When I think of Caramel Apples, it brings back memories of my childhood. Each year our church hosted a fall festival. This was one of the most highly anticipated events for me as a child because the entire night was all about food, fun and games.
The fellowship hall was transformed into fall festival headquarters! Adults and children dressed up in their favorite costumes for the costume contest. Game booths were set up all around the room and so much creativity was involved in making this a night to remember! There was apple bobbing, go fish (for candy, of course), ring toss, and a host of other games. It was an exciting night full of food, laughter, fun and lots of love!
To prepare for the event, my mama and I made caramel apples. They were nothing fancy, just melted caramel with a few nuts sprinkled on top.
I still use this same method of making caramel apples. This recipe uses Kraft Caramel Chews. One bag will make approximately 4-5 small/medium apples.
Of course, things change over time and I like to make these a little more snazzy and tasty by adding course sea salt and chocolate shavings along with a few colorful sprinkles and candy corn. Packaging them in treat bags tied with festive ribbon makes them even more attractive and easy to serve or give as a gift.
They really are super easy to make and you can top them with whatever you like; however, make sure you work fast. Once the caramel starts to cool, it will develop a film on top making it difficult for toppings to stick. Adding chocolate shavings is tricky too.
Sprinkling the chocolate, salt and sprinkles on too soon will cause them to melt....wait too long and they won't stick! There is a sweet spot in time that this can be done without any problems, but it really is trial and error. I have tried timing it and it really is a matter of practice.
You can use a skewer to test the temperature of the caramel AFTER it has been on the apple for a couple of minutes. DO NOT TOUCH the caramel with your fingers right out of the pan because it will be painful! If your children are helping you with this, be very careful because the caramel drips and no one wants their tiny hands to get burned!
4-5 apples, washed and dried, remove stems
4-5 wooden candy sticks (found on cake decorating aisle in WalMart or Target)
1 bag caramel chews (remove wrappers...probably the most time consuming part of the entire process!)
2 tablespoons water
course sea salt
Taking them to a party? Just grab a pack of the cellophane treat bags to wrap them up. Tie the bags with decorative ribbon to make them even more festive!
Grab a sheet of parchment paper and use it to line a cookie sheet.
Spray the paper with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
Follow the directions on the back of the caramel candy bag for melting the caramel.
Basically, just melt the caramels on low-med with the water and stir constantly using a wooden spoon. (Plastic spoons will melt.)
Assemble the apples by inserting the sticks through the top of the apple where the stem was located.
When the caramel is melted and smooth, dip the apples in the caramel making sure all sides are covered.
Place the apples on the parchment paper. Don't worry about the caramel that puddles at the bottom. This is the best part!
Top the apples with your choice of toppings.
Place in the refrigerator to allow them to set. (about two hours)
Remove them from the refrigerator and package them in the cellophane bags.
If they won't be eaten right away, I suggest storing them in the refrigerator. Remove them from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to serving.
These really are fun to make, delicious and gorgeous!