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Gourmet Caramel Apples

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Gourmet Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

Eric Kilby
Wonderfully sweet and gooey caramel apples have been a treat for children and adults alike for at least a century. Popular at fairs and carnivals, caramel apples have become gourmet in recent years with a huge variety of delicious toppings and variations added. Making your own caramel apples at home is quite easy and much cheaper than your local candy shop.

Use a firm crisp apple like Granny Smith or Fuji (Read more about apple varieties. These tend to last longer. I use the store bought caramels such as Werther's Chewy Caramels or Kraft because they have a nice consistency and stay solid at room temperature. Caramel apples are delicious with just plain caramel but adding a topping like crushed Butterfinger or mini marshmallows and chocolate makes them heavenly. I've listed some yummy suggestions but don't be afraid with your topping ideas!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Makes 6 caramel apples

Ingredients:

  • Basic Caramel Apples
  • 6 medium-size Granny Smith or Fuji apples
  • 6 6-inch wooden craft sticks or dowels (or food-safe twigs such as apple or birch)
  • 1 pound of unwrapped Kraft soft caramels or unwrapped Werther's Original chewy caramels
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or water)

Preparation:

Basic Caramel Apple Recipe

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or nonstick foil. Wash and dry apples (the caramel won't stick if the apple is wet) and remove the stems. Insert a stick,dowel, or twig into the stem end of each apple.
  2. Unwrap caramels and place in a 1 quart microwave-safe bowl with the cream (or water). Microwave on high for 2½ to 3 minutes, pausing to stir every minute, until caramels are completely melted and smooth.
  3. Holding apples by the sticks, dip and swirl in caramel to coat. You can dip it half way in or almost all the way up to the stick, depending on how much caramel you want and how you want the apple to look. Gently scrape the bottom of the apple against the edge of the bowl to remove excess caramel.(If the dipping caramel gets too hard to use, microwave it in 30-second intervals to soften.)
  4. If your caramel apples will be plain, place them directly onto wax paper, stick side up. If you would like to add a topping to the caramel apples, press or roll the freshly coated apples into a topping (see below).

Variations and Toppings

Toppings

  • Red Hot Cinnamon Candies
  • M&M Candies
  • White Chocolate and Dried Banana Chips
  • Peanuts, plain or flavored
  • Coconut and chopped pecans
  • Chili powder
  • Crushed Toffee Bar
  • Crushed Cookie Pieces
  • Sprinkles (ice cream candy)
  • Trail Mix
  • Dried cranberries and walnuts
  • Crushed Butterfinger Bar
  • Crushed pretzels
  • Freeze dried fruits, slightly crushed
  • Caramel Popcorn
  • Sea Salt

Variations

Smore's - Crushed graham crackers, mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips.

Snickers Bar - Chopped up Snickers bar (they're easier to cut if you freeze them first), drizzle or dip again in melted milk chocolate.

Hawaiian - Roll in crushed macadamia nuts and dried pineapple, drizzle white chocolate over the top.

Peanut Butter Cup - Roll in a combination of mini chocolate chips and mini peanut butter chips.

Classic Turtle Caramel Apple - Roll in toasted pecans, dip in melted semi-sweet chocolate.

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