Celebrate Fall with Caramel Apple Goodness!

 

It's that time of year again, the leaves are showing off their brilliant colors against a cool fall sky and crisp chill is in the air.  That means the season for cozy sweaters, apple picking and little goblins knocking on doors begging for treats is here! To warm you up this fall, Nathan Hubble from Followthatfork.com and Marie (Me)  from Happy Hour Collection have partnered up to bring you some warm, caramel apple treats!

Our goal was to capture the essence of fall in a cocktail, buttery caramel and apple flavors partner with the smoky smell of oak leaves in this version of a hot buttered rum. A warm and cozy autumn sipper great for warming you and your friends as you pass out candy to the neighborhood kiddos (cause we all know that's not coffee in that travelling mug). Pair it with fresh warm Caramel Apple Cider Bread and you've got the perfect start to a Halloween or fall get together!

Fall is in the Air  

- Caramel Apple Buttered Cocktail-

   (makes 4)

   1/2 stick butter

   1 tsp cinnamon    

   1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (opt)

   2 cups water

   1 cup Tom's Foolery Apple Jack (or dark /aged rum if you prefer)

   1/4 cup caramel sauce *recipe to follow*

   4 dashes Bar Keep Apple bitters per drink

  Oak leaf garnish (optional)

     Add water, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small pot and cook on medium low heat, whisking occasionally.  When mixture reaches a simmer, add the caramel and cook just a minute longer.

In four cocktail glasses or Irish mugs, add 1/4 cup Tom's Foolery Apple Jack and four dashes of Bar Keep Baked Apple bitters, top each glass with a portion of your hot buttered caramel mix. Pair with Caramel Apple Cider bread and Enjoy with friends!

*For the oak leaf garnish, make a tiny cut in the leaf and add to rim of glass. Light the oak leaf and blow out just before serving. Besides looking cool,  this adds just a whisper of fall leaves aroma as you take your first couple of sips. To add a little more smoke to your cocktail, rinse your glass with a smoky scotch or mezcal before adding any of the other ingredients.  

Variation: Nathan prefers to add the booze to the heated mixture on the stove top and cook just a little bit of the alcohol off, giving it a deeper caramel flavor. 

 

Caramel Sauce

contributed by Nathan, Followthatfork.com

   1 cup sugar

   1/4 cup water

   1 TBs light corn syrup

   2 TBS butter

   1/2 cup heavy cream

   1/4 tsp salt (optional)

 

   Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan, but DO NOT stir.  The corn syrup will help keep the caramel smooth, but isn't necessary for those who would rather avoid it. While the mixture boils, carefully brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. As soon as the sugar is dark amber color (about 10-12 minutes), REMOVE from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. This will make the mixture bubble and seize up, at first you might think you ruined your caramel  but never fear keep on whisking and it'll turn into a beautiful creamy caramel sauce. Whisk in the butter, add salt if desired. Pour into bottle or mason jar to store. Use to make Caramel Apple Cider Bread, cocktails, over ice cream or make an extra batch and give to a friend for the holidays. 

*Helpful hints:

-Resist the urge to stir the sugar and water. Stirring causes the caramel to crystallize, a gentle swirl of the pan is sufficient.  

-Keep a close eye on the sugar and water mixture as it starts to caramelize. It can go from a beautiful deep amber to burnt real quick. 

 

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Happy Hour Collection @happyhourcle

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