It has been too long since we have made caramel apples. I don't think we will wait that long again! We all love them. Of course, we all love different versions of them. I would prefer a Pink Lady apple for mine; some tartness but not as much as a Granny Smith. Tyler and Hadlee would prefer the Granny Smiths and Calvin would probably eat any of them as long as there was caramel involved. I love this caramel because it's not too tacky. It's still soft and a bit gooey even after being in the fridge, but still stays on the apple.
I thought about it for a couple days, trying to come up with a way to not have all the goodies run off the apple. I am a little bit of a perfectionist and I want them to be perfect. I might also be a freak, it's hard to tell most of the time. I decided I was going to try 2 apples how I normally do them and then 2 apples another way to see if it made a difference. As you can see from the picture above, I think it made a difference and I will probably be doing it from now on.
The possibilities with these babies are endless. It would be fun to have a caramel apple party and let everyone do their own and pick the toppings. Let's make a list of all the things that would be amazing on a caramel apple, shall we?
M&Ms (mini or regular)
Marshmallow (melt marshmallows with a couple tablespoons of water and add water until desired consistency, dip apple in caramel, then marshmallow.)
pecans or walnuts toasted or raw (or whatever nut you love)
coconut, toasted or raw
Then you get into the combinations!
My favorite; caramel, pecans, coconut and white chocolate. (pictured)
6 Apples of your choice washed and dried. It helps if they are cold, the caramel will cool faster after dipping.
toppings of your choice
1/2 recipe caramel (if you want to do the whole recipe, I would assume 12 apples)
For the Caramel:
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk (if you half the recipe, put remaining milk in container and save for next batch or something else in the next couple days.)
1 cup corn syrup
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in pan, heat over med-high until it starts to boil, stirring frequently. (I don't think I started stirring mine soon enough, and that's what the brown flecks are, another second and I would have had a catastrophe on my hands, phew.) Clip candy thermometer to the side of the pan and reduce heat to med to continue at a steady, moderate boil, stirring frequently. When candy thermometer reaches 235-240 (soft balls stage), remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool
Have a square of plastic wrap ready for each apple before dipping
I have a container that is a bit wider than the apples and kind of tall and skinny so that's what I used for dipping. You can always use the pan if you needed to.
Push sticks into apples.
No plastic wrap
Once apples have been refrigerated and wrap removed, place melted white chocolate in a zip close bag, cut a teeny tiny hole in one corner, and drizzle over apples.
If you aren't a freak like me, and you don't care if the caramel is uniform over the whole apple, you can just set them on greased wax paper after dipping and then refrigerate. And if you don't care if they are on sticks at all, you can slice the apples up and top them with your toppings. I dare you not to love them.