Raise your hand if you are a caramel apple fan. For those of you "virtually" hopping up and down yelling, "Me, me!" this post is for you! I LOVE caramel apples, but they are so messy to eat! And then there are all the different flavors. It's tough to commit to a whole apple when there are so many varieties to taste. My solution? Caramel Apple Pops. The apple slices are easy to eat, and you can try all the flavors you want.
Delicious Caramel Apple Pops
RELATED: Rolo Pretzel Treats
If you saw Wednesday's post, you know that I went to great measures to find a fun activity to do with the kids that would give us plenty of face-to-face time to talk about internet safety. I'm happy to report that the talk was a success, and (after one epic fail) so was the new recipe.
I'm excited to teach you what to do (and not to do). Aren't you glad that I make all the mistakes so that you don't have to?
First, select your apples. I used Fuji and Granny Smith. Select varieties with firm flesh and a crisp flavor. (Not red delicious!) Pink lady would be yummy, too. Put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to begin. (The cold apples help the caramel set up.)
Next, prepare the apples:
- Wash, core and slice apples (DO NOT peel off the skin! The caramel will not stick the to flesh of the apple.)
- Soak in lemon juice/water solution for 10 minutes. This keeps the apples from turning brown. (1 cup lemon juice to 1 quart water) You can find tips here on my dehydrating pears post.
- Drain and pat dry.
- Skewer apples on lollipop sticks. (Everything is more fun on a stick, don't you think?)
- Return to the refrigerator until you are ready to dip them.
Set aside your toppings, but don't melt the chocolate until you are ready to dip.
Make the caramel:
- 1 cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
- 1 pound light brown sugar
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a heavy bottomed non-stick saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Heat to between 234° and 240° F (112° to 116° C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from the water and placed on a flat surface. Cook for 2 minutes at that temperature. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
- If you are making caramel apples, stop here. Remove the caramel from the heat, and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick spray.
- Carefully dip each apple slice into the caramel. Only dip the skin of the apple. No matter how hard you try, the caramel will not stick to the flesh of the apple. Even if it looks like it's sticking, it won't. It will eventually slide off. Sorry.
*My epic fail involved adding the vanilla before the caramel was quite ready and then letting it continue to boil. The caramel turned dark and changed texture. It was tasty, but not right for caramel apples. (My mom--my partner in crime--made it into wrapped caramels instead.) I highly suggest using a thermometer. The second try, with a thermometer, was a yummy success.
Now for the toppings! If you plan to dip the apples in chocolate, allow the caramel to set up first. (Place the caramel dipped slices on their side to cool before dipping.)
If you plan to dip in something chunky--like nuts, toffee or coarse cookie crumbs-- you can do that right after you dip in the caramel. Just put the topping in a wide bowl and press the caramel apple into it to coat.
My favorite toppings:
- Caramel, then let it cool, then dip in melted white chocolate, then immediately sprinkle liberally with sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle with melted dark or milk chocolate.
- Caramel, then immediately dip in toffee chips, then drizzle with white, milk and or dark chocolate.
Pour any leftover caramel into a buttered, flat-bottomed dish. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares or rectangles and wrap individually with waxed paper or cellophane.
Yummy toppings to try:
- Toffee chips (chocolate coated or plain)
- White chocolate
- Dark Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate (I prefer this as a drizzled topping to using it to cover the entire apple.)
- Cinnamon and Sugar (Perfect with white chocolate)
- Crushed cookies
- Sprinkles (Oops! I totally forgot that I planned to use sprinkles. Oh, well. Next time.)
- Chopped nuts
- Crushed candy bars
- Anything else you can think of!
- Candy melts and almond bark work well for melting. Chocolate chips work great for drizzling. See this post for melting and drizzling tips.
Check out these tools from Amazon to help you in your treat making:
Thanks for stopping by today. Please check out some more fun ideas for Fall while you are here. Images below are linked: