Have any decorations you want to use ready to go, which might mean crushing or chopping and assembled in shallow bowls. You will need approximately ½ cup of topping per apple.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Insert sticks through stem end of apples, going about halfway into the fruit; set aside.
Melt caramel in top of double-boiler or in microwave until fluid, but not too hot.
Holding the stick, submerge the apple straight down into the caramel until caramel comes up as far as you would like it to go. You can cover the whole apple or leave a bit of skin showing, if you like. Remove the apple, letting any excess drip off back into the pot. Tilt the pan, if necessary, to gain access to caramel. Turn the apple upside down for about 1 minute (you are still holding the stick) to allow the caramel to begin to set. Place apple on prepared pan and repeat with remaining apples. If a large rim of caramel forms around the bottom of the apples, either press it against the apples or trim it off once it is firm.
Melt chocolate in top of double-boiler or in microwave and dip hardened caramel apples into chocolate to cover as much of the caramel as you would like. Let excess chocolate drip back into pan then place apple back onto prepared pan.
While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with decorations of choice along the bottom and up the sides of the apple about 1/3 or up to halfway. Place again on prepared pan. Let chocolate completely harden before serving; you may refrigerate at this point to hasten this step.
To store, wrap in clear cellophane bags and tie with ribbon, if desired. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. These are easiest to eat if they are sliced before serving.
Chocolate-Dipped Caramel Apples - Recipes
These make pretty and delicious gifts. Make the full batch of caramel even if you want to dip only eight apples. Leftover caramel keeps for ages. Simply reheat to dip more apples or dilute with cream.
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter,
cut into chunks
1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Up to 16 small to medium apples, cold
1-1/4 pounds chocolate
5 to 6 ounces chopped toasted nuts
Long-handled silicone spatula or wooden spoon
Up to 16 Popsicle sticks
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey, and salt in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a spatula or spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the inside of the pot with a wet pastry brush or a wad of paper towel dipped in water. Cover and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile rinse the spatula or spoon before using it again later. Uncover the pot and wash the sides once more. Insert a candy thermometer without letting it touch the bottom of the pot. Cook, uncovered, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 305 degrees F., 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile bring the cream to a simmer and keep it hot until needed.
When the sugar mixture reaches 305 degrees F., turn the heat off. Stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the heat back on under the pot so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 250 degrees F., about 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer the caramel to a smaller pot or heatproof bowl deep enough to dip the apples. Cool for 10 minutes.
Impale each apple on a stick. Holding the stick, dip an apple into the caramel, allowing the excess to flow back into the pot. Set the apple on a sheet of wax paper. If the caramel gets too cool it will slide entirely off of the apples! If necessary, reheat gently (without simmering), then continue to dip. Repeat to coat each apple. Let the dipped apples set until caramel is cool and firm, at least 30 minutes.
Melt 1 pound of chocolate. Dip each apple into the chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to flow back into the bowl. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Set the dipped apples on a tray lined with wax paper. Apples coated with melted chocolate must be refrigerated to prevent discoloration.
Unforgettable Desserts for Every Season
by Alice Medrich
160 pages Paperback
$15.95 (US) $21.95 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples
Dark Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples, perfect treat for fall!
- 8 whole Craft Sticks
- 8 whole Granny Smith Apples
- ½ cups Butter
- 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Corn Syrup
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 14 ounces, fluid Sweetened, Condensed Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- 12 ounces, weight Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 Tablespoon Shortening
- Sprinkles (optional)
Insert craft sticks into the center of each apple, through the core.
Prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
Bring butter, sugars, corn syrup and salt to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until mixture reaches 300ºF. Stir in the condensed milk and return to a boil. Remove from heat when mixture reaches 250ºF. Stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, then dip each apple. Place dipped apples on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 1 hour.
