Easiest Caramel Dip

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As you know, apples are our ingredient of the season and with that in mind, I decided to make a childhood favorite of mine, caramel dip.  Over the years, my tastes for sweets has drastically decreased.  I’m now a dark chocolate lover and I tend to gravitate towards salty snacks, but when October rolls around I always think of my mom’s caramel dip.  She used to whip up a batch for friendly gatherings, holiday dessert tables and if my memory serves me correctly, the soccer concession stand.

This recipe is dubbed ‘the easiest caramel dip’ because you’re not actually making the caramels, you’re simply melting them and adding a couple other ingredients to achieve the right taste and consistency.  Its simple preparation (no knives involved!) makes it a great recipe for the kiddos to help with.  It can also be made a day or two ahead if you have a big party approaching and in my opinion, those are the best types of party foods.

The original recipe, which was dictated to me by my mom earlier this afternoon calls for Cool Whip.  My mom mentioned that she didn’t really know why the Cool Whip was added (since it’s mainly just oil) and that I could probably find a substitution for it, but that she never bothered.  Raising four kids, working full time, and constantly cooking for us, I can understand why she didn’t want to mess with a hit like her simple caramel dip.  Can you imagine the moans and groans we would have attacked her with if the dip didn’t taste right?  Anyway, after I went grocery shopping and snapped the first shot of the ingredients I realized I don’t have four kids and thus I could manage to experiment without any repercussions and such, this recipe contains Cool Whip no more! I opted to use a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil instead and to my delight, it turned out perfectly and you can’t taste the coconut one single bit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Kraft caramel
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil (or more to achieve desired consistency)

Easiest Instructions:

  • Unwrap all the caramels and put them in a small sauce pot along with the cream cheese.
  • Stir continuously on medium low heat until the caramels and cream cheese are completely melted and combined.
  • Stir in two tablespoons of coconut oil.  If you like a thinner dip, add a bit more coconut oil until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Remove from heat. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with sliced apples.

Along with sliced apples, I also dripped some of the caramel dip onto plain, unsalted popcorn and roasted, unsalted peanuts. It made for a sweet and crunchy treat.

Just so you know…

  • I’m moving in a few days and I had already packed up my kitchen so finding utensils, bowls and serving pieces for this post was the most challenging part!
  • The handle of my pot broke off (the screw came loose and slipped out) when I picked up the pot to transfer the caramel to a bowl. It slammed down on the stove and hot caramel splattered everywhere..
  • I almost spelled caramel, carmel for the entire post because I grew up next to Mount Carmel so naturally that’s how I’ve been spelling the sweet treat my entire life.  I never understood why some people pronounced caramel with three syllables, but now I get it.
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Simple Strawberry & Greek Yogurt Popsicles

The temps were high in North Carolina this weekend.  It felt a lot like the middle of July around here.  I was busy entertaining a few friends and we all decided to check out a local bikram yoga studio.  Yep, we thought the smartest way to beat the heat was to enter a 115° room for ninety minutes.  Our moment of salvation came at the end when the instructor gave us each a cold scented towel and a freeze pop.  Those little frozen treats left us wanting more.  We took our time thinking about it by the pool and then came up with this simple strawberry and greek yogurt popsicle recipe.  With only four ingredients, there is really no excuse not to try this naturally sweet fruit pop.

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It is best to use fresh and juicy strawberries for these pops.  Now is the perfect time to find a strawberry field near you!  There are dozens of you-pick-it strawberry fields near Chapel Hill and I think we found the prettiest one.  I enjoyed picking berries so much that I plan on picking some more this week!  You can’t beat paying $2.50 a pound for the ripest strawberries around.  If you’re looking for a fun activity this month, find a field near you!
Katie here with a few berry-washing tips:
  • It’s better to do a quick dunk in water or just run them through the faucet stream rather than to let your berries soak. If they’re in the water too long, they can absorb some of that H2O and their sweet flavor will get diluted.
  • Do you notice how your berries seem to mold much faster than other produce? Washing them is a great first attack to stop the mold, but even better is adding just a little bit of vinegar to your washing water. The vinegar will kill the model spores and, believe us, it will evaporate and won’t leave a funny taste on your berries. 
  • Finally, no matter your washing method, be sure to thoroughly dry your berries so that they don’t turn to mush in the fridge. Calder likes to put a folded paper towel in the bottom of a berry colander and just store the berries in there. The towel absorbs excess water and it evaporates fairly quickly in cold & dry fridge.

Ok, back to Sarah and the lovely pop ladies ~

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Equipment:

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • Juice of one lime

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Instructions:

  • Cut the tops off of two cups of strawberries.
  • Mash the berries for about a minute.
  • Add the sugar and stir.
  • Let the mixture sit for about twenty minutes.
  • Add the strawberries, greek yogurt, and lime juice to the blender.
  • Blend for thirty seconds to a minute.
  • Pour into the popsicle molds and freeze. Easy peasy, lime squeezey.

These pops are perfectly creamy and sweet.  They are sure to please a crowd of kids or for that matter, a group of gal friends.

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