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Homemade Caramel Apples

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There are plenty of ways to make caramel for dipping apples.  The quickest method of course, is to melt store-bought caramels. The second easiest method is to cook a can of sweetened condensed milk in boiling water until it becomes very thick and caramel in color.  I sometimes use the second method for dipping apple slices or for a cake recipe I sometimes make.  However, today I decided to cook homemade caramel which takes just a few minutes longer than melting caramels, but I wanted to revive the old fashion way of making caramel apples…the ones I remember at Halloween and bake sales when I was a kid.  I used Joe Pastry’s caramel recipe, one of my favorite food bloggers who has unfortunately put his website to rest.

So if you have a hankering for those old fashion caramel apples that you remember as a kid, here’s how I made them…

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I started by thoroughly washing some granny smith apples.  I prefer the smaller ones for making caramel apples. Then I placed plastic twigs in the center of each one.  You can use any type of sticks…

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Next, because I love pecans, I decided to crush pecans in a small bowl for rolling the apples in.  Peanuts are the norm here…you can use whatever you like…

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Then I placed some waxed paper liner cups on a cookie sheet and set them aside…

Now for the caramel…
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I started by combining some sugar, water and light corn syrup in a large pot…

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I brought the mixture to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly…

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As soon as the mixture came to a boil I turned the heat down to medium high and stopped stirring it.  I swished the mixture around about once every minute or so by slightly lifting the pan and rotating it in a circular motion…

Watch the stages below as the mixture gradually turns from white to a dark amber color…

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caramelapples-40 The picture above shows the dark amber color the mixture takes on when it’s ready…

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At that point I removed the mixture from the heat…

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Next I added some heavy whipping cream and real butter to the mixture…

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And the hot mixture bubbled up for a few seconds…

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Then I added some pure vanilla to the hot caramel mixture…

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And some salt…

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And mixed to combine everything…

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I let the hot caramel set for about one minute and dipped the back of a spoon in the caramel.  Once the caramel coated the back of a spoon without quickly running off, I knew it was ready for dipping…

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Then the fun began.  I tilted the pot slightly by placing a folded up dish towel under it.  Then I dipped each caramel apple by slowly rolling each apple in the caramel, lifting the apple from the caramel, and slowly rotating the apple as the excess caramel dripped from the apple.  I repeated the process a second time for each apple..

caramelapples-62Next I rolled some of the apples in crushed pecans, just because I prefer pecans, but crushed peanuts are the normal choice of nut for dipping caramel apples…do whatever makes you happy!  Lastly, I placed the caramel apples in my refrigerator for a couple of hours for the caramel to set…

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Then I wrestled with myself as to how many I really wanted to share with others.  Tough decision!!

If you’re in the mood to go back to those childhood days, of bake sales and Trick or Treating and homemade treats, make these yummy Caramel Apples and feel like a kid again!

Enjoy my friends!

Cindy @ My Country Table

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Homemade Caramel Apples


  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6

Description

Granny Smith apples dipped in a homemade caramel coating.


Ingredients

Tools Needed

  • 6 wooden or plastic sticks or skewers
  • Waxed paper liners

For The Caramel Apples

  • 6 small Granny Smith apples
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons real butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed peanuts or other preferred nuts or candies

Instructions

  1. Place nuts in a small bowl and set aside. Wash and dry apples, scrubbing any pesticides or wax coating from apples. Place a plastic or wooden stick or skewer at least one inch down through the center of each apple and set apples aside. Place six paper holders on a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium high heat and stop stirring. Cook mixture for 10-12 minutes, slightly lifting the pan and rotating it to swish the mixture around about once per minute. Continue cooking until mixture turns a dark amber color and immediately remove from heat.
  3. Add the whipping cream and butter and whisk vigorously to incorporate the cream and butter. The mixture will bubble up for a few seconds. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
  4. Let the mixture cool for about one minute. Dip the back of a spoon into the hot caramel mixture. If the caramel sticks to the back of the spoon, it is ready for dipping .
  5. Tilt the pan upward on one side and place a folded towel under it, allowing the caramel to run to one corner of the pan. Dip each apple in the caramel, rotating the apple to cover it completely. Remove the apple from the caramel and rotate it slowly while allowing the excess caramel to drip off. Repeat the dipping process a second time.
  6. Immediately roll the bottom third of each apple in the crushed topping of your choice and place the apples in the paper liners. Refrigerate the apples for at least two hours to set the caramel before serving.

Notes

  • Caramel apples are best served no longer than one day after making. Refrigerate apples until ready to serve.

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