Heat chocolate and shortening in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time. Repeat until melted and fluid. Dip chilled apples, then return to the baking sheet to add sprinkles, if desired. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Dipped Caramel Chocolate Apple Slices
Make these fun dessert snacks for your next party! Kid approved and your guest will love the fun toppings. Recipe adapted from DomesticallyBlissful.com
- 3 Large Green Apples, sliced into 3/4 inch thick pieces
- 10 oz. Chocolate Melting Pieces, such as Ghirardelli Chocolate Melting Wafers
- 1 cup wrapped Caramel Candy Squares plus 1 teaspoon cream (I used vanilla coffee creamer)
- Any Desired toppings such as chopped nuts, pretzels, candy bars, sprinkles, etc.
- cake pop sticks
Clean and slice apples into 3/4 inch slices while also removing seeds.
Use a paper towel to remove the excess juice on each slice to ensure chocolate will stick.
Carefully insert the cake pop sticks into the slices from the bottom.
Melt chocolate in microwave, according to package instructions.
Dip apples in melted chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place theapples in fridge until chocolate is set.
Melt caramel candy with a little cream or coffee creamer in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time until melted, making sure to stir well.
Drizzle caramel onto apples and add any additional topping desired.
3 apples made about 10 finished slices. Store in fridge until ready to serve to avoid melting.
- Be sure to soak up excess juice using a paper towel from apples, or the chocolate WILL NOT stick to wet apples. If the chocolate becomes clumpy, try re-melting for a few seconds and stirring again. You want a thin shiny consistency for best results.
- Use cake pop sticks to make your apple slices easy to hold and eat! It also makes it easier to dip.
- I really liked the chocolate melting wafers.if you decide to substitute chocolate chips it helps to add a little coconut or vegetable oil when melting to get a smooth consistency.
- If you prefer no apple core at all, just cut out core first and do normal apples slices. The result would be a different shape than mine, but big enough to still fit a candy stick inside.
These would make a really fun party treat! My family really enjoyed eating them.
I've been making this caramel for years. I don't just dip apples, sometimes I just pour it out in a sheet and cut squares. I wind up making dozens of batches at the holidays for friends and family. We prefer a stronger molasses flavor, so I use closer to 1Tbsp than 1tsp.
Just made this for dipping pretzel rods -- and it was EXCELLENT tasting and easy to use. I only had salted butter & light corn syrup on hand, so used these and omitted the salt. My caramel cooked MUCH faster than the recipe indicates but was perfect. Anxious to get the caramel-coated rods into chocolate & then decorate for Christmas!
I haven't made these yet, but wonder if anybody's used the caramel for dipping pretzels or something other than applies? Planning to do pretzel rods dipped in caramel, then chocolate & then decoɽ with sprinkles, mini chips, etc., etc. The complex flavor of the caramel sounds excellent!
If you suspect that the molasses flavor will be too strong for you don't try this caramel. I didn't believe it would be caramel tasting but tried it anyway based on the reviews. It is very flavorful just doesn't come across caramel more of the taste you expect from caramel corn. There is probably a lot of uses for the recipe and the caramel dipped apples are good but not show stoppers. The caramel is sticky and stays soft so it keeps pooling until it get cold. It doesn't stick to apple pieces but will form around them once it is cold. It is described as kid friendly which I hope means for eating not making. The caramel sputters and can get on the skin because you have to stir constantly. It might be excellent as a center dipped in dark chocolate. It might be a challenge to get it to form so you can dip it. I won't be making it again.
This recipe was fantastic. I was nervous about the molasses, which I dislike, but I used the full amount anyway. It turned out to be the most delicious caramel I've ever made. I used honeycrisp apples, which were awesome coated in caramel. a touch sweeter than Granny Smiths, but still tart and firm. I had trouble getting the caramel to stick to the last 2 apples that I dipped, so I suspect there's an optimal temperature window in which to coat them (I tried re-heating the caramel, but still couldn't get it right).
