So what's favorite apple indulgence?? Now don't lie and say apple pie! That's so full of fresh apples its almost healthy! Lol Well at least until you top it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. With Fall fully underway, I wanted to have some of our favorite apple treats. Caramel apples!! You know those caramel dunked apples that are covered in candy?? I made these easier to eat but still so much fun: caramel apple hand pies!
They're just little apple pies covered in a caramel sauce and then topped with your favorite candies or nuts!
Ok so first the apple pie
I like to use a modified version of my Cardamom Ginger Apple Pie Filling to make these treats! Once that apple pie filling is cooling, you can start on preparing the crusts. (Or you can even wait until the next day, a great thing about this recipe is that you can do it in steps!)
I like to use store bought pie crusts (so much easier, especially with little kids running around!) Roll out the pie crusts a little bit, really just to make sure it is level. Take a round biscuit cutter or a small 4 inch bowl and cut out circles. Place half of pie crust rounds on a baking sheet, top with a couple spoons of cooled apple pie filling, and then top with a second pie crust round. Crimp the edges of the little pies to seal and bake! Oh but do not forget to pierce the top of the pie crust with a fork to vent.
Make a caramel sauce with candy!
You can totally make a caramel sauce from scratch if you prefer but I like this quick method: melt chewy caramel candies!! I also add a touch of heavy cream to help loosen the caramels plus finish with a sprinkle of sea salt to give you a nice salted caramel flavor!! Its definitely a sauce that you can save for other desserts too!
Spoon the caramel sauce over the hand piece once the pies are cooled. If you try to top them while they're fresh out of the oven, the caramel sauce will just melt off!
Now the Toppings!!
What is your go-to caramel apple topping? Is it M&M's, Reese's pieces, salted nuts? Or do you like your caramel apple plain??
Either way, you have to try these caramel apple hand pies! They are actually so quick to made and kids have so much fun decorating them. Then of course devouring them!!
For more apple flavored treats, do not forget to check out: Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping, Apple Cheesecake Tart with Almond Shortbread Crust, Maple Chai Apple Topped Buttermilk Pancakes
Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Apple Pie Filling
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 cups apples peeled and chopped, about 2-3 apples
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated, optional
- ½ cup caramels I use about 20 chewy caramels
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Caramel Apple Hand Pie Ingredients
- 2 pie crusts I like to buy a store made crust for ease, 1 pack that has a top and bottom crust
- M&M's, Reese's Pieces, or Chopped Nuts for topping
Apple Pie Filling
- Prepare apples by drizzling peeled and chopped apples with lemon juice and set aside.
- Mix corn starch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl to make a slurry.
- In a saucepan, heat water on medium heat. Add the cornstarch slurry to the water. Add all of the ingredients of the apple pie spices to the water and whisk to combine. Cornstarch should start to dissolve as it heats up.
- Stir the mixture often. It will start to boil. Allow to boil for about 2 -3 minutes.
- Add chopped and peeled apples to the mixture. Stir to evenly coat. Cook the mixture with the apples for about 5 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. As the mixture cools, it will thicken even more. Once the filling is cooled, you can spoon the filling on the pie crust rounds.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- As the filling is cooling, roll out the pie crust and cut the dough into 4 inch rounds. Make sure you have an even number of rounds. Place half of the pie crust rounds on the parchment lined baking sheet
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of cooled apple pie filling on to half of pie crust rounds. Take the other pie rounds and place the tops on the filled rounds. Use a fork to seal around the edges of the pies and then pierce the top crust with the fork to allow the steam to escape as they are cooking.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before topping.
- While the pies are baking, make the caramel sauce. Melt the caramel in a small saucepan.
- Once the caramel has melted, whisk in heavy cream. Stir in sea salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
Decorate the Hand Pies
- Spoon caramel sauce over the apple hand pies.
- Sprinkle candy or chopped nuts over the caramel sauce