Sunday, October 10, 2010

Caramel Apples!!

Easy Caramel Apples

Every fall I look forward to making caramel apples. What great memories I have buying a caramel or candied apple at the Fresno Fair every year. It's funny growing up in California where so many things grow, I had never seen an apple growing on the tree until I was married with two kids. I was in Ohio where Donny's parents had an apple tree growing in their back yard. I guess it is like when people see oranges or lemons on the tree for the first time, when you grow up with it you don't realize how cool it is.

So Yummy!!

5 Granny Smith apples - washed, well dried . We used Golden Delicious apples: golden skin, firm, sweet, the Granny Smith are a little to tart for us. Choose smaller apples - they'll be easier to make, easier to eat, and will give you a better caramel to apple ratio! Yummy
5 wooden sticks 
1 (11 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (the kids love unwrapping them)
2 tablespoons water

With a family our size we have to double and even triple this amount


Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased aluminum foil.

Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan. Place on the aluminum foil and chill until ready to serve.

Kraft vs Brach's

Our experience: The Kraft caramels were creamy, light in color and stayed on the apples. The Brach's caramels were creamy but created air bubbles (so they didn't look as nice), the color a little darker but the caramel did not stay on the apples. So the outcome, we will use Kraft for now on.

Tricks and Advice

You can use a combination of different colored apples: red, green and yellow.

Choose uniform-sized apples--small apples work best.

Before dipping apples in caramel, set them on an even surface and cut half-inch slices in the top of each apple to ensure that the sticks poke straight up.

Dip apples in one quick motion; let excess caramel drip off. Holding apple upright, press toppings into caramel to hold them in place.

Use latex/vinyl gloves (available at drugstores) when pressing on toppings.

Use a pastry bag with a small tip and melted chocolate to make polka dots.

Set dipped apples on wax squares or parchment paper.

And remember: caramel apples are always best eaten the same day they are made!

Ingredients to Make Your Own Caramel

Recipe without Corn Syrup
Makes enough caramel to coat 6-8 apples.

Brown sugar (1 and 1/2 cups)
Butter (1 and 1/2 tbsp)
Milk, cream or water (6 tbsp)
Vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)

Recipe with Corn Syrup
Makes enough caramel to coat 6-8 apples.

Brown sugar (1 cup)
You can use regular sugar, but brown sugar gives a deeper caramel flavor.
Corn syrup (1/2 cup)
Use either light or dark corn syrup. Dark corn syrup has a stronger flavor.
Milk (1/2 cup)
Cream (1/4 cup)
Condensed milk (1/2 cup)
Butter (2 tbsp.)
Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)

More Ways to Make Caramel Apples

If you want to give your caramel apples an extra kick, here are a few ideas:

Flavored Caramel

Flavor your caramel for an interesting twist on your caramel apple.
Vanilla extract goes perfectly with caramel; double your vanilla for more vanilla taste.
Add maple extract for a fall-like flavor.
Add peanut butter.

If you're melting caramel candies, melt chocolate caramels instead of regular ones!

Caramel Apple Variations

Re-create a popular flavor combination:

Turtle Caramel Apples: Add pecans and chocolate on top.

Rocky Road Caramel Apples: Marshmallows, chocolate, and pecans.

Peanut Butter Crunch Apples: Peanut butter cookies and chocolate drizzles

S'Mores Apples: Marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.

Seattle Caramel Apples: Trail mix and chocolate chips.

Cherry Almond Caramel Apples: Almonds, cherries, and chocolate.

Sweet and Salty Caramel Apples: Chocolate and sea salt.

Oreo Caramel Apples: Crushed Oreo cookies and white chocolate

Chocolate Caramel Apples

You can always dip your apples in a second layer of milk or dark chocolate. If you're not a fan of chocolate, use white chocolate for your coating instead. Then, if you wish, add a third layer of crushed nuts or candies.

Check it out - There are 139 recipes to do with caramels on the Kraft website


April said...

I was scrolling looking for picture!

We so need to make some of these--and I really like the idea of using a different type of apple because the Granny Smiths can be a bit of a shock when you bite into it.

Karen Mortensen said...

Thanks. These are my favorite things to eat.

Lara said...

My kids have just been asking me when we can make our own caramel apples. Yours turned out beautifully!

Chatty Crone said...

Those look delish! Yummy!


Debbie said...

I just blogged about caramel apples too. Aren't they fun to make?

Your Thanksgiving Point outing looks like so much fun. I've never been there - maybe some day we'll make it to Utah in the fall.

Love your blog. Keep up the fun posts!

Lisa said...

I bought all the stuff to make these and we are going to do it on Sunday after church--I'm glad I got the Kraft kind. Also, some fun toppings...but maybe no pecans :)
We plan to eat them while we watch a movie with all the lights out and ignore the trick or treaters ;)