You think you’ve seen it all when it comes to burgers?! HA! I’m about to blow your mind and rock your taste buds with this Caramel Infused Apple Cheddar Chicken Burger. It has Caramel Creams® caramel sauce IN THE BURGER (and on top!). Prepare for deliciousness!
This post is being sponsored by Goetze’s Candy Company featuring their Caramel Creams® candies (which are seriously one of the best candies on the face of the planet!). All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING candies are mine.
OMG guys do I have a life-changing burger for you today. Yeah I know, another burger recipe. There are 4 trillion recipes out there but this one, this one here folks is ridiculous. This one here is a game changer. This burger just showed up to your cookout, kicked everything off the grill and said: “No, I’M THE KING OF BURGERS now beat it punk!” Yah, it’s THAT GOOD! So let me dish for a few about this burger – it has candy IN THE BURGER. Yes, you read that right…
Caramel Creams®. In. The. Burger
Just let that soak in for a second. I took one of my absolute favorite candies and put it in a burger. I know, only I would push candy and burgers to a limit like that. You’re welcome. When I tell you this is honestly my all time favorite burger, believe it. It’s super juicy, savory and sweet and full of flavors.
So how did this all come about? About 6 months ago when I was work, one of my co-workers asked if I wanted to talk a walk and get a snack from our little luncheon room. From the vending machine, he ended up getting a package of Caramel Creams®. As he opened the package I smiled as these candies were my Dad’s favorite. My friend offered me one as we walked back to our desks. As I unwrapped mine and popped it in my mouth something happened as I kind of zoned out for a bit. You see that little candy brought back so many childhood memories I shared with my Dad.
This is one of those candies that immediately take me back to childhood with my Dad. After Dad would drive my Mom to bingo he and I would always stop at this little gas station on the way home. There he’d buy us orange sherbet ice creams and a bag of the Caramel Creams®. We’d eat the frozen treats there, sitting on grungy milk cartons chatting with the owner and then drive home. Once home, we’d sit on our front porch and eat our candies. That’s where we’d talk just about everything – his childhood, cooking (even as a child I was one that was drawn to the kitchen) and school
Eating them, that’s where he and I differed. See he was one that pushed the cream middle out and eats that first before biting into the luscious caramel. Me, nah, I was a pop the whole thing in my mouth at once kind of kid. Actually, I’m still that way. How about you? Do you eat them one way maybe like how my Dad did or are you like me and need the whole thing at once?
So back to my sitting in my office, daydreaming thanks to these candies I became re-in love with them. Not that I wasn’t in love with them already but I hadn’t had them honestly since my Dad passed. It was kind of our thing ya know? I started to follow them on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest and was falling in deeper love with every delicious post they made. So, I started to see what other deliciousness they had. Goetze’s Candy Company makes both the Caramel Creams® and Cow Tales® which is stuff most people know. BUT… I bet what you didn’t know is that they make assorted flavors of both treats! From their Original/Vanilla to also Strawberry, Caramel Apple, Licorice and wait for it… CHOCOLATE!!! Yeah, CHOCOLATE! People, you NEED this flavor in your life! OMG, it’s amazing!
Since re-falling in love with these things, I keep a stash on hand. Well one thing most of you know about me is that I tend to ‘explore’ foods and see if I can push them beyond their limits. This candy, I knew I wanted to take it to another level and incorporate it into other foods. Now my first thought was cutting it up into pieces and baking it into a dessert. But after speaking with the amazing folks from Goetze’s Candy Company because their product is made with wheat, they can burn and harden if they are cooked too hot or for too long which, for me, meant I needed to push and explore a little further. Challenge Accepted!
That’s where this burger came from. I knew I wanted to use chicken and apples; partly because I was craving it and partly because I had both on hand. I knew chicken and apples went great together as did apples and caramel but would they all 3 go well together? Then I had to think about cheese. I mean it is a burger after all. You need cheese. Apples and cheddar are a match made in heaven. WIN! Hmmm but what else. Then I kind of had a ‘duh’ moment… um Hello! BACON! Perfect!
