Apple Chips and Caramel Dip for Fall

Caramel Apple-Brownie CheesecakeThe snap of a crisp fall apple wrapped in caramel is one of the sweetest temptations this side of paradise. But apples and caramel can be so much more than the classic county-fair snack. Our September issue puts six new spins on the irresistable flavor combination, like this tasty Caramel Apple Dip. For the other recipes (like Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake) see our Indulgent Caramel Apple Desserts gallery.

Caramel Apple Dip
Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Fresh apple slices

Preparation
1. Stir together first 3 ingredients just until blended. Spoon mixture into a 10-oz. ramekin; level and smooth surface with a spatula. Cover and chill 2 to 8 hours.
2. Preheat broiler with oven rack 5 inches from heat. Sprinkle granulated sugar over mixture in ramekin. Fill an 8-inch cake pan with ice; place ramekin in pan.
3. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar is melted and caramelized. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve with apple slices.

Caramelized Apple Chips are a gorgeous flourish for all your fall desserts. Here's how to make these golden beauties.

Preheat oven to 350°. Place a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined 15- × 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Cut 1 small apple into 1/16-inch-thick slices, cutting through stem and bottom end using a mandoline. Bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add apple slices, and cook, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until apples are slightly translucent and syrup begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Quickly remove apples from syrup, 1 at a time, using tongs, and place in a single layer on wire rack in pan. Discard remaining syrup, or save for another use. Bake apples at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden; remove from oven, and transfer apples to lightly greased wax paper, using tongs. Cool completely (about 10 minutes). Apples will crisp as they cool. Makes about 2 dozen.

Southern Living September 2012 Related Articles from Southern Living:
8 Fruit-Filled Fall Tarts
Fall Farmer's Market Recipes
Celebrate Fig Season