With this recipe, I made 18 of the most delightful tasting caramel apples ever! I am not a seasoned cook, and when I was unable to locate the usual Caramels in a bag, I decided it was time to check my Epicurious App on my iPhone as I had had a wonderful experience with the Pastel de Tres Leches cake, which by the way is FABULOUS. Since I am not a big fan of molasses, I tweaked the recipe slightly - I used 2 tsp of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and 1/2 tsp Molasses - was afraid to venture too far out of the box. I did however, follow the preparation instructions to the T. Some tips: 1) I used small-medium Gala apples 2) sanitized my kitchen sink and filled with hot water, tossing all apples in and then washed one at a time with a fruit/vegetable wash, dried and inserted a lollipop stick 3) lined cookie sheets with buttered wax paper 4) used a medium sized sauce pan so I could control the heat on a smaller burner of my glass top stove 5) dipped apples in yummy caramel spinning off excess, then held up right for a few seconds, eliminating almost all of the pooling - once all apples were dipped, I took a knife and slide under the apple to remove with ease, patting down the caramel on the bottom as needed and then decorated (chopped dry roasted almonds, peanuts or pecans, coconut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate or Heath Toffee bits. yum!) 6) after each apple was decorated, I placed on wax paper in the freezer no longer than 5 mins to help set faster allowing me the ability to place each apple in a cellophane bag (3x5x11) and tie so I could store (covered) overnight in the fridge. These apples were a hit at work! I highly recommend this recipe, however, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! I will absolutely make this recipe again.
I recently tried a different recipe for caramel apples that incorporated cream and required a cooking temperature of 320 degrees. What a disaster. It did not work at all. Then I tried this one. PERFECTION! I could not stop eating the caramel! I followed it to the letter, ingredients-wise, but I waited until the caramel was about 180 degrees before dipping. I had no problems with the caramel sticking to the apples. This is one of the yummiest recipes I have ever tried!
I made 120 of these for my wedding as the wedding favor and got nothing but raves from the guests. Probably not the best idea making caramel to cover 120 apples the week of your wedding if your trying to slim down! Anyways great recipe, just make sure to test your apples. Sometimes the Granny Smiths can be a little too tart (not ripe) but they are still good.
I like so many others, had not tried a candy thermometer either. I was pretty apprehensive about this recipe. The caramel is not at all like the Kraft caramels. The taste is much like a gourmet caramel you would get at a boutique or specialty bakery. Mine turned out very well. My only problem was the pooling of the caramel. Also I found that after I took the apples out of the fridge they became very sticky after a couple of hours. TIP: Do not use foil to place them on. I used wax paper and they didn't stick at all!!
Wonderful recipe!! Tips for success: 1) Remove wax in a tub of hot water with baking soda. 2) Attempt to use Honeycrisp apples. 3) Place dipped apples on Quick-release, non-stick foil 4) Use a thermometer!! Enjoy!!
I've tried a lot of different ways to make caramel, and this is the best. Good consistency, great flavor. I cut the apples for easier dipping and consuming. Had some trouble with the caramel sticking to the foil even though I buttered it. I'll butter it more next time and maybe let it cool more before trying to pick them up. yummy!
Every time we have a celebration at the house during fall and even christmas time, we turn out this "BEST RECIPE EVER" of a Caramel Sauce! I had 8 people in my family and they have all had a hand in making THERE best caramel sauce. But, when anyone tried this recipe, they quickly would change there ways. It's everything you wanted caramel to be. I use a delectable favorite, a coating of "Sugar In the Raw". Such a sweet and crunchy extra! Really festive and fun recipe
The caramel is the best caramel I have ever made. It was deep and dark and a bit salty and OMG incredible. However, the process of dipping apples and trying to get the majority of the caramel to stay on the apple is a nightmare. Skip that process, slice up the apples and dip it in this caramel and you have a winner. (Yes I tried scrubbing the apples and even bought a fruit wash!)
very very good. made these for my 9 yr old girl's birthday party ! girl's got to decorate them. smash hit! great halloween prop and decoration, too. Great fun! Best caramel EVER, for sure! and leftover caramel makes easy dipping sauce afterwards :)
OMGosh. Amazingly perfect caramel, and the dipping was easy. Followed the recipe to a T (which I never do, but this is "candy," so I did). Make sure you let the caramel cool before dipping, and then hold the once dipped apple upside down on its stick so the caramel has a chance to set. Had NO pooling, made chocolate caramels from the extra and was the star of the party. Unbelievably good!
