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Taffy apple salad may be called a dessert or a side dish depending upon who is defining it. The dessert doesn’t contain caramel, but does have sweet ingredients that make it taste similar to caramel apples. For this reason, it’s a very popular dish in the fall months, though many enjoy making it during the summer too.
The basic way you make taffy apple salad is to use pineapple juice, eggs, flour, sugar and vinegar to create a caramel like syrup. This coats slices of apples, and small nuts like peanuts, walnuts or pecans. Many people also add canned pineapple chunks, reserving the juice to make the syrup, and a few recipes call for marshmallows. Once the syrup is combined with apples, pineapples, marshmallows and nuts, frozen whipped topping is added to complete the dish.
The result is a sweet, chunky and creamy salad that is really more oriented toward dessert. Taffy apple salad is a fairly high calorie version of a fruit salad, but it can be a great occasional treat. It is almost universally popular with kids, but if you plan to make it for a kids’ party, such as on Halloween, be certain that any kids you’re serving don’t have peanut allergies. When in doubt, either omit the nuts or use pecans or walnuts instead of peanuts.
The dish does take some prep time. Most people recommend that if you use marshmallows for taffy apple salad, you should probably combine the marshmallows and pineapple, and refrigerate them overnight. This will help the juice in the pineapple chunks to break down the marshmallows and makes the dessert creamier.
Some recommendations on preparations for taffy apple salad are that you refrigerate the syrup for at least a night before adding it to the chunks of pineapples and apples. Adding hot syrup isn’t recommended because it will diminish some of the crunch of the apples and may make them taste slightly stewed. Most people who offer recipes do suggest starting your preparation for taffy apple salad a day in advance of when you’d like to serve it.
You will find numerous recipes online for taffy apple salad. Most recipes are very similar with differences only in a few additions like marshmallows. You’ll also find recipes for this salad in some kid’s cookbooks, and in plenty of cookbooks for grownups too.
I've seen salads along these lines, but never heard them called a taffy apple salad.
This is one of those dishes that has a healthy name, but not much else to recommend it, as far as dietetic food goes. It does sound good, though, in spite of the marshmallows and cooked caramel-like dressing.
I can see where kids would like it. Anything with marshmallows and pineapple is usually a hit with the younger crowd. And with a grownup to help make the dressing, it might be a good dish for young cooks to start out making. I don’t know that I’d like it, though. Those marshmallows…