I was looking for a fun family activity to help lighten the busy and burdensome feelings of moving week. This recipe fits the bill, and fits the season too.
When I was a kid one of the games I particularly loved was bobbing for apples. My kids have done that at parties and it’s fun! You get all wet and it is so frustrating to see the floating fruit dodge your sharp and well-aimed teeth with no effort at all, escaping your grasp… again.
But I didn’t want to bob for apples. Or have that kind of mess. So I decided on Caramel Apples as a treat we could sink our teeth into instead.
Then I decided to get a little creative. I’ve been to shops where you can buy these decadent apple treats for upwards of $7 per apple! Coated in caramel, and chocolate, and nuts, and coconut, and mint, and cookie crumbs, and pickles, and liver… okay, no pickles and liver, but it seems like they come covered in just about anything. I decided we’d try our hand at some of that decadence, too. Making the caramel apples was EASY… but apparently the decorating proved a little challenging! You can see from my photos that making things stick was, well…. less successful than I’d hoped!
You’ll also notice that since we’re moving I had to use our everyday stainless steel forks instead of popsicle sticks or plastic forks. Those are packed so we had to resort to metal handles! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen caramel apples with metal handles… but boy, are they ever sturdy!
Here’s the recipe I used. It’s very quick and very easy (provided you aren’t picky about decorating them!)
5 medium or 6 small refrigerated apples (I used 5 medium gala apples)
1 14oz package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (or about 50 pieces)
2 tbsp milk
Parchment or waxed paper
Butter or cooking spray
Popsicle sticks or plastic cutlery (with the heads broken off)
Crushed peanuts, pecans or walnuts
Crushed Oreo cookies
Crushed chocolate bars
- Remove the stems from the apples and push in the popsicle sticks or plastic handles until they are stable and firm for holding.
- Cut the paper into 6 pieces large enough to hold the apple plus a little extra room on the sides, or line a baking sheet with the paper.
- Grease 6 spots on the paper where you will place the apples once they are coated.
- Prepare bowls of topping if you will be adding that to your caramel apple.
Making the apples:
- With the water boiling fast, roll the apples in the water for a few seconds to remove the wax, then dry them off with a dry cloth. (This step is unnecessary if you have apples from your yard or farmer’s market that don’t have a wax covering.)
- Place the apples into the freezer (no more than 15 minutes) while you are preparing your caramel.
- In a tall but narrow bowl (measuring cup or Pampered Chef 4-cup batter bowl) heat the milk and caramels in the microwave one minute at a time, stirring after each minute, until the entire mixture is bubbling.
- Let stand for just a few minutes to cool the mixture slightly.
- Remove apples from the freezer one at a time to roll them in the caramel sauce covering the whole apple. Hold the apple above the bowl and keep turning it until the caramel coating remains all over the apple and won’t drip when you set it down.
- If you decide to add other toppings, roll or sprinkle the topping over the apple, gently pressing it into the caramel without moving the caramel. If you are adding more than one topping, do it quickly and without adding too much of the first topping.
- Stand each coated apple on a greased paper spot.
- Place coated apples in refrigerator to cool.
To decorate even more: Once the apples are cool, melt some chips of your choice (white, dark, milk or peanut butter chips) in a bowl. Carefully drizzle it over the apples in a pretty design. Refrigerate again immediately.