Caramel apples: A tasty lesson for our King Arthur bakers

CaramelApples

As fall approaches, the local county fair circuit gears up. While some are excited to make the rounds for the tractor pulls, oxen pulls, quilt displays and hair-raising (or stomach churning if you’re in your 40s)  thrill rides, to me fair season means fried dough, french fries served in that cardboard dog bowl, cotton candy and, of course, caramel apples.

As kids, we only went to one fair. The Eastern States Exposition, better known as “The Big E.” The Big E is an annual  event in the fall in New England, with displays, entertainment, livestock and horse shows, and a building dedicated to each New England state’s best of the best. In my family we were allowed to miss school for one day when the whole family would pile into the station wagon and drive down to Springfield. MA. We always took a cooler with drinks and sandwiches for our main meal, but we kids were most excited about the treats we could get in the afternoon, after lunch.

I can’t describe for you the taste of the caramel apples at the fair, though. That’s right, I never got a caramel apple at that fair. Too messy, too sticky for a hot, crowded day. My friend Elaine was visiting the other day, and we lamented our lost caramel apple youth. Her father was a dentist and caramel was a definite no-no in her house, too. Now that we’re mothers in charge of our own kitchens (and fillings), let the chewy, sticky goodness reign.

While I didn’t get to taste a caramel apple then, I can tell you how I feel about them now. How I love the tug of the caramel as you struggle to open the plastic prison the vendors sell the apples in.  How you open your mouth as wide as it will go in an effort to secure the first gooey, juicy bite. How all the napkins you stuffed in your pocket just aren’t enough, and you end up wiping some caramel on the inside of your sleeve, not caring, just loving every buttery, sweet bite.

Our merchandising folks must feel the same way about caramel apples. The past few years we’ve featured the fixin’s for caramel apples in our catalogue, and this year our fall cover features the MOST mouthwatering photo of caramel apples EVER! We baker’s hotline bakers knew from that picture that customers would definitely be wanting to make the apples, so we requested a demonstration of the techniques and products used so that we’ll be ready to help out when those phone calls come in.

Isn’t that terrific? I bet you didn’t know that we King Arthur Flour hotline bakers and customer service representatives take quizzes, watch demonstrations, have articles to read, and hold discussions on our recipes, products, and catalogues, as part of our ongoing education plan – now, did ya? This demonstration in particular was fun and entertaining as well as educational, with each person making their own version of the perfect caramel apple to take and share (or not), all from the comfort of his or her own desk.

Here’s how the plan went down:

img_0202.JPG

First, the apples. I left the fork in the picture for scale. As you can see these are not the huge apples you find at the fairground, but more moderately sized. Go larger or smaller to your taste.  We like Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, Golden Delicious and Gala, but use whichever apples you like best so long as they are firm and crisp.

img_0203.JPG

The apples need to be well washed to remove any of the food grade waxes, buildup, etc. I added 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water to help wash away impurities. Rinse and dry, dry, dry well.

On to the caramel. Our Merckens caramel is a test kitchen and staff favorite, winning our taste tests hands down. For starters, it comes in a nice big block so there are no annoying little plastic wrappers floating about the kitchen. The block can be stored at room temperature for months and it retains it’s soft texture. You can whack off a big chunk for baking, or a small piece for nibbling whenever the mood strikes. Did I mention that it is less than $6.00 per pound? I’ll take that bargain any day.

 

To melt the caramel, you can use a double boiler, the microwave, or my personal favorite, the slow cooker. Fellow blogger Susan Reid set me on that particular path, and I haven’t looked back since. Melt on high for about 2 to 3 hours, or low for 4 to 5 hours, depending on your unit. This also keeps the caramel perfect for dipping for a long time.

We melted our caramel straight from the package. No cream or milk was added to thin it down. Just be sure to get the caramel good and hot so that it’s thin enough to dip easily.

img_0214.JPG

The best sticks I’ve come across are wooden chopsticks. You might be able to get a few pairs for free if you order out enough, but I found a huge bag at our local party store for $3.99. They’re even pretty to boot.

img_0215.JPG

If you aren’t into the floral look, the papers on these sticks do slide off. It’s baker’s choice here.

img_0216.JPG

I really like silicone tools when working with caramel and other sticky ingredients. Just let it cool a bit and …

img_0217.JPG

Peel it right off. The caramel can go straight back into the pot to melt again. No fuss, no muss, no waste. Lining your work surface with parchment is a huge help as well.

