I participated in Mom Blog Tour at the Summer Fancy Food Show on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers and received John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks products to facilitate this Cinnamon Crunch Caramel Apples recipe and review. #MomBlogTourFF
I’m a firm believer that there’s a time and place for everything. And when it comes to caramel apples, that time is always and the place is in my belly. Especially when they’re Cinnamon Crunch Caramel Apples, made with huge, sweet/tart Honeycrisp apples, chewy caramel and a crunchy coating of crushed Java Cinnamon John Wm. Macy’s SweetSticks.
Cinnamon Crunch Caramel Apples w/ Java Cinnamon SweetSticks
- 4 HoneyCrisp apples, washed, dried and slightly chilled
- 1 11 oz. bag of individually wrapped plain caramels
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 boxes of John Wm. Macy's Java Cinnamon SweetSticks
- 4 wooden popsicle sticks, optional
- If using wooden pop sticks, insert one into the stem end of each apple. If using a SweetStick as a stick, set aside 4 SweetSticks to be used later.
- Heat caramels and water in a small saucepan over low heat until thoroughly melted and smooth. In a plastic freezer bag, crush one box of SweetSticks until you have uniform crumbles (but not fine crumbs.) Place crumbles on a shallow plate.
- Cover large plate with parchment; spray with cooking spray. Dip apples, 1 at a time, into caramel sauce, turning to evenly coat each apple. (If using sticks, simple dip apples holding each by the stick. If you'll be inserting SweetSticks, use a paring knife to carve an inch of two of the core out of the apple, and carefully insert a knife to allow you to hold and dip the apple.) Hold dipped apple over bowl to let excess caramel drip back into bowl. Roll apples one at a time, in the SweetSticks Crumbles; transfer to parchment-lined plate and remove knife, if using.
- To insert SweetStick: Spoon a small amount of caramel into the hole you've carved into the stem end of the apple. Push SweetStick in as far as it will go, being careful not to break it. Hold in place for a minute or two until caramel begins to stiffen
- Refrigerate 1 hour or until caramel is firm. Allow to sit at room temp for about 10 minutes before serving. (Apples can be refrigerated up to 2 days before serving.)
Catching Up with John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks
John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks was the “exclusive CheeseStick appetizer” of our Mom Blog Tour at the Summer Fancy Food Show this year. Having worked with them before, I knew this was a score for us. It’s always a lovely job perk when you find a spectacular product, and then find out the people behind it are so likeable, too! (Yes, that’s the man himself – John William Macy – updating our team on what’s new with the company since we last saw them.)
If you followed along the last time I reviewed these party snacks, you’ll know that they are handcrafted with layer upon layer of delicate pastry dough, real, quality cheeses and other simple, natural ingredients, then carefully twice-baked to a perfect crisp.
The recipe was originally developed in 1976, and the company was launched in 1985 in NYC. They’ve since added flavors and varieties, like new Cheddar Rosemary, but the dedication and quality remain the same – natural ingredients, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. And this year, the big buzz was all about the new packaging.
After a yearlong study to gain branding insight, John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks launched their new look at the Summer Fancy Food Show, and we were among the first to see it. The main goal of the redesign was to highlight the values and character of the family business, and I think they hit the mark. Plus, the new colors will totally pop off store shelves and make the flavor varieties easier to differentiate. Since my day job is in retail grocery marketing, this seriously piqued my interest and was bit of a bonus to me, an admitted grocery nerd. 🙂
A Sweeter Stick
Last time around, my shipment of CheeseSticks inspired me to go savory with a Brussels Sprouts Gratin recipe. This time, there was no denying the sweet-tooth appeal of the totally decadent Java Cinnamon SweetSticks. Their light crunch and sweet cinnamon flavor are so addicting, it’s hard to even set any aside for creative pursuits, but I managed to do it. And oh, I’m SO glad I did.
Caramel apples seemed like a perfect fit, since Halloween really is just around the corner, with holiday gifting not far behind. I’m all about the food gifts, and what could be more perfect than handcrafted caramel apples coated in such a unique, handcrafted ingredient?