Caramel apples….. the indulgence my kids have come to rely on every time autumn makes it appearance.
What you need:
Wooden sticks (willow branches or craft store sticks)
12 - 15 apples of choice (i love a good Macintosh with caramel)
Crushed pretzels or chopped peanuts.
Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Wash apples and rub them vigorously to dry, removing any wax or substances that could affect how well the caramel sticks. Insert the wooden sticks through the top centre of the apple.
Prepare the caramel. For apples I cook to 242 - 244 degrees F. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Start dipping! Drag the bottom of the apple on the edge of the pot slightly to clean off the dragging caramel. Cool and parchment paper until set. If adding an additional topping, roll the dipped apple right after dipping into a bowl of chopped peanuts, crushed pretzels, etc…
Classic Creamy Caramel.
I chanced upon this recipe yeeeeears ago and still feel as committed as the first time we met. I have no idea what the original source might be, but may they be praised for bringing my beloved Caramel and I together.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cups white corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup and ONE CUP of the cream in a large saucepan. Use a nice big pot with a proper heavy bottom. Candy making can be temperamental with cheap, thin pots.
Stir and bring to boil over medium heat. Once a boil is reached, add the remaining cup of cream. Wanna know what will happen if you add all the cream at once??? It will boil over, all over your stovetop relentlessly. Really.
Bring back to a boil, stirring. Once it is boiling, stop stirring. Remove any sugar crystals that may have adhered to the sides of the pot by washing down sides with a pastry brush and clean, cold water.
Allow to boil undisturbed. It will take approximately 10 minutes to reach soft ball stage. Depending on the intent of your caramel indulgence will determine the temperature you cook it to. For a soft, firm ball stage cook between 238 - 242 degrees F.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Pour into a parchment lined pan or dip pretzel rods or apples directly into the pot.