Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Candy Apples, Anyone?

Fall feels like it came early this year. Where there is Fall, there is always apple picking. Each year we come home with tons of apples, and try as I might, I never find a use for them all. This go around, I added a new treat to my apple repertoire -candy apples.  Traditional, yet yummy.  Since this was my first attempt at making them, the results were a bit skewed.  I had to thin out the caramel using a 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Prior to doing that, the caramel was getting pretty thick and gob-like, not adhering to the apples the way I would like. I also used melted chocolate, which was a bit easier to maneuver. The best advice I could give is to make sure you have all your materials set and ready to go before starting to melt the caramel and/or chocolate.  Put your sprinkles and caramel in small, wide bowls. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Prep your apples with sticks. I actually bought a candy apple kit from King Arthur Flour, which supplied me with the sticks. From what I have read, you can get the sticks from any craft store. I also purchased the Wilton Candy Melts for the chocolate.  I had very little success rolling the apples in hard coated chocolate candies. They didn't seem to want to stick. For the next time, I may try crushing them up before rolling the apple.  This is a great project because you can get creative with the type of dips - caramel, white chocolate, or dark chocolate for example.  You have a wide range of sweet items you can use to coat the outside, including crushed candies, colored sprinkles, or coconut. I thought I pulled one over on my son, who hates apple skins. I figured he would eat the skin, being that it was covered in chocolate and sprinkles. I came back to find apple skins spit on my table, with all the chocolate and sprinkles licked off.

Candy Apples
9-12 small to medium apples ( I used Macintosh)
1 bag (14oz) meltable chocolate
1 LB  Caramel ( I used a kit from King Arthur Flour)
9-12 sticks
Colored Sprinkles, Crushed Candy or Coconut, set up in wide round bowls
1 cookie sheet, covered in parchment or wax paper

Heat the chocolates in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, big enough to dip an apple in.  Heat in 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between until chocolate is melted.  At the same time, start melting the caramel in a pot on low heat, stirring every couple of minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream if you feel that the caramel is too thick once melted. Make sure sticks are securely in the apples. Dip the apple in to melted chocolate or caramel, coating the bottom fully, then slowly remove it. Twirl the apple over the bowl to finish coating the apple and drip off the excess. Slowly roll the apple in your candy, using the same motion, but rolling more on the side. Set on parchment to dry. When all apples are complete, cool them in the refrigerator until completely set.

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