Monday, October 14, 2013

Mini Caramel Apples

 This past Sunday my parents were in town and we decided to visit the Hollywood Farmer's Market. This market is four streets large plus a spice alley and is always an adventure.  While there, I spotted some tiny apples and I just knew I had to get them. After tasting them--slightly tart, crispy, still sweet, I bought the bag.  I already knew I wanted to make mini caramel apples with them, I just had to navigate the timing of the day.

These caramel apples took no time at all! When looking for recipes lots of people complained that caramel takes too long to make from scratch. But do you know what takes a long time? Unwrapping those caramel candies!  I hate those wrappers anyway, the grating sound of them, gross.  But what is really easy is making caramel! And the flavor difference is night and day.  My sister used to make caramels to give to people for gifts and this recipe was definitely the same (although I didn't know it at the time). This caramel just melts in your mouth and has that buttery touch of deliciousness.  I made 12 tiny caramel apples and halved the original recipe.

Original recipe, mine halved below. I had a little extra caramel but we weren't sad to eat it ;)

12 mini apples
3/8 + 1/8 cup heavy cream (divided)
3/8 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (I used salted)
1/2 t vanilla
chopped peanuts, optional
Special Equipment: Candy Thermometer, skewers or popsicle sticks

1. Wash and completely dry the apples. Chop nuts and place them in a flat bowl.
2. Poke sticks (I used these cake pop variety) into the top part of the apple near the stem. Push hard to make sure it is sturdy
3. Prepare a sheet pan lined with wax paper or parchment paper or a silicon mat.
4. In a heavy bottomed small pot (actually I just used a small pot), attach a candy themometer to the edge and combine butter, syrup, sugar and 3/8 C heavy cream over high heat.
5. Boil until temperature reaches 246 degrees, firm ball stage and remove from heat. Caramel will be golden, don't step away this hardly takes any time at all.
6. Stir in remaining 1/8 C heavy cream and vanilla. This will spurt and splatter, protect yourself!
7. Carefully dip apples and spoon caramel over. Let excess drip off, swirl into nuts if using and then place in the prepared pan. Work quickly because the caramel will start to get more solid and be harder to use.
8. Refrigerate and the caramel will harden so that it is easier to get it off the pan. Serve.

1 comment:

Sara said...

I've been inspired by this and am planning to make caramel apples tomorrow for a party on Sunday. In searching for caramel recipes I've found some that use sweetened condensed milk instead of cream, which seems to help make a thicker caramel - have you tried that or done a comparison? Also, I've used wooden chopsticks instead of popsicle sticks in a pinch.