img_0220.JPG
Once the caramel was hot, all the apples, sticks, and caramel went onto a cart, and we were ready to roll. (Groan! what a pun! )

img_0221.JPG

Here’s Tara, learning to push the stick firmly into the core of the apple. She found you didn’t even need to remove the stem of the apple if it was too short. Once the stick is inserted, place the apple on a flat surface to finish pushing the stick into the center of the apple. No need to impale your hand on this one.

img_0222.JPG

When melting the caramel, you want to stir slowly and evenly. If you stir too quickly and dip your apple, you can get bubbles in the caramel like the apple on the left. You want a smooth, shiny surface like the apple on the right. Of course, once the chocolate is applied, no one will see the bubbles too much, so don’t stress too much here.

img_0224.JPG

If you’re going to skip the chocolate, have your sprinkles and toppings ready to go as soon as you dip the apples. The caramel firms up fairly quickly and you want your toppings to adhere well, like this smoked salt. Mmmmm, caramel and salt.

Once all your apples are coated in caramel, set them aside to firm up while you tidy up and get the chocolate melting.

img_0206.JPG

For these apples, our new coating chocolates are just perfect. They come in convenient wafers, melt quickly and smoothly, and taste delicious.

img_0207.JPG

To melt several different chocolates at the same time, place them in heat-safe bowls on a baking sheet and place in a 200° oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir until melted and lump-free.

img_0208.JPG

For toppings, it’s fun to have a variety available. Some folks prefer the simple chocolate-on-chocolate route, while others like a splash of color.

From left to right, top row: white chocolate jimmies, mini chocolate chips, smoked sea salt. Middle row: candy-coated chips, fall leaves sugar decos. Bottom row: chocolate sprinkles, autumn sprinkles, autumn leaf sprinkles.

Once again, have all your toppings ready to go when the chocolate is ready. You’ll have a little more time as the chocolate sets up more slowly.

img_0225.JPG

Here’s Mary manning the chat desk and coating her apple in chocolate. You can pour the chocolate into tall, deep containers and dunk, but we had fun using the spoons for drizzling.

img_0226.JPG

Here was one of our “teaching moments.” If you’re using two different kinds of chocolate, let the first layer set up a bit before adding the next layer. We also learned to hold the wet, drippy apple over a neutral bowl to avoid mixing our chocolates.

img_0230.JPG

Ohhh, white chocolate with milk chocolate stripes. Too bad I can’t remember who made this masterpiece!

img_0233.JPG

Be sure to sprinkle on your toppings while the chocolate is still wet. Use your fingers for a light coating, or a spoon for heavy coverage.

img_0234.JPG

img_0235.JPG

How do ya like them apples?

Set the apples on parchment to finish firming up at room temperature. Aren’t these wonderful?

img_0237.JPG

Here’s a closeup of Phil’s apple, a gift for his lovely wife.

img_0240.JPG

For cleaning up the leftovers, just spoon all the leftover caramel and chocolates onto a parchment lined sheet, add any leftover sugar decos, and set the whole lovely mess to chill in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes. Break into pieces for a unique “bark.”
img_0238.JPG

Now, you know me. I can’t resist the fancy decorating. For this apple, dip completely in dark chocolate. Use a spoon to drizzle white chocolate stripes around the equator of the apple as you turn it slowly. Add a few more horizontal stripes. Use a toothpick or skewer to drag through the layers first up, and then down to create the pattern.

Enjoy this taste of fall and fairs. Be sure to call us if you have any questions – we’re ready to dip and dunk with the best of ’em!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. PJ Hamel

    As MaryJane knows, I am NOT a fancy decorating type person. But looking at what she did here, and what her teammates in customer service created, I’m sorely tempted to get out my slow cooker and heat some of that yummy Merckens caramel. I have some beautifully fresh Ginger Gold apples – betting just a simple, shiny coat of golden caramel would dress them up just fine. Thanks, MJ!
    You can do it PJ! I have some extra sticks, just say the word. You can plug in the slow cooker at your desk and dip and type at the same time. :) ~ MaryJane

    Oh, man… do you think IT would mind when I let them know about the drips of hardened caramel in my keyboard? Sshhhhh…. I’m not telling… PJH

    Reply
  2. Kim

    What kind of apple do you think makes the best caramel apple? I’m a true Minnesotan, so I say a Haralson makes the best. They’re hard and very tart, just the way I like ‘em. If you’ve never had a Haralson, you don’t know what you’re missing! Psst…the U of M just developed a new kind of apple called Sweet Tango that’s supposed to be out of this world. It’s a cousin to another U of M apple – Honeycrisp. I have to get my hands on one of them…

    Kim, wish I was in Minnesota – however, here in Vermont, I can’t wait for our heirloom apples to appear – pommes grise, et. al. – it’s such an exciting time of year when the apple crates appear at the farmstands, and there are like 8 seasonal varieties to choose form, some very tart, some very sweet, most in between, each with its own special flavor twist. I also love those Ginger Golds, which were born out of a disastrous hurricane in Virginia… PJH

    Reply
  3. Trisha

    These look wonderful, and it would be a fun way to end a day of apple-picking. I think I’ll get some caramel and autumn sprinkles in my next order.