Into the pot when about 25-30 of those glorious little bulls-eyes (while a few went into my belly) along with some heavy cream to help smooth it out. Since these candies have that luscious creamy filling I needed something to help balance out the sweetness. I had thought about something spicy but I wasn’t feelin’ it so I opted for a more salty type flair; thus the soy sauce. So full disclosure, that soy caramel sauce was friggen insane! It’s kind of like a savory caramel. I’m thinking it would be killer mixed in with hot noodles, chopped veggies, and pork. *Mental note – try for dinner next week!.
Now as you know I grind my own chicken as I like a mixture of 75% white meat and 25% dark meat. It just adds a level of depth and richness to the burger however you’re totally cool to go with store-bought ground chicken. And for that matter, you can totally use ground beef or ground turkey instead of chicken. To the ground chicken I added some diced apples, sauteed shallots and some of that cooled caramel sauce. One thing you need to keep in mind when you go to make these patties is you MUST HAVE DAMP HANDS! This ensures that the mixture won’t stick to your hands and you can form a solid patty.
As these burgers were frying up I sliced up some apple rings as I wanted to give the burger some crunch and again, another level of complexity. Assembling this burger was actually kind of fun as it’s sexy to be honest. For this burger, if you can go with arugula in lieu of lettuce. That peppery flavor marries so well with this dish. On top of that, the bacon, that luscious burger with the melted cheese, an apple ring and because I can, I drizzled more of that, now warmed, soy caramel sauce.
OH. DEAR. GOD! People seriously. No, seriously! I even impressed myself with this thing. This burger made every taste bud I had explode in delight. It was beyond anything I could have ever imagined in a burger. It was tender, juicy, and packed with so much flavor. It was savory; it was sweet. It was…Perfect!
With Memorial Day coming up, you NEED to put this on your menu! Pick up some ground chicken, a few bags of those luscious Caramel Creams® and whip these burgers up! I literally have 12 of these in my freezer ready to go for a cookout! Since first creating these I’ve eaten one every single day and literally with every bite I actually get a sense of pride because these are THAT GOOD!Print
- 1 lb ground chicken *see note
- 1 12-ounce bag Goetze’s Caramel Creams®
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 slices cooked, thick-cut Applewood bacon with 2 Tbl drippings reserved
- 1/3 cup chopped shallots *see note
- 1–2 Tbl olive oil
- 12 slices sharp cheddar
- 2 Granny Smith Apples, divided
- 6 brioche hamburger buns
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add 30 unwrapped Goetze’s Caramel Creams®, 1/8 cup low sodium soy sauce, and the heavy cream. Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium non-stick pan over medium heat, add the 2 Tbl of bacon drippings and shallots. Stirring occasionally, cook for 6-8 minutes or until translucent and tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Take one of the apples, remove the skin and chop into small chunks. Remove 1/2 cup of the apple pieces and save the rest of the apple for another use. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, 1/3 cup soy Caramel Creams® caramel sauce, cooked shallots, salt, pepper, and the 1/2 cup apple pieces. Combine the burger mixture well to evenly distribute the flavors.
- In a large non-stick pan, add the olive oil (or fire up the grill and brush with oil) over medium-high heat.
- With damp hands, divide the mixture into 6 portions, form the patties and place them into the hot pan (or prepared grill). Cook for 6-8 minutes per side, flipping once. Burgers are done with the internal temperature is 165F. In the last 1-2 minutes of cooking the burger add 2 slices of sharp cheddar and allow to melt.
- While the burgers are cooking take your remaining apple and slice six 1/4” round slices (removing any middle core).
- To assemble place your bun bottoms down first, add a small handful of fresh arugula on top. Next, add 1 slice of bacon per bun, top with the caramel infused apple cheddar burger, a slice of apple and spoon 2-3 Tbl of the remaining soy Caramel Creams® caramel sauce over top. Place the burger bun top on and enjoy!
Note 1 – If you don’t have chicken you can use ground beef (80/20) or ground turkey.
Note 2 – If you don’t have shallots, you can use sweet onions