Gooey, Buttery Caramel Apples
Makes: 12 servings Takes: 45 minutes
What you'll need:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- one dozen tart apples of your choice*
- one dozen wooden sticks
- (optional) something with which to coat the apples**
- parchment paper
1.) Insert wooden sticks into apples (one stick in each apple).
2.) In a saucepan, bring butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
3.) Cook for about 30 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees (F).
4.) Remove mixture from heat, then stir in vanilla.
5.) While caramel mixture is still hot, dip each apple into the caramel to coat. Rotate with the stick to coat the entire apple.
6.) (if desired) Sprinkle caramel while still hot with coating material.
7.) Place apple on parchment paper and allow to cool before eating.
* When considering what kind of apple to use, I recommend Granny Smith, Macintosh, Cameo or Winesap. These are tart apples that are good on their own, but pair well with the caramel. Using too sweet of an apple will hide the taste of your caramel coating.
** Many people prefer to coat caramel apples with chopped nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts or almonds. But you can spice this recipe up by coating the apples with crushed candy bits, cereal, popcorn, pretzels, sprinkles, chocolate chips, etc. This is a great step in which to include your kids - let them pick their own topping and sprinkle it onto the apples themselves. They'll take great pride in their creation, and it's something you can do together!
Just be sure to add the topping while the caramel is still hot, or it won't adhere properly once the apples cool completely.
(Note: If you want a quicker way to enjoy caramel apples, just buy a couple of bags of caramel candies, unwrap them all and melt in a saucepan, along with a little water, and you'll have dip-worthy caramel for your apples!)