These were the caramel apples of my dreams. Just trying eating store bought caramel after this! As long as you remove any wax from the apples (I dipped them in hot water and rubbed it off) you shouldn't have any problem coating them. If they are left out several hours some caramel will pool below, but I was able to easily mold it by hand right back onto the apple. This sauce remained chewy - which I loved. I used Macoun apples, the taste was delicious. This is my de facto caramel recipe from now on.
Lovely caramel - to me, it tasted strongly of the condensed milk (which I like). Keep extra apples handy - there was more than enough caramel to coat 12 apples.
They should call these grown up gourmet caramel apples. I loved the way the molasses added flavor depth to the caramel and I rolled some in finely chopped pecans, some in baby chocolate morsels and some in toffee bits. I "strung" white chocolate and cinnamon chocolate strands (melted and dropped in strands) all over the apples. They were gorgeous and received amazed comments by my kids and friends. I gently washed the apples in a sudsy bath with a vegetable scrubber and rinsed well so the caramel adhered well. These went over so well I am planning on another batch before halloween.
I made these this weekend for a party and they were amazing. I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. I used a Le Creuset pan to make the caramel and I didn't have any problems with the caramel sliding off the apples. The apples did have a waxy coating so I dunked them in simmering water, rubbed fairly hard to remove the wax and dried them. After dipping them in caramel, I dipped some in Valrhona 76% chocolate. I did a variety of toppings, mini-M&Ms, Andes mint pieces, peanuts, mini- Reese's pieces, macadamia nuts and toasted coconut was my favorite. I'll definitely be making these for a Halloween party.
I can't believe how well this recipe turned out! My family who makes everything from scratch loved these.The only problem was the overindulgence! It didn't seem to take as long as the recipe said to cook to the correct temp, but that was okay with me! I will definitely use this again!
I just made these for the first time tonight and, well, WOW! I wanted a bite-sized version to put on a Thanksgiving dessert table, so I attacked several apples with a melon-baller, inserted decorative toothpicks, and dipped away. The caramel adhered perfectly, to my utter stupefaction! And what could be better than a caramel apple you can just pop whole into your mouth? My family absolutely foundered!
I've made this caramel two years in a row. Last year it tasted great, but didn't stick to the apples. This year I scrubbed the apples under hot water to remove any wax. Next year I'll try the boiling water dip technique. This year they turned out perfectly. I don't even like caramel and I love this recipe. I usually muck around with recipes, but I follow this exactly. Everyone at my party liked the treat. I don't even dress up the apples with toppings and everyone is impressed. I also do red pears for a friend who is allergic to apples. Those are tasty too. I'll definitely makes these again next year.
Also had a problem with caramel dripping off apples and pooling. I think dipping temp should be lowered so caramel is thicker. I ended up redipping apples because the caramel was too thin - apples slightly showed through. The quicker you chill them, the less caramel runs off (so clear room in the fridge). Quite a mess and wastes a lot of caramel. Caramel was dark - would do 1/2 light corn syrup next time. Very tasty though!
This recipe worked perfectly! The caramel is very delicious, exactly as written and comes out to exactly the right consistency. I read a tip elsewhere to dip the apples briefly in boiling water to remove any wax, before beginning to cover them with caramel, and this worked very well. I had one extra apple that I decided at the last minute to do, and it didn't get dipped in boiling water - it was the only apple that had trouble with the caramel sliding off. All the rest of them worked just fine. After chilling in the fridge, I covered mine in white chocolate, then drizzled with milk chocolate, so they no longer had to remain chilled. They turned out beautifully, weren't hard to make and tasted delicious. Definitely a keeper. Thanks, Epicurious, you made me look like a pro.
This is what I refer to as an adult caramel. The taste is a little more refined than what you are used to eating. I made these for christmas presents for my coworkers, so I ended up making a few batches, and did a few things different each time. I recommend adding the molasses however, I only used 1/4 teaspoon. Also, you have to let the caramel cool for next to forever. Keep checking it though, because if you wait too long, it wont stick right. Another thing. I rolled my apples in different toppings such as crushed heath & milk chocolate chips, white, milk and special dark chocolate chips, oreos, & peanut butter and milk chocolate chips. Any candies would work well, but these are the ones I got the most compliments on. To make it a little more fancy, melt some chocolate chips with a dash of oil and drizzle over the apples. One thing I think you should know is that yes, sometimes you will have a pool of toppings and caramel on the tray, what I did was to hurry and put the freshed coated apple on a piece of wax paper, secure with a twist tie, and then put in the refrigerator to set. Worked perfect. I cant wait to make these again!
