Caramel apples are a long-standing Halloween tradition and a fun fall festivity! Each bite conjures up memories of pumpkin picking, hayrides, and pleasant nights around the campfire. These Classic Caramel Apples bring those autumn traditions to your taste buds. Combining the crisp juiciness of apples with the soft and chewy butteriness of caramel—these are a wonderfully addictive treat. You can even add your favorite candy toppings for an extra spooktacular celebration!
IngredientsFor the apples: • 1/4 cup light corn syrup • 2 cups sugar • 1/2 cup water • 1/2 cup heavy cream • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • kosher salt, to taste • 6 apples, medium-sized, well-washed, dried, and very crisp For the optional toppings: • preferred nuts, to taste, chopped • chocolate chips or candies, to taste • sprinkles, to taste • shredded coconut, to taste Special equipment needed: • 1 candy thermometer • 6 candy apple sticks, can substitute with large lollipop sticks or dowel rods, cut to 5-inch lengths with one end sharpened
Add the corn syrup, sugar, and water to a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Stir to combine, being careful not to let the sugar boil yet.
Attach a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, then bring the syrup to a boil.
Cook until the syrup starts to turn an amber color, stirring the syrup to even the color out.
Continue cooking until the thermometer reads between 375 and 380 degrees F or until the syrup is a deep amber color.
Remove the mixture from the heat.
Carefully pour in the cream and lightly whisk to combine.
Stir in the vanilla, butter, and salt until smooth. Make sure to keep the saucepan off the heat and with the thermometer attached to the pan.
Pierce the apples halfway through the stem-ends with the candy apple sticks.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Once the temperature of the caramel reads 190 degrees F, dip an apple, using the stick as a handle and swirling around to fully coat the apple.
Once fully coated, let the excess caramel drip off the bottom of the apple, then use a spatula to help remove any large amounts of caramel so it doesn't pool around the apple once it's set down.
Add any desired toppings onto the caramel apples by dipping them into the toppings immediately after coating them with the caramel.
Set the caramel-coated apples down on the parchment paper.
Repeat this process with the remaining apples, lightly heating the caramel on the stovetop over low heat and stirring occasionally if it gets too thick for dipping. Avoid letting it get too hot.
Let the caramel set and cool fully for 1 hour before serving or wrapping the apples.
Serve once cooled.