As much as I hate to perpetuate junk food (sometimes food) during the holidays…I want to give you a half-healthy alternative to ice cream, chocolate cake, orange sticks, and pecan pie.
This is the caramel apple bar, apple sundae bar, apple dipping, or whatever else you want to call it. This is easy and definitely a sometimes food, but if you’re looking for a fast party to plan or a friend gathering where you’ll crowd around the table together, this is it. As a special treat, this is fun for adults and kids! We done this with a group of friends and also with our own children with success.
We first threw a Caramel Apple Bar with friends, all adults. It makes for the perfect setting to sit around the kitchen counter chatting away for hours. There are so many combinations of flavors that everyone can make their own signature apple. I think this is the perfect party for the coming weeks before Christmas. It’s one grocery stop, lots of bowls, minimal chopping (use the food processor if you can), and slicing some apples.
I only have one caution for you, when jabbing long skewers into the apples to dip them (unless you go rouge and just dip by hand), don’t stab yourself. It hurts…I know from experience. We used a combo of honeycrisp and green apples. I definitely recommend the crispier and more sour apples to balance so many sweet toppings. Just stab those apples with care!
For the toppings, there really is no end to what you could do. As much as you try to healthify these, it really won’t happen when you’re dipping them in caramel and chocolate, so own that it will be a sometime dessert and enjoy the evening. For us, the reese’s pieces disappeared first. The marshmallows were least popular for adults, but highly popular for kids. Throw in sprinkles, some sea salt for sprinkling on top, or even melted white chocolate for a top drizzle. I personally like the chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
I think things like this are fun. I constantly strive for a balance in treats and healthy foods (not a true “balance” since healthy foods far outweigh the treats, just a balance of giving a little wiggle room). I don’t want to deprive my kids and have them binge when they are out of my range. I talk about sometimes food and always food often. We have to be okay only sometimes eating sometimes foods. However, when we have treats we also include the conversation about why we eat more healthy foods and what our bodies really need to fuel them. If we stress and guilt and control, it won’t work for us or our children in the long run. Eat more veggies, eat less junk, move your body, and enjoy your life. It’s kinda simple and kinda complicated all wrapped together.
I hope you have happy holiday parties, fun family evenings, and enjoy eating some apples for me. Cheers and happy holidays!