Choosing Your Apples for Candy Apples
The key to these best candy apple is contrast. Chocolate and caramel are sweet on their own. While adding a crisp apple to crunch into will be nice for the texture, choosing a sweet apple could be a headache. For the best contrast against the sweet caramel and chocolate coating, you’ll want a nice, tart apple. Be careful to choose a good-sized apple that is firm and not bruised as well.
We’ve found that smaller Granny Smith apples tend to work best for candy apples because they’re perfectly tart and just the right size for a better serving size.
Gourmet Caramel Apples
Crisp fall apples dipped in caramel and chocolate then rolled in nuts and Oreo crumbs and drizzled with more chocolate. Get festive this season and hand-dip your own Chocolate and Caramel Apples. This classic fall treat is hard to resist!
I’m not sure what I love most about the arrival of autumn. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of stuff to love about this time of year. These caramel apples are at the top of my list. Classic comfort food this time of year like pumpkin, squash, savory soups, slow cooker recipes, casseroles, crumbles and more apple recipes are at the top of my list too. Getting comfortable during sweater weather and wearing fashionable boots while sipping apple cider and hot cocoa is pretty awesome. All the holidays and beautiful outdoor colors is something I look forward to each and every year!
In case you needed a reason to get outside and visit an apple orchard this year, there is this luscious recipe to give you an idea.
This time of year, apple orchards are overflowing with deliciously ripe apples. Know what makes them taste even better? Caramel and chocolate is the trick behind making this into the classic recipe you need to try this year!
Gourmet dipped and drizzled Chocolate and Caramel Apples with a variety of toppings such as chopped nuts, crushed Oreos and Graham Cracker crumbs.
Make easy Gourmet Caramel Apples in the comfort of your home. Invite your friends and enjoy decorating the apples with kids. This elegant autumn project is a lot of fun to make!
I cannot remember the last time I made caramel apples. In fact, I’ve always shied away from chocolate and caramel concoctions in general. However, not this year. My Facebook feed has been full of Caramel Apple fun and I couldn’t resist.
This Caramel Apple Kit from Chocoley is truly amazing. They’ve included everything you can think of and want in a caramel apple. Lots of gourmet chocolate, check. Gourmet caramel, check! What they also include are wooden sticks, more chocolate to drizzle on the apples to your hearts content, cello bags to store the apples in and dipping sheets. The kit is truly phenomenal and really brings back childhood memories of dipping caramel apples with mom.
10-12 Large Honey Crisp Apples
Assortment of Toppings such as: Nuts, Oreos, Graham Cracker Crumbs, Seeds and Candy
1 Caramel Apple Kit from Chocoley – I used Milk Chocolate to dip the apples in (when ordering kit)
5 Pounds Chocoley Gourmet Caramel
5 Pounds Milk Chocolate Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom Candy & Molding Gourmet Compound Chocolate
2 – 8 oz. squeeze bottles – Chocoley Drizzle & Design White Chocolate
35 – Cello Caramel Apple Bags
6 – 合” Heavy Weight Dipping Sheets/Box Liner
Serve Chocolate and Caramel Apples for Halloween parties, kid’s school treats, pass along to friends and family and enjoy making memories with your family this season!
Homemade Chocolate Covered Caramel Apples
Now, you have no excuse to still go out and buy those overpriced Chocolate Covered Caramel Apples. You can make them at home and make them just as fancy as they do &ndash maybe even better! Fresh apples, homemade caramel, and fine dark chocolate come together in your kitchen. Everyone is gonna love them! They are a special treat that the kids are going to love for a fun movie night, bon fire party, or wrap them up and give them as gifts.
You could &ldquocheat&rdquo and use confectioners candy chocolate, but for these, we are going to temper our own dark chocolate. No &ldquofake&rdquo chocolate here. Save that for the kids, the adults deserve the good stuff!
