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Caramel Apples: My Favorite Fall Treat
Every Fall my wife and I take our 3 boys out apple picking at a local orchard. We all have such a great time and we pick tons of apples. We use the apples for all kinds of things like apple crisp, apple pies, pancakes, apple sauce and for plain old healthy snacks. But, my absolute favorite use is for caramel apples. We all have different preferences for how we eat them and we can make them just the way we like them. My wife and I prefer caramel and walnuts. Sometimes I even melt some chocolate and drizzle that on top too. My sons don't seem to like nuts on them so they usually have them with just caramel. But, sometimes I will get them Oreo's and crush them or use rainbow sprinkles. You can really just add any candy or cookie you like. I am always outraged at the prices some candy stores charge for these things. Especially when I often make them better at home. Well, mine may not look better. But, having fresh picked apples really makes them taste so much better. You can still make great caramel apples with store bought apples. I think that is what most candy stores use anyway. I have never tried making my own caramel from scratch. But, I hope to be adventurous and try it some day.
Making Caramel ApplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
- I like to refrigerate the apples first because it helps the caramel set faster so it doesn't drip off as much.
- A silpat is wonderful. the caramel comes right off when it cools.
- Don't get hot sticky caramel on your skin. Ouch! Very hard to get off and is very hot.
- Bribe someone else to unwrap caramels or order some online that isn't individually wrapped.
Caramel Apple Directions
1 package of individually wrapped caramel. (14 oz.), about 5-6 apples and 2 tablespoons of milk or water, popsicle sticks
I believe the fact mine were a little more runny this time could have been that I used water like the back of the caramel bag said. I think last time I used milk and the toppings didn't run to the bottom as much. Either way they still taste great and I have seen recipes using either. For more apples just double everything.
First wash and dry apples.
Stab a stick into each apple wear the stem was.
Set out dry toppings like chopped nuts, rainbow sprinkles, crushed cookies or candy in wide bowls or deep plates. (Pie plate would be perfect).
Unwrap caramels (I suggest finding someone else to do it like the kids)
Put caramels in a double boiler for best results and add the milk or water. I actually don't have one so I am just really careful and keep stirring it on the stove in a small pot. Melt over medium heat. 150 degrees is apparently best. but, I just melt until it will drip off the spoon.You could also microwave for about 2 minutes stir and let it cool a little.
Remove the caramel from the stove and coat the apples. I find it is best to tip the pot and place the apple near the side and spin it around. You can also use a spoon to get the top if you need to. Let some of the caramel drip off then hold it right side up a few seconds.
Roll the caramel coated apple in the toppings. I find it easiest to put toppings in my palm then push into the caramel.
Set the apples on wax paper or a silpat or a greased cookie sheet. then refrigerate for the carmale to set.
Making caramel apples sure can be messy and a little time consuming. But, it is well worth all of the effort when you bite into that chewy, crisp and delicious apple. I'm not sure what the exact cost is. but, I would bet you could easily make a dozen or so for the same price a specialty candy store would charge for one. Sometimes I just can't resist and spend my money on the over priced ones at the candy store. Or it could be a treat from my wife. They are great but, usually the apple is its weak point. It will have fantastic tasting caramel and all kinds of beautiful tasty toppings. Then they apple might be too mooshy or obviously a little old. If you are not up to making your own my favorite reasonably priced place is Monster Candy Apples. I got these for my wife and I a few times. The prices are as reasonable as they come and they use great apples. Your best bet is that they always have a different speciatly apple on sale for about $5 each month. My wife loved the strawberry cheesecake they had once. You can sometimes find coupon codes online for them too. But, hopefully you will be up to trying to make your own sometime.
Much easier to work with