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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 . . .


Pampered Chef, Season’s Best, Fall/Winter 2008
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
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.
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.


  1. Hope you don’t mind a stranger butting in! I had those tartlets at a Pampered Chef earlier this year and fell in love with them. I swear they were the main reason I bought the Season’s Best booklet. (Yes, it made the booklet this fall, too.) I seem to have misplaced my SB, so I really appreciate how much detail you’ve put into this recipe! I’m drooling here in Michigan. 😉 I have a question I’m hoping you can answer- do you have any advice on potentially making these ahead? I’m planning to bring them to a Christmas party this Saturday and it would be really helpful to make them in advance. Thanks for any help!

  2. Hi Debra, Did I tell you before how much I adore these Apple Taffy Tratlettes? I could have two or more in ablink of the eye. Great job as always and great post. I wish those tartlettes will jump right out of the screen and be here for my tea:). Shulie

  3. Your story is too hilarious! Loved it. And I love your recipe too – it shows that it’s possible to make a lovely dessert without picking apples. And, by the way, loved the photos too. Did Dr. Professor take those? They look great!

  4. Too funny! Thanks for sharing. I can’t imagine all the different interactions Deliver drivers have.

    Love the tartlets! The look irresistible .

  5. Bwhaahahahaha!! Go Superman! That is just classic, poor professor. It makes you wonder what the UPS guy was thinking. I love this recipe darlin’. I did PC very briefly as well, too funny.

  6. That’s hilarious! And the tarts look heavenly!

  7. Oh yes please! These looks wonderful! Very similar to the tartlets I often make this time of year but with the addition of nuts. Have to try your recipe!

  8. That darn UPS man ALWAYS arrives at the most inconvenient moments! Funny story and one I know happens to a lot of us….in one form or another.

    I am drooling lover these really simple-to-make apple tarts! I love recipes like this and your photos are divine.

  9. Thats a fun story, I can see it now…., like the tartlets too 🙂

  10. That story was too funny…thanks for the laugh! 😉 I am definitely going to try these tartlets; they look so easy! Since I’m allergic to peanuts, perhaps I’ll try them with some sort of streusel topping. Yum!

    • Tracy ~ a streusel topping sounds fab; or one commenter also wondered about walnuts, which i think would be a good substitute as well!

  11. I love this recipe! It speaks to everything that is in my fall flavor profile. I adore caramel apples. And pie. And I’ll be making these very soon. Thank you so much for this!

  12. Oh that is hysterical… I can just picture it!
    These tartlets look amazing! I love Pampered Chef recipes!

  13. Oh my. I think I might even be able to pull these off without a proper kitchen. I’m thinking they can be baked in a toaster oven. What do you think??

  14. I just snorted out the tea I was drinking.


    OMG, this is hysterical. 🙂 I wish I could have been there to see the look on The UPS man’s face!!!

    These little tartlets look amazing! I might have to make a batch for the office. It’d be cruel to keep them to myself.


  15. Love the story but really Deb…must you? Something this easy and this decadent and me being told to focus on proteins (went without saying they meant to cut out sugar). Drat!

    But I won’t tell my PT guy if you won’t?? 🙂

  16. OMG these look amazingly fabulous! I will be making this one for sure!

  17. Too funny! You gave me a good laugh about the UPS guy. And these tarts… Beautiful! Wish I could have one right now, they look delicious.

  18. I so need one of these. Like, right now. Only I’m not lucky enough to work from home, which means I’d have to wait until later tonight to actually make these.
    I don’t suppose there would be someone kind enough to send me a box of these by express courier? I promise to keep my undies out of sight. 🙂

  19. Love how our men are our Supermen. And I’m definitely a Lois Lane 😉

    These tartlets are adorable… and perfect for the new season. I’m afraid that i’d eat them all in one sitting (as you cautioned your readers). A fantastic post!

  20. Ok, I was snorting with laughter at the silly Professor until I saw the caramels! Oh my I grew up eating those babies and love them! Wow! And then melting them in apple tartlets? Forget the wayward undies, I’m now stuck on these tarts!

  21. My husband and I work at home and we often have to scramble when someone unexpected comes to the door. Of course, the worst was a few weeks ago when he told me he was having breakfast with our pastor — but neglected to tell me that Pastor was meeting him at our house. Hubby had run out and I’m in short bathrobe working when doorbell rings…

    Thanks for the laugh and the great recipe. These look so amazing and easy!

  22. Coincidentally, I attended a Pampered Chef show last night. This is a recipe I haven’t seen. LOVE it on so many levels–easy, bite-size, perfect for fall, great to take along to a potluck or friends house. And, they do look delicious. I will definitely be making these.

  23. These are brilliant! What a fun recipe.

    ah! The pleasures and pitfalls of working from home. I’ve been caught by the FedEx guy many times in the middle of the afternoon in my pj’s! 😉

  24. Moments like these are where funny movies/shows find inspiration – thanks for the laugh…great story! Those tarts look great, so easy and fun!

  25. Your posts are the perfect way to end my days. You make me laugh and then you tempt me with such gorgeous photographs and creative recipes. I could easily eat 5 of these…maybe ten! They look stunning, and I’m sure they taste even better. Thanks for sharing!

  26. HILARIOUS! What a great post:) Love the tarts too:)

  27. Oh, what I’ve had to struggle to put on to look decent to be seen in front of delivery men (always men!) and sometimes our doorpeople. I am the proud owner of WAY too many pairs of American Apparel shorts because they are a slightly more acceptable version of boxer shorts on ladies with regards to loungewear.

    These look AWESOME. I’m no baker, but I’d consider making these if I needed to impress people with sweets.

  28. Dang, I want to try these but I know if I do I will end up eating all of them at once.

  29. Yum! My first thought when I saw the picture was, “put a stick in it and you’ve got a caramel apple!”

  30. The UPS story gave me a good chuckle! And these tartlets? Oh my, what a treat.

  31. These little tarts look so good, so cute…love the idea of bite size 🙂

  32. Sorry but BAHAHAHAHAHA, you said undies! I’m mature like that. Those taffy bad boys don’t look ‘alf bad either ;P

  33. OMG! that looks SO good and simple. Yum. I really haven’t found pre made pie crusts around here, it would have made life so much easier! But then, it also gives me a good reason to make my own which isn’t all that difficult and so worth it but still….

    I think I will use walnuts instead of peanuts. I’m not a peanuts girl. Do you think it will work well ?

  34. Oh goodness gracious…the shorts and the sweets…dear me…

  35. That is way too funny! Sounds like something that would happen to us! What’s the chance of leftovers? Wanna send some my way? 😉

  36. Oh Boy! That’s SO simple and looks SOOO good. I’m SO going to try this one Debra. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Too funny! Good thing it wasn’t a bra or something like that 🙂
    And those tartlets! Oh MY!!! I LOVE anything Caramel Apple!
    Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  38. Debra, these look delicious! Now, tell the Professor I said to keep his shorts on!

    • Robyn ~ they are soooo good! And lesson learned, The Professor will be checking his pants for undergarments before leaving the bedroom!

  39. These look so easy and adorable. They’d be perfect to bring to a potluck this fall!

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