First, you want to familiarize yourself with tempering chocolate. &ldquoWhat the heck is Tempering Chocolate?&rdquo Well, it&rsquos heating the chocolate and cooling it again so that we get the coco butter and sugar correctly melted and mixed into the chocolate.
If you made it through dipping your apples into the caramel and waited for them to dry, you are ready to move on to the next step of adding the chocolate.
We want to do this because &ndash
- We want the chocolate to harden and remain solid at room temperature.
- We want the chocolate to &ldquosnap&rdquo when we break it.
- We want out chocolate to have a glossy and smooth finish.
It&rsquos actually easier than you think. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
You can decide if you want to dress your apples up or down. Add nuts, candy, cookies, sprinkles, or even different colored candy coatings. Make fun ones for the kids and elegant one for holiday gifts for hostess parties.
Chocolate-Dipped Caramel Apples for Chocolate Monday!
I love autumn! It is my favorite season of the year. Bright sunny days, cool nights, pumpkins, trees changing color, football games & tailgates, the World Series, and apples. Luscious, healthy, crunchy apples! But today is Chocolate Monday, so how can I meld the two? With Halloween right around the corner, I know you are going to love today’s fun treat, Chocolate-Dipped Caramel Apples! It is the perfect autumn dessert. Keep it simple or you can turn it into a fun project for a children’s party – one where even the adults will enjoy the results!
When you are choosing your apples look for very fresh ones that are a little on the tart side. This will balance the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate. The crunchy flesh of the fruit will also offset the soft texture of the candy. Crabapples or other mini apples are adorable and make great table decorations. Remember that if you wouldn’t want to eat them plain, you won’t like them even with their candy coatings. By making your own caramel and using really good chocolate you turn this old-fashioned childhood delight into a sophisticated confection.
For the simplest application, make your caramel and place melted chocolate in heatproof bowls. Dip the apples first in the caramel, let set up and then dip in chocolate. Keep in the refrigerator. But if you want it to look a little fancier, you can dip them in the caramel and drizzle with the chocolate. You can use a combination of white, milk, and dark chocolates for variety. I also like the idea of serving freshly sliced apples with small bowls of caramel and chocolate and letting your guests dip or drizzle to their heart’s content.
For a party you can create a Caramel Apple “Bar” with bowl of various ingredients that you roll the apples in. Some of my favorites are mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, mini M&M’s, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, crushed Oreo cookies, sprinkles, coconut, jimmies, crushed toffee bits, granola, etc. This would be a really fun idea for a Halloween party or a fall birthday party.
A variety of toppings for caramel apples
If you want to have even more fun, you can even “paint” with the chocolate. For example, if you wanted a fun table decoration for Halloween, dip the apples in caramel and then in white chocolate. Using melted dark chocolate, paint on a Jack o’ Lantern eyes, nose, and mouth. You can also use chocolate as “glue” to attach decorations. Can you imagine how fun this could be! You can make these a few days ahead and store in the refrigerator. I would much rather get these decorated apples than to have to dunk for them in a bucket of water!!
If you come up with other fun ideas, I would love to hear about them. You can leave a comment after the recipe! I hope that you have loads of fun being creative and getting all messy with caramel and chocolate – the best part of Chocolate Mondays!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Two of the most versatile and useful utensils in the kitchen are heat-resistant silicone spatulas and good old-fashioned wooden spoons. I use both all the time and they are always on my counter in a large container so I can grab them quickly. Having different shapes and sizes also gives me options that fit every situation I come across.
Kitchen Skill: Keeping Caramel Smooth
When you are making homemade candy, your arch nemesis is sugar crystals! Once you have melted the sugar completely, if you reintroduce even a couple of grains of sugar (sugar crystals), the entire batch of candy will re-crystallize. To keep this from happening, recipes tell you to “wash down the sides of the pan” with a wet pastry brush or paper towel. I prefer the brush because you have more control with it. Keep a bowl of water beside the stove and occasionally wipe the sides of the pan, just above the boiling candy, with the pastry brush dipped in water. If you happen to get any of the boiling sugar on the brush, wash it thoroughly, dry, and re-wet it before continuing.