    Have fun, Trisha – and stay tuned, two blogs next week will feature “what to do after you’ve gone apple picking” recipes, too. PJH

    Reply
  4. Alissa

    Oh, I wish I had picked more apples yesterday! We picked a few Gala but Ginger Golds were also ready. I’ll have to order the caramel and go back for more apples. Can’t wait for the Cortlands to come in on the 21st or so.

    And now you have me wanting to go back to The Big E. I grew up in CT and have fond memories of it. Eating my way through the state houses. Okay, I’m hopping onto Google to find the dates this year. Maybe I’ll even combine it with a short hop up north, say to KAF?

    KAF beckons, Alissa – I think we’re just about 2 hours north of the Big E – an easy, scenic drive the whole way on 91 – PJH
    Come on up Alissa! PJ’s right, the drive is just lovely, the weather is perfect. You can nap off the Big E treats on the ride up, and hit KAF refreshed and ready. Have fun at the fair~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. Megan

    These look amazing! I love all the different toppings. I never had a caramel apple at the Big E either… “settled” for fried dough, fried Oreos, and fried cheesecake instead. :) I’ve decided that September is going to be apple month, and I’ve got tons of apple recipes planned. If I get brave, I’m going to make these. I don’t usually have much luck with caramel, but starting with a block of it is probably much easier than making it from scratch. Thanks for all the tips and ideas!
    Hi Megan, Well I can tell you must be younger than me. Fried Oreos didn’t even exist when I went to the Big E! I do hope you give the apples a try. If we can do it at our desks while talking on the phone, you can too! Have fun. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. Joni M

    My oh my, how I just adore fall and carmel apples! Here in St. Louis–Merbs bionic apples are the best store bought ones you can buy–a granny smith dunked in homemade carmel they claim, robed with tons of pecans are my favorite, but at $6+ apiece we might get to share 1 a season, so whoa, I bet with your carmel making them my way at home, the experience would be absolutely delightful! Thank you so much for the inspiration via pictures, and I’m thus challenged to create that same fancy one shown right above!
    Oh Joni, if you lightly toast the pecans and dust them with a little salt before rolling the caramel apples in them it would be amazing! Thanks for sharing. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. Dorothy

    Man, I wish I worked at KAF!!! I want to make these soon, won’t have time to make any caramel apples this weekend. This blog post is a cruel, cruel tease for someone who will be getting braces on Tuesday. I am so very sad :( Guess I’ll have to wait until I get my braces off.

    Reply
  8. kate

    now that i know there will be lots of yummy apple recipes, we may have to actually GO apple picking! my son is 3 and loves apples. i am so excited! of course, i am much older than 3 and i love caramel and chocolate with a little apple for nutrition ;) i will be trying the slow cooker method for the caramel. so so so smart! you guys are awesome!

    Reply
  9. Marie

    I make caramel/chocolate apples as gifts every year at Christmas time. Last year I bought the Merckens caramel block and could not believe how amazing the apples turned out. The caramel melts so well, it definitely makes the job easier. I too use a crock pot to melt the caramel. I decorate them with chocolate, nuts, mini marshmallows, all sorts of cute sugar christmas cookie decos.

    Reply
  10. Christina

    Man…as soon as it cools off enough to ship the caramel and chocolate my order is coming your way. (even with the cool packs and express shipping…I know we’d get melted goo). Come on cold front(s)!

    You can bring the caramel apple cart by our house anytime! AWESOME!!

    Reply
  11. vel

    mmm, and I’ve been debating on gettign that block of caramel. Just have to figure out a way to keep my husband from eating it. The slow cooker is a great idea. I stumbled upon the idea using an old one for melting wax for candles but didnt’ think of it for caramel.

