HAPPY HAUSFRAU: Caramel Apple Spiced Cider

I’m not above bribery.

For instance, when I make a meal I know the Offspring won’t be jazzed to eat, I usually make some kind of treat to sweeten the deal. A kind of If You Eat Those Sauteed Mushrooms You Can Have A Pumpkin Cupcake kind of deal. All you moms and dads out there know what I’m talking about. BRIBERY and DISTRACTION are two pillars of surviving parenthood. (The other two are CAFFEINE and A BATHROOM DOOR THAT LOCKS.)

Anyway, the other night I was making a meal I knew for a fact would be met with groans and gags and possibly even tears. In an effort to avoid an all-out war at dinner time, I tried this recipe I found on Pinterest. It’s supposed to be a knock-off of something Starbucks makes, but I’ve never had it, so I really couldn’t tell you. Also (like always) I tampered with the recipe a little, because, well…that’s just the way I am. Here’s the link for the recipe on Pinterest; what I did follows below.

(BTW, I let the kiddos have a taste before supper so they knew what they’d be getting if they ate well. I’m very happy to report that all plates were happy ones that night, and my kids were all grins as they enjoyed their cider. I didn’t have any, but apparently it was goo-oo-oo-oo-d!)

Alright. Here’s what you need:

One bottle apple juice (I used the frozen concentrated kind, and followed the instructions on the can. Not really nutritious, but nothing about this recipe is, so I shrugged and went with it.)
3 Tbs brown sugar
3/4 C. Water
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. almond extract
Whipped cream in a can
Caramel sauce (the kind you squeeze onto ice cream)

Here’s what you’ll do:

Pour the apple juice into crockpot. Set crockpot on low. On stove, in small saucepan, mix water, sugar, almond extract, and cloves. Make sure the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat up and get it to a rolling boil. You’ll want to keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t get too sticky or burn. When the consistency becomes syrupy, you’re done. Turn it off and pour into crockpot with apple juice. Stir. Let sit on low heat for a couple hours until it’s nice and piping hot.
Using a ladle (a turkey baster works great, too), pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

This is such a terrific cold-weather treat – will definitely be a repeat in our house.


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