If you are a product of post 1950s America like me, whenever you see a bag of individually wrapped, chewy caramels the first thing you think of is caramel apples. Those candies always take me back to my mother's kitchen and October afternoons spent with my brothers and sister preparing these tasty fall treats. Although it is hard to deny the buttery richness of homemade caramel, when it comes to caramel apples I always go with the post modern version. To me the flavor is a classic and they are so easy to make. I suppose that is why kids continue to create fall memories about making caramel apples.
Wash and dry the apples. Remove the stems and insert a wooden chopstick or popsicle stick for a handle. To help the caramel set better, chill the apples overnight in the refrigerator. Leave them there until you are ready to dip them in the caramel. If you are short on time, put them in the freezer while you prepare the caramel sauce.
Unwrap the caramel candies.
Place the candies and 2 tablespoons of milk in a medium sized, heavy bottom saucepan. Cook over a medium-low heat until the candies are melted, stir constantly.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. If there are kids involved with the preparation, allow the caramel sauce to cool slightly.
Dip the chilled apples in the caramel. To get an even coat, turn the apple while dipping. Allow excess caramel to drip back into the saucepan.
Place the caramel apples on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper that has been lightly buttered.
Chill the apples for about 15 minutes and then press the desired topping into the soft caramel.
Return the apples to the refrigerator and chill for another hour.
The optional ingredients listed below would make great toppings, but use your imagination, and use which ever topping you'd like.
- chocolate chips
- nuts, chopped
- candy sprinkles
- pumpkin pie seasoning
Time to prepare: 1 hour, 35 minutes.