Halloween Caramel Apple Recipe and
Never tried to make caramel apples at home? Then you're really missing out. Homemade caramel apples are fresher, crisper, and tastier than their pre-packaged cousins... and they're a heck of a lot of fun to make.
Use making and decorating caramel apples an activity at your next Halloween party. And don't leave it just for the kids-- adults will love doing this, too!
How to Make Caramel ApplesMaking gourmet caramel apples is so easy, it should be against to law to pay, like, seven bucks a pop at a chocolate shop. When you make caramel apples at home, you know what you like, you can get tons of variety, and best of all, you know everything that goes into them-- making them a bit healthier for you, too.
You can choose to make your caramel apples with homemade caramel, or with caramel candies. While I prefer to use homemade caramel (I love the creamy texture of homemade caramel), it's not as simple as using the candies, as you need a candy thermometer. So I've included a caramel apple recipe for both kinds, along with step-by-step instructions and tips on how to make caramel apples at home. Get ready to have some fun.
Caramel Apple Recipe with Homemade Caramel
For this recipe you need a candy thermometer and real butter. Hey, it's Halloween... don't skimp on the butter. This caramel apple recipe makes enough caramel for about 8 to 10 medium sized apples. My favorites for caramel or candy apples are Fuji or Granny Smith, as they're the perfect combo of crisp, tart, and sweet... but you can use whatever apple you like best.
To make this a cinnamon caramel apple recipe, stir 1/2 to 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon into the caramel while cooking.
1 C. real butter
2 C. dark brown sugar, packed
1 C. light corn syrup
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
8-10 medium-sized apples, sticks inserted in tops
Instructions: 1. Over medium-high heat, stir together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk in a heavy sauce pan.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Cook about 30-40 minutes (don't stir often, as you'll risk crystallization), until the caramel darkens and thickens. It should reach the "firm ball" stage of candy-making. This means that, upon dropping the caramel into cold water, a firm ball forms. This ball shouldn't flatten when you remove it from the water, but should still easily change shape when you touch it. With a candy thermometer the temp should read 245-250 degrees F.
4. Remove finished caramel from the heat.
5. Stir in vanilla extract.
6. Dip apples into hot caramel. In order to get as thick a caramel coating as possible, dip each apple at an angle and rotate within the caramel.
7. Pull apple out vertically and allow excess caramel to drip off. Then turn the apple right-side-up a moment (as if you were about to eat it) and let the caramel settle for a few seconds. This prevents large bare spots at the top of the apple.
8. Place apples on greased wax paper or foil.
9. While caramel is still warm and soft, decorate as desired. (Unless dipping apples in chocolate, in which case the caramel needs to be allowed to set.)
10. Let cool to set.
Homemade Caramel Apple Recipe with Packaged Caramels
700 g. (24 oz.) caramels, unwrapped
4 tbsp. whole milk
10-12 medium-sized apples, sticks inserted in tops
Instructions: 1. Melt caramels and milk together in a double boiler, stirring often. Or melt in the microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth.
2. Dip apples into hot caramel. In order to get as thick a caramel coating as possible, dip each apple at an angle and rotate within the caramel.
3. Pull apple out vertically and allow excess caramel to drip off. Then turn the apple right-side-up a moment (as if you were about to eat it) and let the caramel settle for a few seconds. This prevents large bare spots at the top of the apple.
4. Place apples on greased wax paper or foil.
5. While caramel is still warm and soft, decorate as desired. (Unless dipping apples in chocolate, in which case the caramel needs to be allowed to set.)
6. Let cool to set.
Tips for Perfect Homemade Caramel ApplesIf you've never made a caramel apple recipe, or have had a recipe or two come out disastrous (it definitely happens), don't despair. When you get it right, making caramel apples is easy as could be. If you want to know how to make caramel apples perfect every time you make them, follow these tips:
1. If this is your first time, use packaged caramels-- it's easier to get the texture right. Especially if you don't have much experience candy making.
2. Be sure your apples are washed and VERY dry before dipping.
3. Choose smaller apples to make caramel go further-- after all, it's hard to finish a whole one, anyway.
4. Use cold apples for dipping to keep the caramel from sliding off.
5. If in doubt, decorate your apples. If they're coated in nuts, chocolate, etc., they won't stick together and can be packaged individually.
6. If using store-bought apples, the wax applied to them may keep the caramel from sticking. Scrub apples clean with baking soda, or dip briefly in boiling water to remove the wax.
7. When decorating with larger items, don't make them too big, as big items tend to be too heavy for the caramel to hold them.
Decorate Caramel or Candy Apples With:
- Sprinkles (any kind)
- Chocolate or White Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter or Butterscotch Chips
- Mini Chips
- Chopped Peanuts, Walnuts, or Pecans
- Whole (or half) Walnuts and Pecans
- Cookie Crumbs (Oreo, graham cracker, etc.)
- Pretzel Pieces
- Pieces of Cereal (Individual Cheerios, Apple Jacks, etc.)
- Melted Chocolate or White Chocolate (dipped or drizzled)
- Melted Butterscotch or Peanut Butter Chips (drizzled or dipped)
- Crushed Candy Bars (Kit Kats, Reese's Cups, Butterfingers, etc.)
- M&M's and Mini M&M's
- Reese's Pieces
- Candy Corns (use the red ones for fangs!)
- Mini Marshmallows
- Gummi Bears, Worms, etc.
- Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Dried Pineapple, etc.
- Shredded Coconut (mix with food coloring to make colored coconut)
- Melted White Chocolate with Food Colouring (for faces, decorating, etc.)
- Plastic Halloween Decorations (Spiders, Eyeballs, etc.)
Candy/Caramel Apple Decorating Ideas:Check out the photos below for some great ideas for decorating your homemade caramel apples.
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Halloween Planning HelpThe creepiest holiday of the year is also the most fun! Looking for more tips and help on planning a Halloween party or dinner party? Check out:
Deck the Halls!
The bells are ringing, the children are singing, and... it's that time of year again! Get started planning you family dinner or Christmas dinner party now.
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