    Reply
  12. Sue

    I made caramel apples years ago and my son still remembers how wonderful that caramel was. I made the caramel from scratch and it was soooo good!
    If you melt the caramel in the slow cooker do you put the lid on? Does condensation form and drip back down on the caramel with the lid on? yes, melt the caramel with the lid on the crockpot. Mary@ KAF

    Reply
  13. Mindy

    I’ve used this caramel in the past for apples, unfortunately, when I came back to them later in the day the caramel had drooped/slipped off the apples. Did I use too much, heat it too hot, or do something else wrong? They still tasted great, but looked a bit odd. Thanks! Did you make sure all of the wax was washed off? that can really make the caramel slip off. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  14. Patty

    Do you have a recipe for homemade caramel? I tried the Merckens caramel – I tossed half of it away. I guess when you know what the “home made from butter, cream and sugar” caramel tastes like, this just doesn’t cut it. I thought the Merckens had an oily coconut like flavor. Anyway, I lost my treasured recipe in a move. I have tried many recipes since, but just can’t seem to find the ideal blend of brown sugar/butter/cream to give a smooth consistancy that is thick enough for the apples.
    Hi Patty,
    Sorry that we don’t have a coating caramel recipe for you, but http://www.allrecipes.com and http://www.cooks.com are both excellent sites. Best of luck in your search. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  15. cindy leigh

    Oh, beautiful pic.
    I have made these in the past for Girl Scout bake sales during an Autumn Fest. Pretty much the same way- caramel, drizzles of white chocolate and dark or milk chocolate, and nuts or sprinkles. It’s a labor of love, and sure made me want to cry when the Girl Scouts put a price of 50 Cents on each one!!! I wanted to buy them back!
    LOL I always taught my kids that charity is not baking for the bake sale, it’s buying the goods back!
    Now, talking about fairs, how about those bananas, rolled in milk chocolate and nuts, and frozen on a stick like a popsicle? The perfect dessert after the sausage and pepper grinders they used to have at the Danbury (CT) Fair, now the site of a mall.

    Hey, Cindy, we still have those frozen bananas up here at the Dairy Twirl in Lebanon, NH. Dark chocolate, though. YUM. And “my” fair growing up was the Grange Fair in Glastonbury, Conn., where the candy apples (bright red, crunchy, shattered when you bit them) were my longed-for, seldom-granted treat… PJH

    Reply
  16. beth

    I’ve done caramel apples, and like to slice apples and then put out the fixing for people to make thier own. These just remind me to start thinking of making them again. I’m planning a stop at the store this fall. My first trip to your area, mostly because of this website. Maybe there will be some apples then ? Thanks for a really well done site.

    Beth-Ohio

    Hi Beth – There’s a farmstand right next to our store that has wonderful heirloom apples in the fall – in fact, they should start having them very soon. Enjoy your trip! PJH

    Reply
  17. Carol Cox

    Looks so good can’t wait to try them. Is information available for making them in any of your books or newsletter? No I don’ think it is, I’m sorry. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  18. Sue

    Thanks for posting detailed instructions. These apples look like the exspensive Mrs. Prindables on QVC! I’m starting to think I can actually do this, as I have never tried caramel apples before. I bet I can use a block of caramel for lots of treats!
    Hi Sue,
    I’ve never seen the caramel apples on QVC, but a couple of years ago saw the same type of apples in a chocolate shop for $6.00 each!! (yes, we did buy one she says sheepishly) . Why not get a big block of caramel and make beautiful apples with your own personal touch? Have fun~ MaryJane

    Reply
  19. debbie

    Any tips on dipping so that there is not so much “pooling” of chocolate at the bottom of the apple? I like to spoon it on, then hold it over the caramel pot for a few seconds to drip off before I put it on the waxed paper. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  20. Elle

    This is the best demo of caramel apple dipping I’ve seen. The tip about the slow cooker is fantastic, too! Thanks! Must go buy apples and order some carmel.
    Have a great time Elle! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  21. Debbie

    I love the idea of melting the caramel in a crockpot, but I’m wondering about cleanup. Is it easier than I imagine it will be, or is there a trick to it? If you have a crockpot witha removeable liner , and deal with it as soon as you are finished while it is still a bit warm, it really isn’t too bad. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  22. marybeth

    Great Instructions- so many (Food Network) OMIT the all important, WASH THE WAX OFF. (Otherwise, all of your caramel will slide off) Few more tips – make sure your melted caramel is not too hot. Much easier so not to puddle too much – also – IF possible – empty your freezer – fill a cookie sheet with granulated sugar – each step – set apple in freezer 5 minutes (maybe less) – to next step on sugar (apple doesnt stick) – MUCH EASIER TO DO MANY – (Why not???) Share your mess!!!!!
    Woo-hoo, you go girl! Thanks for sharing all the tips! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  23. Marian

    I love this crock pot caramel idea. I had my caramel block for about a year, I couldn’t figure out how to use it and finally threw it away!! Waahh. Now I know I could have melted in my crock pot, invited some friends over and dipped away! also they make these disposable plastic crock pot lines. That would make the whole thing even less messy. Also why not make some funky homeade candy turtles for your holiday giving, while the caramels hot, with some whole pecans and the leftover chocolate coatings?