Frequently asked questions:
Extra long lollipop sticks
Clear flat-bottomed favor bags (optional if giving as gifts). If your apples are quite large, this apple box might work better.
Hammer or kitchen mallet (A rolling pin will do in a pinch, but I like a regular ol’ garage hammer because it’s more precise)
Plastic sealable bags (like ziplock bags)
I personally prefer granny smith apples, but any mildly sweet or tart apples will work such as gala, golden delicious, or braeburn.
My personal favorite melting chocolate is Dulce Frutta, which you can find in most grocery stores in the produce section, but I am linking it just for your reference.
Hard candies seem to work best or at least look better, but you can also use softer candies or candy bars if you cut them up with a knife.
These candy apples will last about a week if stored properly. They can be kept in the refrigerator, but it is not necessary. They should be kept in an airtight container or individually wrapped in plastic to prevent air exposure.
Gourmet Style Dipped Apples with Homemade Caramel
It’s okay, you can say it. I’m a liar. I really did have an actual meal for you today. But then I went grocery shopping. And I bought apples. I love it when I find the bags of little tiny apples do you know what I’m talking about? They’re smaller than normal apples, and I love them because they’re the perfect size for my little kids because they’re easy to hold and they can eat the entire thing (as opposed to eating half the apple and then leaving it somewhere super convenient, like under the couch, in the toy box, or behind the tv for me to find later.) They’re also perfect for caramel apples because they’re just a little more manageable to eat and you can make more. So I bought my little apples and everything else I needed to dip them for a fun family activity. And then, I saw it.
I am not joking when I say these are the biggest apples I’ve ever seen in my LIFE. Here’s a comparison to a normal sized apple. Applezilla is well over a foot in circumference and it weighs a pound and a half!
How could I not get them?? With caramel apples on my mind already, I knew these were destined to be the biggest, baddest apples of all time.
We’ve got a couple of posts on caramel apples already. Kate did a good, basic how-to on quick and easy apples, and last fall I shared a yummy recipe for homemade honey caramel apples. We get a lot of requests for homemade caramel for apples and I stumbled across this recipe and was dying to try it. Folks, this stuff knocks the socks off of those little plastic-wrapped caramels. If you want amazing, impressive, gourmet style apples- the kind you can bust your wallet buying in a fancy little boutique store, this is it.
Making dipped apples isn’t complicated, but I can tell you it is so, so much easier with a few tricks, so I’m going to give you all of the ones I’ve got! First of all, you’ll want to wash your apples well (I usually use a tiny bit of soap to remove any waxy film) and then dry them completely.
Go ahead and place the sticks in the apples, placing them right where the stem comes out. I’ve found it helps to chill the apples because when they’re cold, the caramel sticks and sets quicker. So after the sticks are all in, place them in the fridge to chill while you do everything else.
It also helps to get all of your toppings ready before you even start. When working with candy, you want to be ready to go as soon as it reaches a certain temperature, so start with a clean kitchen, open sink space, and get your toppings and work space prepared first.
For the caramel, you’ll need all of this yummy stuff.
One of the reasons I was attracted to this recipe was because all of the flavor in there. I love a good sugar+butter+cream caramel, but this one has sweetened condensed milk, dark corn syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar and pure maple syrup (seriously, no Aunt Jamima here- use the good stuff. I know it’s expensive, but YES it’s worth it. Keep it hidden in your pantry for recipes so your kids don’t pour it on their pancakes and pull it out for special occasions, like this caramel.) The flavor and the texture are seriously amazing. And don’t be intimidated by the fact that it requires a thermometer it’s seriously easy caramel and really simple to work with. All you have to do is dump all of the ingredients in a big pot
And stir it until everything is melted and dissolved. Then turn up the heat and boil it until it reaches temperature. If you have a non-stick pot I suggest using it caramel and sweetened condensed milk can burn fairly easily in stainless steel.
