One of my fondest memories from this time of year as a kid growing up in Chicago is getting a a caramel apple from Affy Tapple!!!
When it comes to historical Chicago treats caramel apples from Affy Tapple is a classic. Did you know that Affy Tapple has been around since 1948??? YES, 1948!! In fact, according to the company's website, the owners claim to have developed the first caramel apple. They proclaim to have "the original caramel apple". You can read more about the history of Affy Tapple on the company website: http://www.affytapple.com/fun/
As I kid, I couldn't wait to bite into that juicy apple loaded with thick sweet caramel and crushed peanuts. Affy Tapples were available in stores across the Chicagoland area when I was a kid, but sometimes my dad would take me to the Affy Tapple store. I would be drooling as soon as I stepped out of the car because I could smell the sweet caramel. I love caramel - always have. It was like being in a fantasy land to me because I looked forward to this treat every year. I enjoyed them throughtout my adult life as well. After graduting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I moved to Rogers Park. As I was scoping the area I realized something very exciting - I was within walking distance of the Affy Tapple store!!! Are you kidding me? Shut the front door and watch me go out the back - to get one of the apples that is. I didn't over indulge, but it was something that I enjoyed and it reminded of how I use to go to that same place with my dad as a little girl. I then moved up to gourmet caramel apples. I fell in love with the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory because they had gourmet apples that delighted my changing and more sophisticated palate (well that was my excuse for indulging in these mega apples). Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is located right at Terminal 1 in the O'hare Airport. If I traveled, I had to get an apple from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Oh the thought of eating one......
I know you may be wondering where am I going with this because Vegans do not eat "traditional" caramel so caramel apples are not on the vegan food list. I was thinking the exact same thing. In fact, I recall depriving myself of a taffy apple around this time last year because I was thinking about changing my lifestyle and since I've made the decision to go on this journey I have been a little unhappy about not being able to enjoy a lifelong treat. I have passed many caramel apples throughout the year, but during this season I think every store triple stocks them - darn u stores! I was feeling a little sad about it and then I said to myself - "self, you are creative why don't you make your own caramel apples vegan style?" I responded (to myself), "That's a good idea" and even nodded in agreement. I was ready to embark on this journey and then I was flipping through Pinterst and I saw something that made my mouth water, my heart drop and I think even a tear welled up in my eye. What was it? It was a picture and recipe for VEGAN CARAMEL APPLES!!!!
You read that correctly, vegan caramel apples or shall I say "Easy Vegan Caramel Apples. Walnuts + Chocolate" by Kathy Patalsky, the author of "365 Vegan Smoothies" the creator of www.FindingVegan.com and the mastermind of my new vegan fascination that is listed on her blog Healthy. Happpy. Life.
I cannot wait to try this recipe. I will omit the chocolate because I am not a fan of it (well I always liked white chocolate, but I know it really isn't "chocolate", but that;s for another story and time. Now, if I discover vegan white chocolate or if someone knows where I can get it please notify me immediately - that's right IMMEDIATELY). Ok, back to the apples. If you look at the photo you can't help, but relate to why I am so excited. The photo above from Kathy's wsebsite immediately captured my attention. How could it not grasp any vegan attention? I mean you see it. The photo has delicious all over it. Kathy is my shero at the moment and she doesn't even know it! She has definitely brightened not just my day, but my month!! Kathy you rock!!!
You can find the recipe on her blog by clicking on the following link: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/
I am off to get some honeycrisp apples and the remainder of my ingredients - I'll post my version soon.....