Halloween treats take center stage in October. What can be better this time of year than a fresh autumn apple coated in a sweet candy shell? This quintessential fall treat can make Halloween celebrations even more special.
This recipe for old-fashioned caramel apples, courtesy of “300 Best Homemade Candy Recipes” by Jane Sharrock, benefits from the fall harvest while also paying homage to a classic Halloween treat.
Old-Fashioned Caramel Apples
12 medium apples
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2⁄3 cup light corn syrup
1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup half-and-half (10%) cream or evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans, 1-1⁄2 cups sweetened flaked coconut or 2 cups crisp rice cereal (optional)
1. Wash and dry the apples. Remove the stems. Insert a popsicle stick into the stem end of each apple, using a twist-like motion so that the apple will not split.
2. Cover a large countertop area or a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
3. In a large heavy kettle over medium-low heat, bring the granulated and brown sugars, corn syrup, butter, half-and-half and salt to a boil, stirring until the sugars dissolve and the mixture begins to boil. Cook, gently stirring to prevent scorching, to the firm ball stage (246 F). Stir in the vanilla.
4. Remove from the heat. Cool until the mixture thickens slightly. Hold each apple by the wooden skewer and quickly twirl into the caramel, tilting the pan to cover the apple with caramel. Remove the apple from the caramel, allow the excess caramel to drip into the pan and then twirl the apple again to spread the caramel smoothly over the apple. Use a spoon to coat any part of the apple not covered with caramel. If desired, roll the coated apples in the toppings before the caramel sets. Place on the waxed paper until the coating is firm. Store in a cool place.