Monday, October 31, 2011

Fancy Dipped Apples, Cupcake Monsters, and Were-rabbits

Apple of My Eye
No recipe this time. I'll just put that out there right now. But I've been walking past these apples at least once a day for the past week (or at least ones that look like these apples--hopefully not actually the same apples) and they were too Halloween-y adorable not to share. Something to aspire to, perhaps, if I want to ruin a perfectly good apple in order to decorate it.

A friend of mine went to culinary school and I remember listening to her talking about her chocolates classes -- and being amazed by the beautiful creations she came up with. Creations like those, and like these apples and were-rabbits, are exactly the type of thing that makes me want to seriously investigate how to work with chocolate, maybe even take classes. But then, I think of all the things I could better use that money for. And so instead, I consider possibly working at a place that would teach me how to make creations like these. I haven't ruled that out yet.

One thing I've got to say about Halloween--and other holidays--is that it certainly makes walking past bakeries, chocolate shops, and other such places much more interesting. I've already posted a picture of a "pan muerto" from our local growers market. In fact, I like window displays a lot when it's holiday time--especially when people aren't too terribly concerned about the political correctness of their displays. I think too, even in my Halloween grumpiness this year, the window displays in town have helped me feel a little more in the spirit. It's hard to not feel a little bit of fondness for the holiday when there are skeletons in wedding dresses, apples like these, little monster cupcakes, etc. Last year, in my previous town, I took pictures of fancy cupcakes at my favorite bakery (pictured left). The lighting was pretty horrible for pictures, but you get the general idea.
Such cute monsters...though I'm not
a fan of the pipe cleaners.

In my mind, one of the big problems with specialty cupcakes is that amount of frosting that's used. Maybe I only feel this way because I'm not a huge fan of frosting--or dye--but also because these specialty cupcakes (even ones that are much less fancy-decorated than these) cost so much, when really the ingredients are often very cheap to buy. The profit margin must be huge--and for products, that when I've tried them, aren't really worth it.

Speaking of things I'm not a fan of: caramel apples. That's a little ironic, perhaps, considering that was the impetus of this post. However, I don't understand why anyone would ruin a perfectly delicious apple by putting caramel on it--much less dipping it caramel and peanut butter. Or caramel and M&Ms. Or, well you get the point. I don't care much caramel, but even if I did, this just seems like a sugar-overload. I'd love to hear from a few of you who like caramel apples. Why do you like them and when do you eat them? People's food memories are always great.

The average American eats about 120 apples a year (hm, considering I pretty much eat an apple a day most of the year, that makes me concerned for the low consumption by other people). The average caramel apple has between 230-340 calories, according to one site I found. But these are (white) chocolate dipped apples--and probably "cost" a lot more than 700 calories. I'm guessing this number, because one of the only uber-indulgent caramel apples I could find statistics on, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's Apple Pie Caramel Apple, supposedly contains more than 700 calories.

Something maybe we should eat more of? The relatives of these carved babies. Pumpkins you carve are edible but they're not super good like the smaller pie pumpkins. E, her boyfriend, and her co-worker K carved these beauties last night. E's boyfriend and K both carved pumpkins they'd grown and I'm proud (or something like that) to say E's pumpkin was "pamper'd." The label said so. Hers is the eye. And it's a little blocked by the boyfriend. Alas. Happy Halloween.

K's kitty in the window, A's Jack, E's Eye

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