Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Beach Snacks - Caramel Apple Empanandas

A post on Kandeeland that featured her yummy Rice Krispy treat got me thinking about how it relates to my topic of the week. Preparing for this summers "Beach Day Tuesdays". I have a few standby snacks that I buy and prepare for beach day.

My beach bag is not complete with raisins, apple juice boxes, baggies of almonds, bananas, nut butter sandwiches and the basics...but we do have one item that is unique unto me. Apple caramel empanades.

(Just in case: Empanadas are little fried pies)

They are perfect beach and pool food. Make them small, put a stick in them and pop them into a quart sized ziploc and you just grab it on your way to the beach. The pie crust on the outside keeps the sand out, the stick makes them great for dirty hands, and there is something about caramel when you are in the salty air.

Fast and Easy Caramel Apple Empanadas

crust
1 containers of refrigerator biscuits...the plain little ones work best for making little treats.

filling
3 apples peeled and chopped into 1/2" cubes
1 cup of water
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup raisins

frying
sugar for sprinkling
vegetable oil, lard, coconut oil...whatever oil you like to fry with.

Directions

Open the biscuits, and flatten each of them out (I do it on wax paper). Make them a nice 4" circle but the shape does not have to be perfect. The entire feel of this recipe is easy breezy.

Put one cup of water in the microwave in a small bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes. When it comes out put the raisins inside to plump them. You can add more raisins if you like. Depends on how much you like cooked raisins. When they look plump drain them and set them aside.

Bring one cup of water to boil. Add the apples and cinnamon. Boil them until soft and add more water if it starts to dry up. Drain them and set them aside with the raisins.

Bring one cup of water, 2 cups of sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to boil over medium heat until be turns caramel brown. It doesn't take long at all. You can use a candy thermometer and take it to 335 degrees, but I just eyeball it for the right color. When it does reduce heat to low (if you turn off the heat it will harden and be inconvenient to say the least)...add the apples and raisins.

side note: you can get creative here...as long as its not watery you can add virtually ANYTHING. I would love to hear what others have added!).

Start heating up 1" of oil in a frying pan.

Assemble by putting a spoonful of filling in the middle of each biscuit. With my fingers I dampen the edges with water, milk or egg. Whatever I have has always worked well. Fold over and seal. You can make hashmarks with a fork to ensure its sealed.

Toss in the oil and turn when brown. Remove when the second side is brown. Sprinkle with sugar immediately so it sticks. Let cool. Then you can put them in a baggie and refrigerate. I love them cold! They are good warm with ice cream, too.

If you are trying to be healthier...
use a whole wheat biscuit dough.
use only apples and raisins...and perhaps half the sugar.
bake them in the oven at 375 degrees until lightly browned.

But made this way they don't hold up as prettily at the beach...still VERY tasty though. :)





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