Level : Difficult- requires constant whisking and temperature monitoring.
Don’t you love the fall season? My favorite thing about autumn and all of the other seasons, is the change itself. Change is good. Change reminds us to stop and pause, notice where we are, where we’re going.
I’m a caramel apple freak. I have always loved the caramel with peanuts. When Mema and I were in Nashville and visited a little candy shop we were amazed at the coatings. From crushed Oreo cookies to mini-peanut butter cups, the possibilities are endless.
If you roam the grocery displays this time of year you might think the way to make caramel apples is to spend a half-hour unwrapping little squares. Well, you can, but… why bother when you can make a fresher tasting caramel with just a few ingredients? It’s buttery, gooey and makes your kitchen smell like a confectionery store.
There is no need to hassle with unwrapping those tiny pre-packaged little caramel squares. Here are the steps to making Real buttery gooey old-fashioned caramel to coat your apples. I like to use an apple that is first and foremost, Firm/Crisp, and secondly, it should have both sweet and tart flavor. Honeycrisp apples at their prime pick are a good choice.
Hints: Pam Original Cooking Spray is essential. I recommend setting them on sprayed parchment paper first until they are cooled, and then spraying large muffin cups to serve. Some clear gift bags and a bow finish the product.
- 8 to 10 apples (make sure they are crisp) Honeycrisp work nice.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ cups white corn syrup
- 2 (14-oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup salted butter or margarine (if you use unsalted butter, add ¼ tsp. salt)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- optional: 1 cup cocktail peanuts (chopped), sprinkles
- Wash and dry the apples, especially around the stem. Insert a stick into the center of each near the stem. Set aside.
- In a saucepan off of the heat, stir together sugar, syrup, and condensed milk until completely mixed and smooth. Stirring constantly but gently, with a whisk, cook over medium heat. (usually takes 25 minutes). Candy thermometer reads 230 degrees. If you don’t have one, you can make a glass of ice water and drop some of the syrup into the water- if it forms a soft ball with your fingers, it is ready!
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Dip the apples to coat, and scrape excess from bottoms. Roll in any toppings you may have. Place on sprayed parchment, waxed paper or baking sheet to cool.