Ultimate Caramel Apples – A Favorite Fall Treat

09.21.2012

I know I’ve already posted these caramel apples, but since I’ve been doing this food blog nearly a year I’ve learned a few tricks about food photography so I just wanted to share some new photos. Plus these are one of my favorite treats so I figured I may as well share them again for those of you that weren’t following along last year to see them.
I’ve made these caramel apples countless times and everyone always loves them. I mean who doesn’t love a delicious, chewy, generously coated in caramel, chocolate covered, sprinkled with tasty toppings caramel apple? To take one bite is simply pure bliss. The chewy bite, the perfect texture and buttery stretch of the homemade caramel, ahhh. Words or pictures don’t do them justice.
I like to make them pretty and fancy, but if you want you can just dip and coat the entire apple with caramel. I just love having that vibrant beautiful green show through though. The natural color of fruit is just gorgeous, so why hide it? This recipe is a bit time consuming but I’m telling you it is so worth it! Once you have these you wont want to let a Fall season go by without them. If you don’t want to take the time to coat them with the chocolate and toppings then these really are amazing with caramel alone. The homemade caramel makes all the difference in a great caramel apple. It turns an ordinary caramel apple into a fancy, gourmet caramel apple. These make a great gift to give friends or loved ones. I just took them to friends and told them, Happy Fall! Who needs a holiday to celebrate =). I love Fall.
Also note that a candy thermometer is a MUST with this recipe. The caramel needs to be heated to exactly 239 degrees or it will either be too runny or too hard. If you don’t have one it’s worth the investment. You can pick one up at a local supermarket for about $10 – $15. I use mine all the time. Enjoy!

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Ultimate Caramel Apples – A Favorite Fall Treat

4 from 1 vote

Yield: 10 Caramel Apples

Ingredients

  • 10 small Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 recipe Homemade Caramel , recipes follows
  • 12 oz . milk chocolate or white chocolate chips*
  • Assorted toppings for coating , see list below
  • 10 craft sticks or twigs

Homemade Caramel

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Insert 1 craft stick vertically through the center of each apple, set apples aside. Butter two 13x9 pans, and make enough space in the refrigerator for them to sit evenly.
  2. Prepare Homemade Caramel as directed and allow to cool about 5 - 10 minutes (until it's not incredibly runny) then immediately dip apples in caramel (note: from my experience this caramel doesn't reheat well, so with that said you basically get one chance to dip so don't let the caramel cool too long and work quickly when dipping, you may even want to have a friend help to be able work quicker). If you want to make yours to look like the ones pictured (with the apple showing through the center on top) then tilt apple when dipping and don't fully immerse apple in the caramel, then carefully swirl the apple to coat all edges. Lift apple and let some of the excess caramel drip off and run the bottom of the apple along the inside edge of the pan. Tilt apple upside down and swirl just until the caramel is about to run off, then immediately turn upright and transfer to buttered baking dish in refrigerator. Repeat process with remaining apples, be sure to space them a bit apart on baking dish so they don't stick together. Allow caramel coated apples to set in refrigerator.
  3. Heat chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power, in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Using an icing spatula or butter knife, coat edges with melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with desired toppings. Return to refrigerator to allow chocolate to set. Serve at room temperature and store in the refrigerator in airtight containers or Ziploc bags.
  4. *Blocks of chocolate can also be used, just chop into small, uniform pieces to ensure even melting. Also, I highly recommend using quality chocolate (chips or blocks) such as Guittard, Ghirardelli or Godiva (any of the G's =). The lower quality chips don't melt as well and tend leave that dull residue when they set.

Homemade Caramel

  1. In a large enameled cast iron pot, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup heavy cream. Heat mixture to a boil just over medium heat (the 6 of an electric stove), stirring frequently. Once mixture has reached a boil, stir in remaining one cup heavy cream. Then without stirring,(again just slightly over medium heat) bring mixture to exactly 239 degrees then immediately remove from heat (this should take around 20 - 25 minutes). Carefully pour caramel into a medium nonstick saucepan and stir in vanilla (transferring caramel to another pan helps it cool faster and will leave behind some of the little brown specs at the bottom of the cast iron pan. You don't have to transfer it but if you don't just allow the caramel to cool a little longer than the 10 minutes). Allow to cool 10 minutes before dipping apples.

Coating Ideas

  1. To crush, place ingredients in a ziploc bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin. I probably make these too much because I've started naming them =). When I listed the white or milk chocolate chips I'm referring the which type of melted chocolate to coat them with.
  2. Crushed Oreos with white chocolate chips - Cookies and Cream
  3. Crushed Oreos with milk chocolate chips - Cookie Fudge
  4. Crushed Butterfingers - Candy Bar Apple
  5. Chopped nuts, such as pecans, almonds or peanuts - Nutty
  6. Sliced or chopped almonds and poppy seeds with white chocolate - Almond Poppyseed
  7. Chopped dried cranberries & chopped walnuts or pecans with white chocolate chips - Christmas Apple
  8. Sprinkles - Every Kids Favorite
  9. Crushed graham crackers or graham cracker pie crust & a little cinnamon & nutmeg with white chocolate chips - Apple Pie
  10. Crushed sugar cones or waffle cones with white chocolate chips - Ice Cream Apple
  11. Chopped mini marshmallows & optional chopped nuts with milk chocolate chips - Rocky Road
  12. Crushed pretzels - Salted Caramel
  13. Crushed shortbread with milk chocolate chips - The Twix
  14. Crushed lavender & vanilla bean with white chocolate chips - The Gourmet
  15. ...or whatever else you can come up with.
  16. Recipe Source: Caramel Apples - Cooking Classy, Homemade Caramel - adapted from allrecipes.com

43 comments

  • Patty Emert: Hi Jaclyn, I have made the Ultimate caramel apples today. I followed the recipe exactly as read, but the caramel is not a dark in color I expected and the amount butter appears to be too greasy. I had to beat the caramel after the vanilla was added to combine the butter. Is this usual this buttery? Mine aren’t as pretty as yours, but it was my first attempt. October 30, 2017 at 7:21pm Reply

  • Kate: Hi,
    I’m making these for the first time for a fall baby shower, and I’m curious where you find your decorative twigs? Seems like a lot on offer on Etsy but I don’t know how safe they are to use with food…
    Thanks for the help! September 24, 2016 at 10:54am Reply

  • Eden Passante: These look so good! Love the different layers too! October 14, 2015 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Krista: I am making this right now. I have doubled the batch. It is taking forever to reach 239 degrees. If I increase the heat it boils over – ugh! Any recommendations??? I am hovering at 221 degrees right now with a light brown color. No stirring, right???? December 16, 2014 at 9:56am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that’s right no stirring it does take a while to reach that temp, it’s always hard for me to have patience but I remember the results will be worth it. December 16, 2014 at 2:39pm Reply

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