Introduction: Caramel Apple Siamese Twin Tarts --AHS Inspired
Here's a quick and easy dessert for your American Horror Story viewing night: Siamese Twin Tarts! Indulge in some caramel apple nostalgia with a grown up spin. They're a little classy, a little quirky, and your guests will definitely do a double take at the snack table.
Step 1: You Will Need:
1 package of puff pastry sheets. These are located int he frozen dessert section of the grocery store.
1 apple. I used granny smith, but I but these would be great with honey crisp too.
1 TBSP caramel topping. Any brand will do. This Smuckers stuff was so good I wanted to drink it.
1 Tsp honey
A sprinkling of Cinnamon and Sugar.
Keep some flour handy in case you re-roll your dough, or find it gets too sticky.
Knife, rolling pin, apple corer, baking sheets, spoon, microwaveable bowl
Step 2: Cut Your Shapes
Your very first question is probably going to be "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT AWESOME COOKIE CUTTER?"
I have a globe trotting friend who visited the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, which is apparently a museum of medical oddities. If you're not conveniently located near the museum, you can get yours here: http://www.muttermuseumstore.com/merchant2/mercha... If you're feeling really ambitious, you could probably also splice together your own cookie cutter from existing gingerbread men, or freehand a design with a knife. I recommend the official conjoined twins for consistency.
Allow the frozen puff pastry to thaw. Ideal shape cutting happens when the dough is soft enough that it no longer fights to be unwrapped, but not so warm that it is sticky. If you're using the Mutter twins cutter, you'll get about 4 sets of twins per pastry sheet.
You can gather your excess dough and re-roll it to cut more shapes. Just remember to dust the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to your tools.
*Puff pastry dough is VERY elastic. If you re-roll and cut more twins, expect those twins to contract and become smaller and thicker than your originals. This is a freak show, so just embrace the anomalies.
Step 3: Cut Your Apples
At this time, go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. It'll be ready to go by the time you're done prepping apples.
Use your apple corer to slice the apple into sections. Now take those sections and use your knife to slice them thin. It doesn't have to be paper thin, but avoid large chunky pieces for a slick, finished look. Always slice away from your hand, unless you have vampire guests who like extra sauce.
Step 4: Play Dress Up
Place your apple slices onto the siamese twin pastry shapes. 2 or 3 slices seems to work well, depending on how you want to arrange them. I have 2 slices going down the legs because it reminded me of little pants.
Pop these fancy little freaks in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Take a look at them as you approach 10, to make sure the edges aren't getting too brown for you. I take mine out on the early side because our oven seems to run hot.
Step 5: Caramel Honey Sause, You Say?
In a small microwaveable bowl, mix 1 hearty TBSP caramel topping with 1 tsp honey. Microwave no longer than 10-15 seconds on normal power. They will blend together smoothly when stirred. Try not to eat the whole cup before the tarts emerge from the oven.
I've added the honey because I think it helps make the caramel easy to drizzle, and it gives an additional layer to the flavor. This recipe is also excellent with JUST honey, if you prefer.
Step 6: Pour Some Sugar on Me
Remove your twins from the oven when the edges are golden brown. You will notice that the pastry has puffed up and some areas may be raised above your apple slices. That is to be expected, and won't interfere with the readability of your shape.
While the twins are still warm, use a spoon or other utensil to drizzle your caramel/ honey mix on top. No need to try doing fancy designs, because the sauce will warm and just do whatever it wants anyway. Sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon to taste.
Step 7: Ta-Da!
Your Siamese Twin Tarts are ready to be unleashed upon your unsuspecting guests! Keep napkins nearby, because that delicious caramel sauce tends to remain pretty gooey. Your finished tarts should look something like this. The little guy on the left is an example of a "re-roll", where the dough contracted and made him smaller.
Step 8: Alternative Shapes
This recipe can work with a variety of creepy shapes. For example, my other favorite cookie cutter, the Fetus. I made Fetus tarts last x-mas (because.... baby Jesus?) and it was definitely something my guests had never seen before. This guy was also a gift from a friend and is available at http://hogmalion.com for those who dare.