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How to Make Caramel Apples

How to Make Caramel Apples

This time of year all of the apple bins at the grocery store are framed with rows of gooey caramel apples, studded with nuts, candies and chocolate. I can’t blame my kids for being drawn in; they are irresistible. But, when you bite into them they are always just a touch disappointing. The apples are usually soft and the caramel is cloyingly sweet and tastes like it was from the previous generation.

I convinced my boys to walk by without taking one, but only after promising to make them some at home. We picked a bunch of fresh, crisp, juicy, tart apples. The caramel is easy to make and is rich, creamy, gooey and not over-the-top sweet. For a bit of contrast to the sweet caramel, you can dip the bottom in salted peanuts

Caramel Apples:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 small apples
1/2 cup crushed salted peanuts, optional
To make the caramel apples:

Prepare a cookie sheet with a lightly buttered sheet of parchment, set aside.

How to Make Caramel Apples

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, corn syrup, honey and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture starts to boil. This can take about 10 minutes.

How to Make Caramel Apples

Add the sweetened condensed milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 238°F on a Candy Thermometer.

How to Make Caramel Apples

Once the caramel reaches the right temperature, remove from the heat

How to Make Caramel Apples

and allow it to cool to about 200°F. It will begin to thicken as it cools. It should be thin enough to coat the apple, but thick enough to cling to the fruit.

How to Make Caramel Apples
While the caramel is cooling, stick the lollipop or popsicle sticks into the apple. Make sure they are deep enough that they won’t fall out while you are dipping the apples in the caramel.

How to Make Caramel Apples

Dip the apples into the caramel. I like how they look when some of the apple is still showing, but you can completely cover them if you prefer. Hold the apple over the pot of caramel and allow some of the excess to drip off before placing them on the sheet of buttered parchment.

How to Make Caramel Apples

If you want, dip the bottom in the crushed peanuts.

How to Make Caramel Apples

Keep the apples in a cool, dry place and they will last for a few days, loosely covered with plastic.

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