmallows
  • shredded sweetened coconut
  • crushed graham crackers
  • crushed pretzel pieces
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cut apples into slices. I used a mix of large red and green apples. Store in an airtight zip-top bag, and spray a little lemon juice or lemon-lime soda on them, toss to coat, in order to keep them from browning too quickly. Try to serve within a few hours of cutting your apples.
  2. Set out bowls of your dips (melted chocolate, Nutella, caramel sauce, etc.) and toppings (crushed peanuts, toffee, chocolate chips, etc.)
  3. Serve with plenty of napkins - this is one sticky, sweet dessert!

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

After putting together this DIY caramel apple bar, I had all of these other topping ideas; I’m thinking s’mores apples (a.k.a., adding crumbled graham cracker and marshmallow fluff to the mix), chocolate peanut butter pretzel apples (with melted chocolate, crushed pretzels, and peanut butter chips), and Nutella apples (because, Nutella.)

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Tell me this isn’t making you want to chop up on apple, break out the chocolate and various toppings, and get messy?

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterincA DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

If you put together your own DIY caramel apple bar, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

Psst … if you love apples, you have got to try our salted maple caramel apple pie, apple crisp shortbread bars, and slow-cooker apple crisp.

Photo by Annie Watts Photography for Glitter, Inc.

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Lexi

Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Our love affair with fall desserts continues with this salted maple caramel apple pie recipe that you are sure to FREAK out over. It’s a spin on a more traditional apple pie that will have you wondering why it took you so long to start drizzling homemade salted maple caramel sauce on ALL of the apple things. I mean, of course a caramel-soaked apple pie is going to taste incredible. The apple pie here is standalone amazing, but let’s be honest: the caramel is the real hero here; and it’s a total crowd-pleaser, so get ready to impress everyone.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pie Recipe by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

This maple caramel apple pie recipe is just about the most perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread, and maybe it’s just me, but a leftover slice of pie the morning after Thanksgiving, well that’s pretty much post food coma heaven. And this maple caramel apple pie? Yeah, it happens to be just as amazing cold as it is warm out of the oven. Served with a big cup of coffee, of course.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Our brilliant food contributor, Hope, created this maple caramel apple pie recipe, and it might just be our new favorite pie. And that’s saying something, because, well … PIE.

From Hope:

Maple caramel apple pie is the ultimate twist on the classic American apple pie. Buttery pie dough is packed with fresh apple slices then drowned in maple caramel and baked to perfection. The maple caramel is really what makes the pie so amazing – it is so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful!

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Yield 1 pie

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup ice water, or more as needed

Maple Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

Apple Pie Filling

  • 8 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I used 9 small apples)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • a few pinches of salt
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup salted maple caramel
  • turbinado sugar, for top

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon cream or milk

Instructions

Make the Pie Crust

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and toss in the flour mixture to coat. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the size of walnut halves.
  • Make a well in the middle of the butter-flour mixture and add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Mix after each addition just until the dough comes together.
  • Separate the dough into two equal balls. Roll out the dough balls into small rounds, wrap them in plastic wrap, and chill well before rolling to their full size for baking.

Make the Maple Caramel Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the maple syrup and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir frequently. This should take 6-10 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, stirring frequently. The butter will bubble as it hits the hot sugar-syrup mixture. Continue to heat for another 2 minutes, stirring a few times.
  • Pour in the cream and sea salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes, continuing to stir a few times a minute. You can make this as thin or thick as you like, but the caramel is done cooking when it becomes thick and doesn’t slide off of a spoon. If you prefer thinner caramel, reduce the cooking time. I cooked mine for the full 15 minutes and the resulting caramel was deliciously thick.
  • When the caramel is done, let it cool for a few minutes in the pot before transferring it to a jar. If the sauce thickens too much while you make the apple filling, reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time.

Make the Apple Pie

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a pie plate with butter and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and flour and stir to evenly coat the apples. Set aside while you prepare your crust.
  • On a floured surface, roll out one of your pie dough disks into a 10 to 11 inch circle, so that it will drape over the edges of your pie dish. Gently place the rolled out dough into your greased pie dish and pat the edges of the pan into the bottom edge.
  • Layer the apples onto the pie dough. Keeping the apples flat will help the pie as it cooks. Don’t pour the excess liquid from the apple bowl into the crust – it will make the pie soggy (and no one wants a soggy pie). Pour the maple caramel on top of the apple filling.
  • On your floured surface, roll out the second pie dough disk into a circle large enough to touch all edges of your pie plate and the bottom pie crust. Cut the circle into strips to create a lattice pattern on the top of your pie. Re-roll any leftover pie dough scrap and cut out leaves to decorate the edges. When you are pleased with your design, crimp the edges all around your pie.
  • Brush all of the dough with your egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is golden. Mine didn’t need the full hour, so begin checking at 45 minutes. Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour before serving. It can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. I find it most delicious when it is warm, but easiest to cut cleanly when it is cold. Enjoy with a generous scoop of ice cream!

Courses dessert

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Goodness, I love the way fresh apples and sugar bake down into caramely pie perfection.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

If you haven’t jumped on the homemade caramel sauce bandwagon, now’s the time. No matter the flavor – in this case, salted maple – homemade caramel is incredibly good. It’s the kind of thing you’ll make once and wonder why you’d been missing out for so long. And this maple caramel sauce in particular was made for fall. The delicious caramel flavor is complemented perfectly with pure maple syrup. Let’s just say, you’ll have a hard time saving any for the pie.

And, as Hope suggests, maple caramel sauce is so versatile. Pour it over ice cream, mix it with some caramel, layer it in a cake, swirl it in brownies, stir it in your coffee, serve it with your pancakes; the list goes on and on.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

By the way, no need to let the “salted” factor scare you – its subtle, and sweet, and the pinch of sea salt adds the perfect balance and contrast to the rich maple caramel and sweet and warm apple filling.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Don’t be shy with that homemade caramel; that is, if you have any left.

 

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Love this maple caramel apple pie recipe? Head to our recipe page to check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own maple caramel apple pie, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!


Lexi