Candied Apples

I LOVE candied apples, or as we call them in England “Toffee apples,” and knew my kids would love them even more! So this fall I was determined to learn how to make them! I have actually wanted to make them every autumn for the last few years, but have been a little intimidated because they just seemed so laborious and complex, and I knew I wouldn’t get them to look or taste as good as the gourmet varieties sold around here. Washington State is renowned for their apples, and we live amongst orchards in a big apple growing community here in Mattawa, so we get amazing BIG, fresh delicious apples of almost every variety! I should have used some of those to make these toffee apples, but I actually went to the store and brought some in tricities! Haha. Then yesterday a friend of mine delivered a whole box of galas to me, so I should have waited! {But, I guess it’s just a good excuse to make more!}

I made these with my kids and their little friend, Noah, and they had SO much fun dipping them, rolling them in candy, and of course, eating them! Even the apple itself was eaten, so it is important to get a good variety {no granny smith’s here!} ;-) I adapted the recipe from ourbestbites, which have the BEST caramel ever, and I loved the recipe so much I thought i’d write it up so we can make them every fall! They were SO SIMPLE to make; so I never should have been intimidated, and I don’t want you to be either!

Ingredients: {recipe adapted from ourbestbites.com} 
{for the caramel}
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
10 apples {your favorite kind}
popsicle sticks/chop sticks
chocolate and assorted toppings for decorating: {pistachios, toffee bits, chopped nuts, coconut, crushed cookies, mini m&m’s, etc}.

Directions:
Combine the ingredients for the caramel in a heavy-bottomed nonstick saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the caramel to a rolling boil, cook stirring constantly for another 10 minutes, until a thermometer {or candy thermometer if you have one}, reaches 236degF.

Transfer the caramel to a deep, narrow bowl, and let it cool down to 200degF. This will make it really easy to dip the apples because the caramel will be nice and deep, and the mixture will be cool enough to adhere well.

Wash and dry the apples; place popsicle/lolly pop sticks in the cores and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler, and prepare all the toppings for decorating.

Hold the apple by the stick, and dip it into the caramel, so that it coats the entire apple. Lift the apple out of the caramel and let any excess caramel drip back into the bowl, or gently scrape the bottom of the caramel apple with a knife to quickly remove the excess. Place coated apple on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples.
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Place the apples in the fridge and let set for 10-15 minutes. Dip the apples half way in melted chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off, then roll in your favorite toppings. Return to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples.  Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week or wrap in cellophane bags for gift giving.

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<3 Sarah