Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gourmet Caramel Apples

My mom's apple trees are packed right now and I have been so excited to try a new caramel recipe I found. These are divine! If you have never made caramel before, DON'T be afraid, but DO go buy yourself a candy thermometer. You need one for this recipe.

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup corn syrup (I use Karo)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large measuring cup, mix the cream and milk. Pour 1/3 of it into a large pan and add salt, sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes until the mixture turns a pale beige. Turn up the heat and had 1/2 of the remaining milk/cream mixture. Boil for about 15 minutes more. Then add (a little at a time) the rest of the milk mixture (keep it boiling if you can) and insert the candy thermometer. Continue boiling and stirring until the mixture reaches about 230 degrees (firm ball stage). Flavor with vanilla and stir well.

For basic caramels:
Pour mixture into a greased pan and allow to cool and harden. I usually line my pan with waxed paper and spray it well with Pam beforehand. After it has set, you can turn out the square of caramel, peel off the waxed paper and then cut it in squares. It's fast and easy to wrap the caramels using small squares of waxed paper. You can also buy caramel wrappers at candy supply stores, but they are expensive.

For caramel apples:
Keep the caramel mixture in the pan and immediately begin dipping your apples (the caramel will cool and get thicker and thicker as you go). My secret for keeping it from running off the apple is that after dipping it, I hold it for a few minutes before setting it down. I continue turning it upside down and then right-side up as I see the caramel sliding up and down. Once it begins to set, you can place it on greased waxed paper.

For Over the Top caramel apples:
Dip in chocolate (white or milk), roll in nuts, sprinkles, mini-m&m's, etc. Our favorite is to dip in melted white chocolate and then roll in cinnamon/sugar.


Gina Lee said...

Those look awesome!

Phil said...

I am trying so hard to get my caramel apples to work. The caramel keeps sliding down and making a pool at the base of the apples. I have tried holding it for a bit like you said but it can slide down over night so I don't think holding it will do. Someone told me to scrub the apples with warm soapy water first as there could be wax. Also what consistency would you say the dipping caramel should be?