Caramel apples. The perfect Fall treat, bringing to mind images of carnivals and festivals and Halloween parties. I've made a few variations of candied apples in the past but this version is by far my favorite. This caramel is heavy and dark, laced with mollasses and dark corn syrup for an earthy undertone and not-overly-sweet flavor. If you're not a fan of molasses I'd avoid this recipe as, while not overpowering, the molasses does play a significant supporting role in the dance across the tastebuds. I loved this subtle difference from regular carnival candied apples that can sometimes make your teeth ache with sweetness. That's not to say that this particular caramel isn't sweet, because it is, it is just balanced nicely by that molasses addition.
I'm not feeling too wordy today, friends, but felt the need to get this recipe out to you while there are still some orange and yellow leaves clinging to the trees. Especially to all of you northeasterners who are facing the first nor'easter of the year. What the heck?!? I assume there will be some time spent indoors this weekend, lamenting the loss of Autumn so early. Why not spend that time making the perfect Fall treat?
Hello, Winter? Could you back off please?
Happy weekend, friends!
from simply recipes
note that you will need an accurate candy thermometer for this recipe
- (1) 1-pound box dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- (1) 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp dark mollasses
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12 sturdy lollipop sticks, chopsticks, or twigs (these aren't great for holding, better for apples you plan to cut into slices)
- 12 medium apples
- Combine sugar, butter, condensed milk, corn syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, molasses and salt in a thick-bottomed 2-1/2 or 3-quart saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon on medium-low heat until all of the sugar dissolves. You can test this by rubbing a little bit of the caramel between your fingers (let it cool on a spoon a bit first!!!). There should be no grittiness. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals that might form on the pan sides.
- Attach a clip-on candy thermometer to the pan and cook the caramel at a rolling boil until the thermometer reaches 236℉, stirring constantly and slowly with a wooden spatula. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, so that the caramel doesn't stick. Once it sticks it will burn, and you'll have to start over. Continue to occasionally brush the sides of the pan down with a pastry brush. Carefully pour the caramel into a metal bowl and allow it to cool until the temperature lowers to 200℉, at which point you are ready to dip the apples.
- While the caramel is cooling, prepare a large baking sheet, covering it with parchment paper, butter aluminum foil, or a silpat. Insert your sticks into each apple core (I used a chopstick to poke the holes for the twigs).
- When the caramel has cooled enough for dipping, dip the apples in, one by one, by holding on to the stick, and vertically lowering the apple into the caramel, submerging all but the very top of the apple. Pull the apple up from the caramel and let the excess caramel drip off from the bottom back into the pan, then place the apple on the prepared baking sheet. The caramel will pool a little at the bottom of each apple. Place the sheet in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes. At this point, if you'd like to add toppings, do so. Otherwise, allow the apples to chill for at least one hour.
- I recommend, after chilling, storing the apples at room temperature. Otherwise the caramel is hard as a rock.