Are you ready to sink your teeth into a mouthwatering treat that screams autumn? Look no further than classic caramel apples! This delightful confection is a staple of fall festivals and a nostalgic favorite that never fails to satisfy a sweet tooth. So why not fulfill that nostalgia by making your own at home? We’ll even show you how to get the kids involved!
What is the difference between a candy apple and a caramel apple?
First things first, let’s clear up the confusion between caramel and candy apples. While they both involve coating apples in something delicious, they differ in their outer layers. Candy apples boast a glossy, hard candy shell often tinted in vibrant hues, while caramel apples are coated in a luscious layer of smooth, buttery caramel. It’s all about personal preference – the choice depends on whether you’re in the mood for a satisfying crunch or a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
What do I need for this homemade caramel apple recipe?
To make these homemade caramel apples, you’ll need:
- Granny Smith apples
- Heavy cream
- Light corn syrup
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
If you want to mix things up, you can also use chopped nuts, sprinkles, or other fun toppings!
How do you get caramel to stick to apples?
One of the trickiest parts of making caramel apples is ensuring that the caramel clings to the apples and doesn’t slip off. To ensure you get that perfect caramel-to-apple bond, soak your apples in a vinegar rinse to remove any wax coating.
Insert the wooden sticks into the apple’s stem end, ensuring they’re secure. The sticks provide a handy handle for swirling and dipping your apples into the caramel.
How do you make caramel apples?
- Get prepared. Soak the apples in diluted vinegar to remove any wax coating. Rinse with cold water, pat dry, and insert the caramel apple sticks. Set out a silicone baking mat or greased baking sheet. Pour any toppings into shallow bowls so they are ready to go before the caramel sets.
- Make the caramel. Heat the cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and salt over medium, stirring continuously until the butter melts.
- Get the caramel up to its setting point. Heat the caramel to 240°F without stirring. Remove from heat, and add the vanilla. Now you can stir the caramel.
- Dip the apples. Allow the caramel to cool for 10 minutes, then spin each apple through the caramel so that the whole fruit gets coated. Let the excess caramel drip off, then dip in a topping if you’d like, and set on the baking mat or greased pan to set.
Protip: Chill, cool, then dip!
To get the best results, use cold or room temperature apples and allow the caramel to cool for the full 10 minutes before dipping the apples, and be sure to let the excess caramel drip off before adding the toppings. These will help both the caramel and the toppings stick to the apples.
Is this a kid-friendly activity?
Making caramel apples can be a fun family activity. Kids can help prep the apples and be in charge of dipping them in toppings. We recommend a grown-up be in charge of making the caramel itself, though!
What toppings are good for caramel apples?
While the caramel is still warm, this is your chance to get creative. Roll your caramel-coated apple in any toppings you’d like. Some of our favorites include:
- Chopped peanuts, pecans, or other nuts
- Mini chocolate chips
- Shredded coconut
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Crushed Oreo cookies
- Crushed Butterfingers
You can also drizzle the apples with melted chocolate or white chocolate.
How long do caramel apples last?
These apples will be good at room temperature for up to three days. They don’t need to be refrigerated—in fact, it’s best to store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes. Storing them in the refrigerator can cause the caramel to sweat and become sticky.
Want more fun fall recipes like this one?