autumn foods, candy, candy apples, caramel, sweets

A Caramel Apple A Day

October 8, 2014

With the change of leaves and drop in temperature, it’s time to celebrate autumn. This is not my favorite time of the year because winter will soon be here (I hate mid-Atlantic winters), the days are shorter, and finally, all I want to do is eat and nap

This year will be different. I’m going celebrate the season and everything I make will be shared with family, friends, and co-workers.

One of Few Good Things About Autumn: Caramel Apples

This week I want to focus on Candy Apples. As a child, my mother preferred the red taffy apples so that is all I have eaten. I was not a fan. It was cloyingly sweet. Years later I tried caramel apples.

Big difference to say the least…

This year I wanted to make my own.

Many recipes suggested removing the preservative wax before dipping. Washing your fruit with warm water and white vinegar will suffice. After a few trials and errors, I discovered a recipe that works the best.

I prefer to use Granny Smith apples. I like the tartness of the apple with the sweetness of the caramel. If you want a larger batch I would use a smaller apple. Try to veer away from mushier apples such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Rome.

As for the toppings, I wanted a variation. I used Spiced Cookie crumbs, ground pecans, and orange and black sprinkles.

Prep your apples and toppings before you start cooking the caramel mixture. You don’t want to rush when the thermometer approaches the ready stage.

Definitely, use a candy thermometer and make sure it’s calibrated!*

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • Dash salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 sticks
  • 10 medium Granny Smith apples, produce stickers removed, washed and dried
  • Optional: toppings of your choice

Directions
In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter; add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. 

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

Insert sticks into apples. 

Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat. Dip bottom of apples into toppings of your. 

Now the directions say to “place on greased waxed paper until set,” but I found the apples stuck to the paper. I suggest a silicone baking sheet.

As much as it pains me, I will find a good home for the extra toffee apples. Autumn is far from over. Perhaps I should give red toffee apples another chance.

Story from The Pastry Prophet

 

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