>> Monday, October 25, 2010
Caramel apples are sticky. Crisp. Gooey. Sweet and tart. So many textures and flavors . . . all on a convenient and cute stick. They're a must-do in the week before Halloween, especially if you have any kids running around. I found this recipe on Real Simple while browsing around for pumpkin carving ideas the other day.
Sure. It looked "simple" enough.
- Just melt caramel with a bit of water.
- Swirl your apples.
- Let set in your fridge for one hour.
- I'd recommend setting aside an hour for this recipe. I didn't give myself enough time. You should allot at least 25 minutes to peel off the plastic wrappings from your candies if you're in a time crunch. Oh, it was madness! Or consider making your own caramel. Or have a friend/sibling/significant other do the peeling for you! From the time of peeling off all the plastic wrappers until you have it melted and ready on the stove, it takes like 35 minutes total. Then the rest is a delicate process, too!
- I'd advice adding slightly less water than the recipe recommends. Like maybe two tablespoons less.
- Don't dip your apples when the caramel is super hot. Let it cool so that it's thick and sticky. It may relate to the last tip, but ours was a bit runny, so we had to drizzle some caramel on post-dip.
- Don't worry if they're completely messy. Because no matter what, they likely will. And you'll probably get caramel in your hair. On your sweater. On the floor. On your cat or dog. On your cell phone. Probably more on you than on the apples.
"EASY" CARAMEL APPLES
(adapted from this recipe)
What you'll need . . .
- 15 tart apples (such as Macouns or Winesaps, we also used Granny Smith)
- 2 pounds caramel squares
- 15 wooden popsicle sticks
- 1/2 cup water plus 2 tablespoons (but I'd advice using less)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
Method . . .
- Peel off all the plastic wrap from your caramels. Listen to music or watch a brief TV show. Anything to pass the time.
- Wash and dry your apples (they need to be totally dry for this to work, trust me). Lay out some wax paper atop a cookie sheet (or two, if you need more space). Line up the apples and then press the popsicle sticks into them about half an inch.
- Then in a medium saucepan over low heat, toss in your caramels and water. Let cook until the caramel is completely melted -- stirring often -- about ten minutes.
- Take off heat and set aside for a minute or two. But while the caramel is still warm and gooey, dip your apples in and swirl out. place back onto the wax paper/cooking sheet. Repeat with all apples. Then place them in the fridge ASAP.
- Let set in fridge for about an hour.
I'm making this recipe sound awful. It's really not THAT bad, just finicky. And fun. And festive. Not as "real simple" as Real Simple would make you think. As well, I added in the cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt. If you don't want the more grown-up version, just stick with the plain caramel.
Of course, if you're looking for a REALLY easy dip-and-let-set recipe, chocolate-covered pretzel rods are fantastic. Plus, there are few activities I like more than eating a bowlful of leftover chocolate and sprinkles!
Have you ever embarked on a seemingly basic cooking adventure . . . only to find yourself elbow deep in dough two hours later? Maybe you got egg in your hair. Or ganache on your foot. Butter on your glasses. Or perhaps something just took WAY longer or was WAY harder than you ever imagined it could be. Tell us about it! Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.
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