Caramel Apple Toffee Pastries

This was the winner of Iron Chef Apple and is one of my favorite fall desserts! How could you ever go wrong with caramel, apples, and especially toffee? The phyllo that wraps it all up adds the perfect bit of crunch!
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Sorry for being late with this post. I came off of a long day at work after a night full of red eye flights, airports, and next to no food or sleep..,oh, and did I mention food poisoning? As it is, I am taking a detox day. Fruit juices and salad only to get my body back to normal...and to make it worse with the sleep deprivation, from what I read shouldn't have caffeine when you are getting over food poisoning. Worst. Monday. Ever.

Butchie had to put up with me without sleep, without food, and trying to recover on our weekly baking night. And MAN was I on one! I have next to no filter when I'm that tired and hungry. [It's fabulous--she was smiley and punchy and rude and maybe now I will never let her sleep again. --B.] Never ask me what I really think in that state. I answer as honestly as I usually do, but with less tact and diplomacy.

So I asked Butchie what she wanted to make and she answered just as bluntly honest: apples! If you want to hear some gushing on how great fall boots, fall sweaters, fall scarfs, and all flavors are--note the trend--then you should talk to Butch. She has an endless supply of enthusiasm for fall. [How could you not? Gorgeous yellow leaves, pears everywhere, perfect snuggling temperature, fireplaces with ACTUAL FIRE IN THEM. Plus, Halloween! This year I was thinking I'd go as a sexy autumn leaf. Now that Halloween is just an excuse for ladies to be as close to publicly naked as possible. --B.] Anyway, this is a good recipe for us: I have an infinite amount of enthusiasm for toffee, and even though I do not care about autumn or its apples, basically at all, Butchie makes up for it. [Maybe I'll go as an apple. --B.]

There are two ways you can make this dessert: make it all, or buy it all. We made toffee and caramel from scratch, but you can buy it too, and these pastries are still very good. I am all about lessening the chemicals I can't pronounce in my diet, so I go the scratch, c'mon, homemade caramel? Way better!
Caramel Toffee Apple Pastries

3 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup caramel, store bought or see the recipe below
1/2 cup toffee bits, store bought or see the recipe below
16 sheets phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 375. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray. In a medium mixing bowl combine the chopped apples, caramel and toffee bits. Set aside.

Lay phyllo pastry sheets flat on a work surface and cover with sheet of plastic wrap. Place a slightly damp kitchen towel over the plastic wrap. Removing one sheet of pastry at a time spray completely with cooking spray top with another sheet of phyllo pastry and spray with cooking spray. Repeat until four sheets of phyllo are stacked. Cut the stacked pastry into 6 equal squares. Press each stack into a muffin tin.

Place 1/4 cup of apple mixture inside each phyllo lined muffin tin, pour a little of the caramel over the top, and pinch the corners together to form a pouch. A ring of aluminum foil can be placed around the pinched dough to hold them together if desired.

Repeat with remaining sheets and apple filling. Wrap and refrigerate any remaining phyllo.

Spray tops with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes or until pastries are golden brown.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Eat immediately, as they will not remain crisp for more than an hour.

Toffee Bits

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to a hard boil, cook until a candy thermometer reads hard crack. Poor onto a greased sheet of aluminum foil. Allow to set, chop.

Caramel Sauce

3/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup light corn syrup
3/8 cup whipping cream

Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to a boil without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 10 minutes, until caramel has reached a dark amber color. Remove from heat, carefully and immediately add cream--it will bubble and clot. Stir sauce over low heat until sauce is smooth.