When you move out of your parents’ house, you lose control. And by lose control, I mean of things like what they’ll hand out to the trick-or-treaters. They tend to pick candy that was popular when they were young, but sometimes I want to spice it up with what the kids are into these days. This year, however, my mom will be handing out caramel apples, which I find so classic. The story goes that, as a newlywed, she made caramel apples for the kiddos, which turned out to be an absolute hit. One little girl came back to their house and my mom asked, “Haven’t I seen you before?” As she started to walk away, my mom told her that, of course she could have yet another. Caramel apples show an added effort and, although not ideal health-wise, they lack the dyes and exorbitant chemicals of traditional candy. I tested out a few variations-from the tried and true peanut-covered, to chocolate drizzled and salted caramel, which could even entice the parents on Halloween duty. Here’s to a great Halloween (recipe below the pictures)!!
- 6 wooden craft sticks
- 6 small apples, any variety, stems removed*
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
(recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart)
*(I used my favorite (Fuji), as well as traditional Granny Smith and McIntosh)
Insert sticks into tops of apples. Prepare an ice-water bath.
Bring cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to pan, and continue to cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.
Place pan in ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Dip bottom of each apple in caramel. Using a spoon, coat apple halfway to three-quarters of the way up sides. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes (or overnight).
In terms of toppings, I went with the following:
- Chopped peanuts (crush 1/2 cup with a rolling pin)
- Maldon sea salt (any variety will do)
- Mix of Halloween-themed sprinkles
- Dark and white chocolate, melted and drizzled over the apple with a fork