We all have one. You know, a recipe that you're probably a little ashamed of, either because it is unglamorous or unhealthy (or both). Candied Apple Dip is one of those recipes I wish I didn't know existed. Because, quite simply, it is absolutely delicious, even if it is just plain wrong.
My next door neighbor, Mike, brought an appetizer to our house a few years ago that I wouldn't soon forget. It was referred to only as "The Best Dip Ever" (seriously, according to his source, that is what the recipe was called) and it came with a warning: eater beware.
Now mind you, I don't have any 'food snob' friends — we'll eat anything without complaint — but we could all agree this dip was flat out sinful. And yet none of us could seem to stop. It was quite literally candy crack. And despite all of the other foods at the party, "The Best Dip Ever" was the one-and-only star of the show.
I vowed to never think about the dip again (after acquiring the recipe, of course) and I didn't...at least for another couple of years. But it seems that Halloween brings out my inner sugar junkie and yesterday I gave in to the urge. One finger dunk into the mixing bowl was all it took to remember just how addictive this stuff is.
Unfortunately for me I was home alone, and without witnesses to intervene, I was having trouble keeping myself together. Just one more bite. I'm eating apples, so it's okay! Alright then, another won't hurt. Next thing you know I am shoveling it down like there is no tomorrow. (What if I told you I had to brush my teeth to make myself stop? Sadly even fresh spearmint can only hold me for so long.)
So here I am now
pushing this drug sharing the recipe — renamed for the sake of appearances — with you, in the spirit of all things sweet and spooky. Whether you're partying hard or hiding out, this dip will make the night that much better.
I leave you with one last thing: When I finally regained composure yesterday I did what any decent person would do... pawned it off on others. I packaged the leftovers along with a basket of apples and a friendly note. "Dear Mike, I hate you. Enjoy your dip. Love, Nealey." Is that a trick or a treat? I'll let you be the judge.
Candy Crunch Dip
Yields 2 cups
1 (8-ounce) package room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) package chopped toffee bits (such as Heath or Skor), divided
Apples, graham crackers, and/or pretzels for serving
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, blend together cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in all but a handful of the toffee bits. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with remaining toffee bits. Serve with sliced apples and graham crackers
- If you have leftover Halloween candy bars, pulse them in a food processor and throw them in the recipe with or instead of the toffee.
(Image credits: Nealey Dozier)