Tonight we attended a dinner for new families at Lillian’s school and I volunteered to bring a sweet treat. I wanted to bring something individually portioned that would be easy to eat and full of yummy fall flavors. I’d originally planned on making miniature caramel apples but the damned caramel kept sliding off the apple pieces. So I improvised and ended up with these incredible apple pie lollipops, which I then drizzled with the aforementioned caramel. They were ridiculously good.
After the adventure with the failed mini caramel apples (those oh-so-easy videos blowing up my Facebook feed failed to mention that the caramel only stays on for about 5 minutes), I didn’t have much time to waste coming up with Plan B. Thankfully, these little apple pie bites were fairly easy to make. I started with a very simple apple pie bar recipe with a basic shortbread crust layered with spiced apples and a strudel topping.
Once the apple pies were out of the oven I let them cool for about 15 minutes then stuck them in the freezer for another 30 to get them nice and firm. Once I got the caramel warm it was time to pop in the lollipop sticks.
I used a bamboo skewer to make a hole through the center of each pie.
To make sure the lollipop sticks would stay put, I dipped the tips in caramel before inserting each one into a pie.
Then it was time to drizzle on the caramel and let them dry completely.
Since we planned on taking these to a school event, I packaged each one in a cellophane bag secured with twine and placed them in a box. Once delivered to the school, they didn’t last very long. Lillian proudly pointed out our treats to just about anyone who passed within three feet of the dessert table.
These pops ended up being a great way to end a fun night with my favorite kiddos. And they actually made for a pretty fun afternoon of baking too. I guess it goes to show that sometimes the best plans are the ones you make up as you go along.
Caramel Apple Pie Pops
Makes 24 pops
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 small apples, peeled, cored and finely diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
4 tablespoon cold butter, cubed
1 batch store bought or homemade caramel, melted
24 lollipop sticks
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a mini muffin pan evenly with cooking spray.
- Make the crust: Combine the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir to combine. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough into each muffin well and press evenly over the bottom of each. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.
- Make the apple filling: Combine the diced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
- Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- Remove the crusts from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350°F. Distribute about a teaspoon of the apples on top of each warm crust and press them down to fit. Top each the apple layer with streusel and bake for 25 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Warm caramel over in microwave according to package directions until soft and smooth.
- Run a pairing knife around the end of each pie to loosen and move each pie to a sheet of parchment. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to create a hole through the center of each pie.
- Dip the tip of each lollipop stick in caramel then secure in each apple pie. Arrange pie pops on parchment paper and drizzle with caramel. Allow caramel to cool completely, at least 45 minutes, before serving pie pops.