THE PROFESSOR, THE UPS MAN & TAFFY APPLE TARTLETS

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by Debra on September 21, 2010


Musical pairing – Superman by Five For Fighting

It was a Friday afternoon and both The Professor and I were still in our jammies; we were each working on our laptops when we saw our UPS man drive his truck down the alley towards our studio.  The Professor jumps up and races for the bedroom to make a quick change into a pair of street shorts – I mean it was like Superman leaping tall buildings and it was quite a site to see!  Our cats all scattered in a million different directions and I was not at all looking like a poised and composed Lois Lane.

Instead, I was looking a little befuddled as I was trying to remember what I had ordered that the UPS man would have to drive around back to deliver.

The Professor made it to the studio doors just in time for the UPS man to make his delivery; I could hear exchange of the usual pleasantries between the two, the door closes and then The Professor begins to chuckle.  The chuckle then turns into hysterical laughter – and I mean laughter so uproarious that tears are streaming and he can’t tell me what the heck was so dang funny.  When he was able to compose himself enough, he replayed the scene of pulling on a pair of cargo shorts in a dark bedroom, racing towards the studio and suddenly feeling something in the left pant leg; two more steps, whatever it was shifted to the bottom of of his short – he glances down and in a nano second realizes that it’s a pair of his undershorts!!  He also realizes that the UPS man is now opening the door of the studio, so The Professor tries to shove those undershorts back up the pant leg.  He takes another step towards the UPS man, says, ‘hello’ and then . . . that loose pair of underwear falls completely out of the pant leg and drops at the feet of a very bewildered UPS man.  So what else is there to do but for Superman, uh . . . The Professor, to bend down, pick up his undershorts and say to the UPS man, ‘hey thanks!’

Now I could crack some joke about The Professor getting too big for his britches but then again, he’s still the Superman to my Lois Lane . . . however, I do have to wonder whatever would he do with an errant pair of red tights?

In a not too distant past, I was a Pampered Chef and this was one of my all-time favorite recipes.  I’ve always had a love affair with caramel – and as a child, dreamed of having a caramel apple at the State Fair.  But they were too expensive for a family of 6 when just purchasing a ticket to get inside the gate and then enjoy a couple of rides was a big deal.  Pie is another one of my all-time favorite desserts so making a recipe putting these two loves together is pure nirvana for me.  These babies are quick, they’re waaayyyy too easy to make and boy oh boy, they’re also quite easy to polish off an entire batch by yourself if you’re not careful! I suggest making them when company is around . . . or not . . .

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TAFFY APPLE TARTLETS
Pampered Chef, Season’s Best, Fall/Winter 2008
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INGREDIENTS:
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¼ Cup Dry-Roasted Peanuts
2 Large Granny Smith Apples (or whatever tart apple you like), peeled
¾ C Butterscotch Caramel Sauce, divided
2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 Pkg Refrigerated Pie Crusts (2 crusts), softened according to package directions
12 Caramels unwrapped, cut in half giving you 24 pieces total
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SMITH BITES NOTE:  I usually make my own pie crust BUT if I’m going to use a frozen crust, I make sure to buy a brand that doesn’t have partially hydrogenated oils, such as the Trader Joe’s brand.  And no, I do not get paid nor, am I endorsed by, Trader Joe’s.
METHOD:
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1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop peanuts and set aside.  Cut peeled apples lengthwise into quarters, remove and discard core.  Coarsely chop apples.  Combine apples, ½ cup of the caramel sauce and flour into bowl; mix well.  Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes or until bubbling and thickened; stir and set aside.
2. Unroll one pie crust onto lightly floured cutting board; run rolling pin over crust ever-so-slightly.  Spacing closely together, cut 12 disks from crust with a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter (you should be able to get 9 around the outside edge and 3 in the middle).  Press cut disks into wells of a mini-muffin pan using a mini wooden tart-shaper.  Repeat with remaining crust.
3. Place one piece of cut caramel into each tart shell.  Spoon apple mixture evenly into tart shells; sprinkle with peanuts.  Bake 14-16 minutes or until edges of tartlets are golden brown.  Remove tartlets from pan to cooling rack.  Drizzle with remaining ¼ cup caramel sauce.  Serve warm.
SMITH BITES NOTE: If you’re lucky enough to not eat every single one of these in one sitting and they’ve cooled to room temp, just zap in the microwave for a second or two, to soften the caramel piece in the bottom of the tart.

© 2010 – 2012, Debra. All rights reserved.