Caramel Apples

5 from 1 vote

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Homemade caramel apples are surprisingly easy to make, and purely joyful. 

Caramel Apples in white muffin liners.

Homemade caramel apples are surprisingly easy to make, and purely joyful.  

Muffin liners with Caramel Apples in a baking dish.

What Kind of Apples to Use for Caramel Apples

You can use whatever apples you like — as long as they are firm and crisp.  Granny Smith are a good choice, with the tartness playing nicely against the sweet.  Honeycrisp and Fuji and Gala, all god choices.  You definitely want a crunch when you bite into it.  

Caramel dripping off of a green apple.

I like to use smaller apples because with the caramel and the coatings there is a lot going on.  Though have you seen some of those huge packaged caramel or other candy apples available during the holiday season?  The kind that can feed a family of four?  They are gorgeous but uh, let’s just say hard to justify.

What the Kids Can Do:

Make sure you are supervising like crazy if you have little ones; that melted caramel is HOT, so watch carefully they don’t touch the hot caramel.  Kids can help choose difference toppings (think colored sprinkles or jimmies, crushed cookies or candies, granola, shredded coconut).  And they can dip the coated apples into the toppings of their choice.  

Caramel Apples: Homemade caramel apples are surprisingly easy to make, and purely joyful. 

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Green Caramel Apple being rolled in granola.

Another fun extra is to take fruit leather and cut it into festive holiday shapes.  Pumpkins or ghosts are pretty forgiving, and then you can stick those fruity pieces right onto the caramel apples for extra Halloween flair.  Or buy edible googly eye candies and stick them onto the apples as soon as they are almost cool.  Putting the finished dipped apples in holiday-themed paper cupcake liners also adds a little more festiveness to an already festive treat.

If you are making these for a specific holiday like Halloween, lean into the colors of the holiday, specifically black and orange.  There are loads of sprinkles and other candies in these colors available in stores as October approaches — keep an eye towards what might work as a caramel apple topping.  Anything small that will stick to melted caramel that makes sense flavor-wise is fair game.

Green Caramel Apple being rolled in black and orange sprinkles.

Wrapping Caramel Apples

For to-go apples, wrap them in clear cellophane, tie them with a piece of string and ribbon, and share with your neighbors.  Again, for Halloween think black and orange, for Thanksgiving think brown and orange and red and yellow, and it’s an easy way to pick up the color theme for a gathering, such as a shower or birthday party.

Storing Caramel Apples

You can store candy apples in the fridge well sealed for up to 5 days.  The apples may soften a bit as they sit.  It’s best to remove the stick before storing them, as the wood will speed up up the spoiling process.  You can reinsert the stick to serve.

This recipe multiplies easily.  Just rewarm the caramel in the double boiler as directed below if it starts to thicken up (see Step 6).

Baking pan of Caramel Apples with different toppings.

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5 from 1 vote

Caramel Apples

Homemade caramel apples are surprisingly easy to make, and purely joyful. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Apples
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Ingredients 

  • 6 small apples , washed
  • 1 (14-ounce) package caramels , unwrapped
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 6 wooden popsicle sticks

For Decorating the Apples (Pick and Choose):

  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed cookies , such as chocolate wafers or graham crackers
  • Granola
  • Crushed nuts
  • Crushed candy , such as toffee or Halloween-colored candy canes
  • Shredded coconut
  • Crushed pretzels

Instructions 

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Twist the stem from each of the apples and insert a popsicle stick in the top of each apple, sticking it halfway up the apple for stability.
  • Place the desired toppings in separate bowls or containers large enough for the apples to fit inside.
  • If you have a double boiler, set that up with water in the bottom. If not, grab a skillet and a saucepan smaller than the width of the skillet by a few inches. Place the saucepan in the skillet and fill the skillet with water to come up about ½ inch up the sides of the saucepan nestled inside. Place the caramels and the cream in the top pan of the double boiler, or the saucepan in the skillet. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the caramels are melted and smooth, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the pot of melted caramel to a trivet or heatproof surface. Dip each apple, one at a time, into the hot caramel. You may choose to coat just the bottom half, or turn the apple to coat it all around with the caramel. Lift the apple up and twirl it gently to allow excess caramel to drip back into the pan.
  • Dip the apple into the toppings of your choice. You may use more than one topping for each apple; you do do this by leaning different sides of the coated apple into different toppings, or you can sprinkle some of the toppings over the apple, holding the apple over the toppings in their container.
  • If the caramel starts to firm up before you have dipped all of the apples, return it to the heat over simmering water, and stir frequently until it is liquidy again. You can also put it in the microwave (in a microwave safe container) and heat it for 15-second bursts, stirring in between each 15-second increment.
  • Place the decorated apples on the lined baking sheet, transfer the tray to the fridge, and let cool and set for at least 1 hour. Place in cupcake liners if desired.

Notes

Make sure you are supervising like crazy if you have little ones; that melted caramel is HOT, so watch carefully they don’t touch the hot caramel.  Kids can help choose difference toppings (think colored sprinkles or jimmies, crushed cookies or candies, granola, shredded coconut).  And they can dip the coated apples into the toppings of their choice. 

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 33mg, Potassium: 224mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 177IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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