There’s something about flaky pieces of pie crust breaking in your hands that makes me happy that it’s fall.  Although I love large apple pies sliced at the dinner table, warm mini versions that can be cusped in your palm I find even more fun.  The best part is that they’re portable.  You can bring them along on a picnic, leaf walk or send them with the kids for lunch.  Wouldn’t that make them the star of the cafeteria?

Little Bug loved making these pies with me.  She had her own set of apples and was munching and sticking them in a pot to make her own “pie”.  It was quite adorable.  I love that we can bake together more easily now.  Even I’m still doing the baking and she’s only starting to mimic my actions.  And who doesn’t find peeling apples relaxing?  I just want to figure out something to do with all of those apple peels.  Maybe crisping them for chips or doing an art project.  They seemed too pretty to waste!

These mini pies were created after watching an episode of one of my favorite food television shows, Chopped.  I love how they have to repurpose ingredients on the fly.  Thinking about making a caramel from scratch seemed a bit overwhelming, so I decided to melt down some caramel chews, add a little butter and milk and drizzle the sweet concoction over some apples.  Stuff into a pie crust and bake for twenty minutes.  Not to fail to instill confidence, but this is one of my first completely original treats.  They were a huge hit at Little Bug’s Barnyard Birthday Bash, but I definitely think the recipe fits more into the fall.  Maybe I should rename them… A Touch of Fall in Your Hands could work too!

You Will Need:

3 large apples

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of caramel soft chew candies

2 tablespoons of butter (plus a tablespoon for melting)

1 tablespoon of milk

1 package of refrigerated pie dough

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Peel and core the apples. (This is a great recipe to make right after you’ve been apple picking!)  Chop into small pieces.

Coat evenly with lemon juice and cinnamon.

2.  Melt the caramel chews over a medium hot saucepan.  Add the butter and milk, stirring frequently until combined.  Stir together until you have a caramel sauce mixture.

3.  Add the caramel sauce to the apples, coating all of the apple pieces.

4.  Cut 24 circles (about a 4 inch round cookie cutter) from the pie dough. Fill each circle with a spoonful or two of apple mixture.  Add a second pie dough circle on top.  Use a fork to press along the edges and seal.

5.  Melt a tablespoon of butter and spread on top of the hand pies.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Serve warm or chilled with a cup of hot apple cider.

Don’t those sound like the perfect fall treat?  I’m thinking I’m going to make another batch for our Thanksgiving dessert table.  You can never have enough versions of apple pie!

Happy Celebrating,

Natalie

P.S.  Extra apple mixture?  When I made this recipe, I had some extra apple mixture left over.  I crushed some graham crackers and lined the bottom of silicone baking cups.  Then, I filled each cup with the apple mixture and baked for ten minutes.  They were a delicious unexpected dessert that night!

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