Want to hear a sad story? I LOVE apple picking. It’s one of my favorite traditions my little family has started, so I was so excited to go this year. Being in a new (and tiny) town, I had to find a new orchard to go to. As it turns out, the closest pick-your-own orchard is 2 hours away! But… that’s totally worth it.
Last weekend, we all drove to Branson to satisfy my craving for donuts (also worth it!) and it worked out perfectly because the orchard wasn’t much further, and was already open for the season! Except that when we showed up, we found apples that were… less than appealing. The orchard was struggling, and the apples were small, sour, and… mostly rotten. It was very, very sad.
I wasn’t going to let this stop me from making my favorite apple recipes, so we went ahead with caramel apples anyways! And even though we didn’t pick the apples ourselves, they still taste delicious 🙂
We take the easy route, and melt down candy caramel squares, but you can always make your own caramel! Just make sure you buy apples without wax, or scrub them in hot water to get the wax off. The caramel won’t stick as well if your apples are waxy.
Once your apples are washed and thoroughly dried, stick in your popsicle sticks, and pop them in the fridge till you’re ready to use them. If the apples are cold, the caramel will cool faster.
Melt down the caramels (I add a splash of vanilla… because vanilla makes everything better) and get dipping! I set out all of my bowls of toppings before I start dipping – mini m&ms, chopped candy bars, nuts, etc. Just make sure the candy bits aren’t too big – or they’ll all slide down to the bottom of the apple. As soon as you dip the apple into caramel, scrape off the extra caramel on the bottom, then roll the apple around in the candy. Set it on the greased wax paper (I used plastic wrap), then move on to the next one.
I dipped some of the apples in chocolate, because there’s no way that’s not a good idea.
Then roll them into even more toppings. Yum.
Here are directions for all of the apples I made:
Butterfinger – dip in caramel, then roll into chopped Butterfinger candy bar. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate.
Toffee – dip in caramel, then roll into chopped Skor bar. Drizzle with melted white chocolate.
“Snickers” – dip in caramel, let cool in fridge for 30 minutes, and dip into melted milk chocolate. Immediately roll in chopped peanuts.
M&M – dip in caramel, then roll into M&M Minis. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate.
Pumpkin Pie – dip in caramel, let cool in fridge for 30 minutes, then dip into melted white chocolate. Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture (1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon).
If you want to add chocolate drizzles, here’s what you need to do: melt chocolate chips in the microwave on 50% power, removing to stir every 30 seconds. Then transfer chocolate to a condiment squeezy bottle or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.
Drizzle the chocolate on however you want! For some, I made it look like it was dripping from the top. For others, I turned the apple to the side and drizzled it around the whole thing. The best part is that you can mess it up, and it’ll still look fancy schmancy 🙂
Stick them back in the fridge for an hour, and there ya go! Delicious, gourmet caramel apples. So easy to make, and SO hard not to eat all at once. Seriously. I’m eating one right now.
- 1 (14 oz) bag of Kraft caramel squares
- 2 Tbs water
- Splash of vanilla
- 4 apples, washed and dried
- 4 Popsicle sticks
- Toppings of choice (chopped nuts/candy, melted chocolate, etc)
- Push popsicle sticks about ¾ of the way into apples. Prepare a cookie sheet with greased wax paper.
- Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl. Add 2 Tbs water and a splash of vanilla. Microwave for 2 minutes, and stir until caramel is all melted. Dip apples one at a time, and immediately roll into desired toppings.
- To dip into chocolate, place caramel-dipped apple into the fridge for 30 minutes, then dip into melted chocolate, and return to the fridge for another hour.
- To drizzle chocolate, melt chocolate chips in the microwave (at 50% power, stirring after every 30 seconds). Pour into condiment bottle or plastic bag with the corner snipped off, and drizzle over the apple.
- Optional: for an "apple pie" flavor, dip caramel apple into white chocolate, then a cinnamon sugar coating (1/4 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tbs cinnamon).
- Once apples are decorated, return to fridge for 1 hour. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before serving.