Sunday, October 21, 2007

Caramel Apples

Every fall for FHE my family makes caramel apples and every fall when we're finished I think, "I'd like to know how to make these and have them turn out pretty." Well, this year our fellow supper club member, Melissa, made nearly 200 of these beautiful little confections and she was kind enough to show me how. I am posting this merely because I have seen her posting record (zero) and know that this is a project you will have a great time doing.

Supplies: The easiest way to do these is to stock up at a restaurant supply store like Orson Gygi in SLC or the new replacement for Shepherd's Candy. There are a few other little shops around here that sell some of the products as well.

Apples : Melissa suggested Jona Golds (we get them at Allred's fruit stand) and I love them. You could use any tart apple though.

Sticks : they sell wooden sticks with a sharpened end that work really well or a really thick sucker stick.

Caramel: Peter's caramel comes in a 5 lb block and works really well. You can get it at the above stores or a few other places in town. It's a bit expensive ($15 - $18 a brick) but easy to work with and fast. A five pound brick will do at least 24 nice sized apples. If you're dying to make your own, contact me and I can give you a recipe. (I have yet to have any of my 4 attempts turn out but I'm pretty sure I've figured out the solution.) If you have your own recipe CONTACT ME. I'd like to know it. Obviously making your own caramel is considerably less expensive.

White Chocolate: I love using VANILLA A'PEELS found at the above stores. They melt easily and set up really nicely and have a mild flavor. I have used white chocolate chips and do not recommend them.

Chocolate: depending on your taste you could use milk or dark chocolate. Again I like the MILK CHOCOLATE A'PEELS. Use don't have to worry about tempering the chocolate at all. I have used chocolate chips for this as well and they just didn't set up as nicely as the a'peels.

Candy: For your decorating you could really use anything you want. I've tried: oreos, cinnamon-sugar (a favorite), mini chocolate chips, heath toffee bits, butterfingers, snickers, any candy really or just swirl the two chocolates

Cellophane bags and ribbon for gift wrap.

1. Wash, stem and dry COLD apples. Insert stick and lay on parchment paper (waxed paper will melt to the apple) on a cookie sheet. One cookie sheet will hold about 12 apples.

2. Cut caramel in big chunks and melt in microwave at 1 minute intervals--stirring in between--until REALLY runny.

3. Dip COLD apples in caramel and set back on tray. I scrape all the caramel off the bottom of the apple so you don't get a huge puddle. I also reheat the caramel after about every 3rd apple to keep it runny. Place apples back in fridge until caramel is cold. About 15 minutes.

4. Melt chocolates in two different deep bowls. At about 30 second intervals--stirring in between. Dip caramels apples in chocolate of choice. Hold apple over paper plate and cover with desired candy. Using a fork drizzle alternate chocolate on top. Place back in fridge.

5. When set package in cellophane bags (will keep longer) and store in fridge. Before eating leave out on the counter for at least an hour so the caramel is not rock hard.

ENJOY!!! These are SO fun. Let me know if you have any questions.