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Nothing says fall to me like apples and hot chocolate. I have many fond memories of apple picking on a crisp day then coming home to warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate. These are staples in our home throughout the season and to me, they are both the ultimate comfort treat.
Today I am going to show you how easy it can be to make a homemade hot chocolate and caramel apple pie, even the crust. Don’t worry, you can do this.
Apple Pie & Crust
This is a double crust recipe since we need a top for our pie, so in the bowl of a food processor (or plain bowl of doing it all by hand), add 4 cups of flour, 1 stick of cold butter (half cup), 1 1/4 cups of shortening, 3 tablespoons of white sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and a half cup of water. Once your mixture is mostly combined, add an egg and combine it the rest of the way.
My food processor gets a little cranky when it comes to pie crust so I start it in the food processor and finish it off in a regular bowl and pastry cutter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter then you can use your hands to combine it all the way. Mix the ingredients together, but don’t overwork it.
Once your crust mixture is combined, cut it in half and form two dough balls. Put one in the refrigerator so the butter and shortening don’t start to melt and do weird things.
Roll one ball of dough out on wax paper and a liberal amount of flour. Eyeball the size of the rolled out dough and compare it to the size of your pie plate. You want the dough to be about an inch larger than the plate to account for the sides of the pie plate and a tiny bit extra. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Now that your dough is rolled out, put your pie plate over the dough, then slide the wax paper to the edge of your work surface, the slowly slide it off your work surface with your hand underneath the wax paper and pie plate. Now flip it over and put the plate right side up on your work surface with the dough inside.
Easy enough, right?
Now that your crust dough is in the plate you can shape it and patch up any rips, holes, or areas that didn’t quite make it to the top of the pan with any excess crust dough. Put your crust in the refrigerator to cool back down from working the butter and shortening with your hands.
Now it’s time to make the pie filling. I like to use at least two different kinds of apples for my pie. For this one I used Honeycrisp and SweeTango apples, but you can use whatever kind you like best.
Peel and cut 5 1/2 cups of apples and put them in a bowl. To the apples, add about a 1/2 cup of white sugar (add a little more for tart apples and a little less for extra sweet apples. I used a little less because my apples were very sweet) 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon of flour. I also used 1/4 teaspoon of Penzey’s baking spice, but this is optional.
Pour the apple mixture into the crust with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and KRAFT Caramel Bits to suit your taste; I used about 1/8 of a cup.
Using the same method as the bottom crust, roll out and apply your top crust, pinch it together with the bottom crust, and poke some holes in the top. If you have some extra dough and cookie cutters you can put a cute shape on top of the crust for fun.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes. I like to check the pie after 40 minutes and if the crust is browning too fast I put foil around the edge.That’s it! That’s how easy it is to make a homemade apple pie.
This is so, so simple that you’re going to wonder why you keep buying packets of hot cocoa. All you need to make delicious hot chocolate is 4 ounces of BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate chopped very fine, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 1/4 cup whole milk, 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Optional ingredients are a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, cinnamon, or fresh nutmeg.
Add the milk and cream to a warm pan and heat until steaming but not boiling. Add the chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and optional spices if using them to the hot milk and stir until melted and combined.
Serve in a cute mug and top with JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows. This recipe makes one mug full of hot chocolate.
I found everything I needed to make these comforting fall weather treats in at Walmart in the Holiday Bake Center which can be found near the standard baking aisles. Not only are these treats delicious, they’re also budget-friendly.