If you have to whip up a treat for a bake sale or simply want a fun dessert for the weekend, there's no better fall recipe than caramel apples. Both kids and adults will love this classic treat and it's easy to put your own twist on the recipe.
- 8 large apples, any variety
- 8 popsicle or craft sticks
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Thoroughly wash and dry each of the apples. Pluck off the stems and insert a stick firmly into each apple.
- Fill a large bowl halfway with water and ice. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Place over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until the caramel reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Remove pan from the heat and place it in the ice bath. Let it cool until the mixture stops bubbling, then remove from water. Stir the caramel so any stiff candy at the bottom of the pan is malleable again.
- Dip each apple far enough into the caramel to cover 3/4 of the fruit. You may need to rotate the apple to get even coverage. Lift the apple straight up out of the pan and let any excess caramel drip off.
- Holding the stick firmly, flip the apple upside down for 10 to 15 seconds to let the candy set. Then place the fruit on the prepared baking sheet.
- Once all the apples are coated, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to cool the treats.
If you're feeling creative, you can experiment with different toppings on your apples. Crush up some nuts, graham crackers, cookies or chocolate chips, then roll the caramel-covered apples in the mixture before you cool them. You can also choose to sprinkle a little of the crushed accent over the top of each apple.
Another fun variation is to make colored caramel apples. For this, you'll need to use granulated sugar to minimize the brown coloring of the caramel. When you combine your ingredients, add in two tablespoons of white food coloring and two teaspoons (or more) of gel coloring of your choice. You can use any color you'd like, and the more gel you add, the more vibrant your apples will be. Follow the rest of the recipe normally.
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