Who doesn’t love caramel apples. Especially those fancy ones you can get at the mall. They cover them in all kinds of things. Different types of chocolate, different crushed candy bars, sprinkles, cookies, nuts, gummy worms, spices and anything else you can think of. Caramel apples these days are a whole lot more than just caramel.
I wanted to bring this idea home, but with something easy I could do for either a fun family snack or for a bigger gathering such as a birthday party, or even an afternoon backyard BBQ dessert. So, I decided it was time to make an apple dessert nacho bar.
Basically the apples are the chips and the toppings are, well, the toppings. It’s sweet and tart and any other flavor you can imagine. I even thought about adding popcorn to add a new dynamic. I might have to try that next time.
Apple Dessert Nacho Bar
Here’s how it’s done. Find your toppings and add them to small bowls, or like I did, muffin cups. A muffin tin is another great idea to keep everything together, or even paper cups. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just functional to contain the toppings.
The toppings we used were:
- chopped walnuts
- tutti fruity flavored sprinkles
- chocolate chips
- crushed M&M’s
- crushed Oreos
- white chocolate chips
- chopped peanut butter cups
We also had caramel sauce and chocolate sauce, both from an easily dispensable pour container, though spooning it out of a jar would have worked too.
Since these are made fresh, in the moment, you might also consider using fresh fruit, whipped cream, jams, or if you’re feeling adventurous, what about bacon or some fancy type of cheese? The ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Next it’s time to prep the apples.
The first thing you’ll want to do is determine how thick you want your apple slices. The bowl in my picture has three small granny smith apples cut up. That’s How thin I made them. I wanted more of a “chip” feel to them rather than just apple slices with dip.
Next you need to give your apples a citric acid treatment to prevent them from browning. I know a lot of people use lemon juice, but this is something I’ve never been a fan of. The lemon juice adds a lemon flavor to the apples, plus it only covers some parts of the apple leaving the rest to brown. That’s not what I want. Instead I buy the powdered citric acid used in canning. You can get it at most any store that carries canning supplies.
Add some citric acid to a bowl of water per the package instructions, then as you slice up your apples, just toss them in the bowl of water. When you’re done slicing take all the apples out of the water and put them in a serving bowl of some kind. It’s that simple. We didn’t eat all our apples, so we left a few on the counter overnight to see how they would hold up. Sure enough, 24 hours later, still no brown spots. This is a great way to prep apples for presentation without browning and without altering the flavor much.
Finally, pile your plate with apples and toppings and enjoy! I stuck with a more traditional topping scheme and used caramel, chocolate and nuts. It was fantastic! I may have had another small plate after this with some candy bars and cookies on top though. They were too good not to try a little more of the fun samples.
What toppings would you add to your apple dessert nachos? Share your favorite ideas in the comments below!