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Caramel Apple Dip

I know pumpkin is the more popular fall flavor this year, but honestly, I will always be a sucker for caramel apples. This probably has to do with the fact that I truly adore crisp fall apples. And my deep love of any and all things caramel doesn’t hurt either… But either way, this dip was delicious! It made the rounds last week – both at book club and then a GT tailgate. If you’re a caramel apple fan you are definitely going to like this one.

Now, I served this cold with apple slices and those little graham cracker sticks, which are perfect for dipping. I was kind of hoping it would firm-up enough after being refrigerated to form a pretty cheese ball, but no such luck. So far every time I’ve tried that it was a fail… I’ll master it one day.

In other news, when I was initially brainstorming this dip (which, by the way, was actually inspired by my caramelized onion dip which I made for the in-laws recently) I was thinking about a hot version. I’m pretty sure you could top this with a little cinnamon, pop it in the oven and that would be equally awesome. Also, this was my first time trying the pintrest-inspired caramel from condensed milk… and it was AWESOME!

Caramel Apple Dip
3-4 medium apples, chopped
4 oz butter
½ c white sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 c apple cider
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
14oz (small can) fat free sweetened condensed milk, label removed

Place can of condensed milk on its side in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Make sure the water covers the can throughout the cooking process (the can could explode if there’s not enough water). Drain water and allow can to cool before handling. * This can also be done in the crockpot.

In another pot, melt the butter and add the chopped apple, sugar and cinnamon. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the cider and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the fluid is almost completely reduced. Set aside and allow to cool.

Once the apple mixture and caramel are cool, combine in a mixing bowl with the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until well combined.

Serve with apple slices and graham cracker sticks.