Caramel Apples, from Simple to Showy
Sweet ’n’ sticky, crisp ’n’ juicy and a nice dose of good-for-you, too! Taking a big bite out of a caramel apple marks autumn’s arrival with an exclamation point.
Making a batch at home is not only easy, it’s a great way celebrate the fall season with family or friends. Plus, the kids will love customizing these treats with fun toppings! We’ve got some easy tips and sweet ideas to help you get this new tradition rolling.
KNOW HOW TO PICK ’EM
Apples are at the core of this treat, so start with the right texture and flavor. Choose a variety that’s both sweet and tart in taste, and has a firm yet easy bite. (Too soft and it’ll taste more like applesauce; too hard and your teeth will protest.) We love Granny Smith, but Golden Delicious and Gala are also great options. To prep, wash and dry apples, insert a sturdy stick in each (craft sticks or wooden chopsticks work well) and set aside until you’re ready to start dipping.
LET’S STICK TOGETHER
Make the smooth and creamy caramel topping with just a few simple ingredients, or melt down store-bought candies for an even quicker dip. Tips:
- See how Irvin from Eat The Love makes a super-easy scratch caramel sauce using heavy whipping cream, or head to Misc Eats 4 U and check out Connie’s yummy version that includes brown sugar, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk. Melt using a double boiler, microwave in a SNAPWARE® AIRTIGHT PLASTIC FOOD STORAGE BOWL, or try a slow cooker for caramel that’ll keep for hours (ideal if you’re dipping a large amount of apples or doing this activity for a party).
- You could even try adding in maple syrup or spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to amp up the flavor.
- Shoot for a thinnish consistency for easier dipping—you can always double-dip if needed.
OVER THE TOP
Now, a simple caramel-dipped apple is perfectly delicious as is, but you know how kids are! And they are pretty all gussied up. (We meant the apples, but the theory works for kids, too.) Gather an assortment of toppings ahead of time in shallow, spillproof SNAPWARE® TOTAL SOLUTION™ storage containers with lids and get ready to snap open and roll! Think chopped nuts, crushed pretzels or graham crackers, sprinkles, candy pieces, mini marshmallows or chocolate chips, or any other little bits of deliciousness they (and you) would like to try on an apple.
DIP, SWIRL AND SET
Quickly run down the checklist: apples with sticks inserted, gooey caramel, fun toppings and baking sheets at the ready. All good? Then you’re off!
- Grab your apple by the stick and gently submerge in the melted caramel, twirling to coat the entire apple. The caramel will be very warm, so please warn (or help) the kiddos with this step.
- Let the excess drip off before you place it on your baking sheet.
- Allow caramel to set for about 15 minutes before dipping again or rolling in toppings.
- Going somewhere? Make it easy and tote your finished apples in the SNAPWARE® SNAP ‘N STACK® COOKIE AND CUPCAKE KEEPER.
DRESS THEM IN A HALLOWEEN THEME
Give your caramel apples a twist on her favorite Halloween dessert, an addictive candy corn bark. To make an on-a-stick version, dip apples in caramel, allow to set, then roll them in a mix of crushed cashews, pretzels, Oreos and candy corn pieces. Drizzle with dark and white chocolate, then let them harden before serving.
PRETTY PLEASE, WITH CANDY ON TOP!
Try adding a cocoa crunch to caramel apples with chocolate candy. Crush a chocolate bar into fine bits (try milk chocolate with toffee or dark chocolate spiked with ginger), then take caramel apples for a second dip (after the caramel has set) in melted milk chocolate or dark chocolate before evenly sprinkling chocolate candy crumbles on top. A light dusting of sea salt will balance the sweetness.
Take the classic on vacation by rolling your apples in a tropical topping. Once the caramel has set on apples, roll them in a combination of shredded coconut and cashews. If cashews aren’t your thing, try macadamia nuts for a Hawaiian twist.
EXPERT TIPS FOR MAKING CARAMEL APPLES
- Have all your ingredients ready to go; once you melt the caramel, you’ll want to work quickly. The SNAPWARE 3.01 CUP SMALL RECTANGLE WITH TOTAL SOLUTION LID is another great option for your toppings. It has a nice, shallow shape with just enough room for a roll in the goodies.
- To prevent your apples from getting stuck together, space them a few inches apart on a nonstick cookie sheet. You can also try setting them on buttered foil, cooking parchment or waxed paper.
- Caramel apples will keep overnight at room temp—wrap in cellophane (NOT plastic wrap!) if humidity is an issue. You can also store them in the fridge to buy another day or so. (Be sure to bring them to room temp before taking a bite!)
- For maximum freshness, enjoy the apples within 48 hours of making them.
Whether you go for a caramel-only classic or you embellish yours with one of these flavor twists, get ready for a repeat of the same fun next year because once is all it takes to establish this as a sweet fall tradition!
YOUR TURN: What’s the most creative topping you’ve seen on caramel apples?