When you’re choosing a bowl to put your cooked caramel in, choose the smallest bowl possible that will fit all of the caramel that will make dipping easier. And a tall, narrower bowl is better than a wide, shallow one. One of the tricks is to not dip your apples when the caramel is right off the stove it will be so hot, it will fall right off the apples. 200 degrees is a good temp that makes the caramel easy to work with and it will stay on the apples. Just plunge them in and let the excess run off.
Flip the apples upside-down for a few seconds and then twirl them around. Before I place them on my baking sheet, I use a spoon to just gently scrape excess off the bottom so you don’t end up with a huge pool of caramel.
Now, if you dip your apples in toppings right after the caramel, the toppings will slide right off and you’ll be stuck with a big gloppy ugly mess. So just be patient and keep dipping the apples in caramel and let them set before you dip in toppings. The caramel will never harden so much that you can’t add anything to it so don’t stress.
By the time you finish dipping all the apples, the first ones should be ready for toppings. Pull them off your sheet (a silicone baking mat will be your best friend here. If you don’t have any, try a piece of buttered foil.) and don’t worry if some of the caramel sticks to the sheet, or pulls off the bottom of the apple. Use your hands to gently press the pooled caramel around the bottom of the apple. This caramel is great it’s soft enough to mold and handle, but not so soft that it’s sticky and messy.
Then you can go crazy with the decorations. Depending on what you’re using, you can either roll your apple in the topping, or use your hands to gently press them into the caramel. If you want, have some melted chocolate ready and you can dip over the caramel. Chocolate tends to be a little thicker, so dip it less than you want the final apple to be dipped, and use a knife to scrape off excess chocolate on the bottom.
When you then dip in something else, like chopped peanuts like I have here, the nuts will sort of push the chocolate further up the apple.
Once they’re all dipped, you can decorate with more chocolate. Place some melted chocolate in a heavy duty ziplock bag and cut the end off. (You can actually melt chocolate chips right in the bag in the microwave and just smash them around until melted and smooth) and then drizzle away.
Be creative and have fun! Some of the things I love to use are: crushed cookies or candybars, graham cracker crumbs, chopped nuts, toffee bits, and toasted coconut. It’s fun coming up with new combinations and finding things that look as pretty as they are delicious!
Here’s some of our favorites from this go-around.
S’mores Apple! Carmel dipped and rolled in crushed graham crackers. Marshmallows pressed in by hand and drizzled in chocolate. The one on the right is semi-sweet chocolate and chopped peanuts on the bottom, and white chocolate with toasted coconut on top.
On the left we have another chocolate peanut combo, and on the right, caramel with crushed Butterfinger, drizzled white chocolate, and more Butterfinger. Oh my gosh I love Butterfingers…
This was maybe my fave- caramel dipped and rolled in toasted almonds, and toasted coconut with dried sweet cherries (just pressed in by hand) and white chocolate. So good.
And the apple-zillas? They got rolled in chopped toffee and drizzled in two kinds of chocolate.They weighed over TWO POUNDS each!
I made a few of the gigantic ones and took one of them to a friend who reminded me of the best way to eat them. Caramel apples can be a pain to just bite into, so just take a sharp knife and slice both sides off the apple, on either side of the stick:
Then slice off the remaining two sides, and slice the halves into slices.
My little helper was SO patient through the photoshoot and couldn’t wait to get his hands on a huge apple. This gives you a better idea of how big they are close to the size of his head! The kid could barely hold that thing up.
So there you have it. You are all ready to save your cash at the overpriced-gourmet-caramel-apple-store and make up your own! If you want to package them up (great for gift giving to friends, neighbors, co-workers, school teachers, favorite food bloggers, etc.) chill the finished apples for at least an hour so everything is set and then place in cellophane bags. Store in fridge until you’re ready to give them away. Or change your mind and eat them all yourself. I won’t tell.
Caramel Apple Fondue: I also wanted to mention that you can easily turn something like this into a fun party food. Just put the warm caramel into bowls, or a fondue pot and put all of your toppings in little bowls. Slice a bunch of apples and just let people dip the apples into the caramel and then into a topping. We did this as a family last night and my kids LOVED it. It’s so fun and so easy. It would make a great dessert buffet for a party!