Friday, December 7, 2012

A Hot Mess in the Kitchen: Lazy Man's Caramel Apple Pie

I'll be the first to admit, when I bake or cook, the smoke detectors cheer me on with the encouragement of a high school football stadium.  I'm pretty sure, if they had the option, they would be able to call the fire department directly, instead of waiting on me to determine whether or not a kitchen billowing black smoke and charred cookies is cause for concern. I'm a hot mess in the kitchen.  That is an understatement. More often than not, I'm also a wet (from throwing water) mess, a sticky (from eating all the ingredients) mess, and also a raging, hollerin', waving-a-broom-at-the-constantly-beeping-smoke-detector mess. Let's just say that any kind of kitchen activity at my house is ranked right up there with a mad scientists exploding lab scenario. It's hazardous.

It hasn't always been this way. This is due majorly in part to the fact that I've never had to be in the kitchen. I had a mother who was the equivalent to Betty-Crocker-and-Martha-Stewart-had-a-love-child. She's a FABULOUS cook and I've always reaped the benefits. I've never had to bake the Christmas cookies or whip up a fantastic family dinner because that's what "mom" is for. It's what she lives for, and who am I to rob her of that joy?! Next to her, I've always felt extremely intimidated by all things "food". We've spent years throwing corn or green beans from a can directly into a pot and presenting that as our offering for a Thanksgiving dinner that mom prepared and could literally be photographed for a magazine spread. She's got a gift, that woman! So with that much talent in the kitchen, I've kept out of the way. I've let her work her magic year-after-year and refrained from learning the tricks of the trade. My own little family can survive on mac-n-cheese and Taco Bueno, right? Certainly.

Recently, though, I've turned over a new leaf, so to speak. I'm at least "in the game" at the moment. I've tried my hand (secretly) at some kitchen recreational activities, and I have to say, without pressure or people waiting ever-so-impatiently at my heels, I've had some interesting creations. They may not be magazine worthy, but they tasted FABULOUS, so I've decided to share one with you fine people. Because isn't that what one does around the holidays?! Disappears into the kitchen and emerges hours later with a tray full of delicious, warm, perfectly decorated cookies and treats? Well, that's not what will go down at mi casa, but I will share with you the secret to the BEST LAZY (WO)MAN'S CARAMEL APPLE PIE that you've ever tasted. Bar-none!

Here's what you will need:

An 11x11 glass baking dish
1 stick of margarine
2 cans of apple pie filling
1 plain white/vanilla cake mix
1 bottle of caramel topping
2 tbsp of sugar
1 cup of water
2 tbsp of cinnamon
An oven (do I need to add this, or unlike me, do you understand that this sort of thing can not be microwaved? I still struggle, I'm sorry. . .)

Here's what you do:
(After you have cleared the kitchen of children and unplugged the smoke detectors, of course. First things first.)

Set your oven to 400 degrees to preheat. In glass baking dish, pour both cans of apple pie filling in the bottom, add water and sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Next, add as much or as little of the caramel topping as you wish. (I personally am IN LOVE with Taco Bells caramel apple empenadas and with that in mind, I put almost a forth of the bottle in.) Mix well. Add entire white/vanilla cake mix on top. (I also mix the cake mix up in with the previous concoction. It's okay if not all of it gets dampened by the mixture.) Melt one entire stick of margarine in the microwave or on stove at pour over the cake mix. Sprinkle a bit more sugar and cinnamon on top and bake in the over for 40 minutes. Remove pie and pour another 1/4 of the bottle of caramel topping on the top of the pie. Bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Viola! It's hard to mess this up. If you do, I will personally give you a medal. That would take pure skill and I thought I was the only one who possessed that sort of talent in the kitchen! :)

Whatever kind of magical goodness you whip up in the kitchen this Christmas season, remember to thank who taught you these secrets. For me, this recipe was given to me by my mother, Miss Betty-Crocker-Martha-Stewart herself. Her mother taught her, and her mother taught her. We're looking at over 5 generations of lazy women here! But all for a desire to bless people's hearts and tummy's. May your season be filled to the brim with wonderful memories and ooey-gooey-goodness! I'm off to make pie!

**This post is part of a link-up that you DON'T wanna miss! Take a quick "click" over to my good friend LEANNE PENNY'S blog for her "Cookie Exchange Link-Up Party"! Add a recipe and a memory of your own and meet some fantastic new friends! Go now. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.


  1. Ha, I love this. You win the prize for most hilarious recipe commentary for sure. This would make a perfect breakfast right about now. Hey it's got fruit, right?

    1. Well, thank ya sister. And yes, it makes the PERFECT breakfast! and lunch and dinner and midnight snack. I'm pretty sure I've gained three lbs on this pie alone. :)

  2. I agree with Leanne, I want this for breakfast tomorrow...

    1. I'd whip you up a batch and send it over but I'm pretty sure the mail carrier would have it finished off before it got to you. :)

  3. I accept your challenge. You'd better have a medal ready for me, because I probably CAN screw it up, after all I screwed up the world's supposedly easiest thing to make. It was on the internet, if it's on the internet it MUST be true!!!

    Seriously though, it looks good. It may be worth disabling my smoke detector so I can try it!

  4. seriously, we made this last night for Bunko and it was totally awesome, easy, tasty, big hit with everyone.