    Marian, NOW you think of all that! Sorry about your wasted caramel… But next time, you’ll have all kinds of good ideas for it. Like simply melting and pouring over cake or ice cream, drizzling over cookies or scones or pancakes… :) PJH

    Reply
  24. Joan - Cleveland, OH

    I bookmarked this page — Weight Watchers be damned!

    Carmeled apples are one of life’s true pleasures! Great idea with the slow cooker, and I think toasting the nuts wouldn’t be a bad idea. Thanks King Arthur. I haven’t made carmel apples in years. My preference has always been Granny Smith, but I will check to see if the “Haralson’s” are available at one of our outdoor markets.

    Reply
  25. Sandy

    Yum…caramel apples…can it get any better than that? I love, love, love the Merckens caramel and have purchased it for many years now. It is just the best and so easy to work with. I love to use it to make pecan turtle candies for the holidays too. But my mind is on caramel apples right now! The farmer’s markets here in NC are showing lots of good fresh picked apples now so now is the time for caramel apples!

    Reply
  26. Daphne

    Thanks for the lesson – I liked the fact these did not look “picture perfect” but exactly what mine would look like. I know they were so so delicious!!

    Reply
  27. Katherine Isham

    Aw, man, now this is taking back memories of the year I made chocolate caramel apples. Another year I made candy apples…maybe this year I’ll do both. They’re both heavenly. I love the way the candy shatters and reveals the tart, soft apple. One way to make the most of the candy is to stick the shattered pieces into the apple after you’ve bit into it. Mmm…
    Excellent Katherine, thanks for sharing. I would always hold a piece of the candy in one hand and lick it until it melted onto my fingers. Oh so sticky, oh soo good! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  28. Katherine Isham

    Also, as a fellow native Vermonter…there is only one apple that a true Vermonter will use–McIntosh! Long live the ‘tosh! XD

    Hey Katherine, lucky I live in NH instead of Vermont, huh? LONG LIVE Ginger Golds! And pommes grise… :) PJH

    Reply
  29. Karen

    We do a lot of festivals and fundraisers and the carmel apples are always popular. The only thing I do differently is pop the apples (after I’ve added the stick) into boiling water for 10 seconds which absolutely removes the wax. Then dry off and the apple is ready for the caramel. Merkens caramel is SUPER! I use a silpat mat the same size as my cookie/bakery sheet and any excess caramel is recovered to be melted again. When I have too little caramel to dip an apple, I take out a few silicon muffin cups and put pecans in them. Top with the caramel and then some tempered chocolate (or coating) and wa-la, homemade turtles that my family fights over.
    Wow! Thanks for all of the great tips Karen. The turtles are a terrific idea. I think I’ll have to pick up some more caramel. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  30. AJ

    Since our crockpot is a very large one, I believe we could do this with our
    electric fondue pot-it has has a temperature control setting. What temp
    should we use for the caramel? Hmmm, apple slices and caramel and
    angelfood and pound cake….

    Like the direction your mind is going, AJ! I’d probably use whatever temp. is high enough to melt the caramel – no higher. Start low, and see what happens. Raise the heat if necessary. You just want it barely melting, not bubbling. Good luck – PJ

    Reply
  31. Karen

    These look wonderful. I’m wondering about storage -how long will they keep and can they stay at room temp or do they need to be refrigerated? I know everyone is thinking they won’t last long enough to keep! But if I wanted to make them as gifts…
    Karen – As long as you store these in a cool dry place they should taste fresh for at least a week. The fresher the apple the better. Any direct contact with moisture will make these sticky so wrap them carefully as gifts. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  32. gale crudup

    I want to dipped some apples in chocolate, but I would rather use fine chocolate instead of the chocolate candy melts. The melts have the bad fats (partially hydrogenated) in them. Would the fine chocolate work and any suggestions on the kind to use?
    Thanks,
    Gale
    Gale – Yes, the couverture would work too. Couverture contains Cocoa Butter unlike coating chocolate. Therefore it requires Tempering. Tempering is a process that allows couverture to return to a crisp, solid texture when used as a poured coating or shell. It is a tricky technique. Please call our Bakers’ Hotline for more information, 1-802-649-3717 or email is at bakers@kingarthurflour.com. I would recommend item # 1590, 1621, 1620. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  33. Melinda

    I can’t find the list of ingredients on the Merckens caramel. Can you help?

    Sure, Melinda – Go to Merckens caramel and click on the words “nutritional information” (below and to the right of the photo… PJH

    Reply
  34. Amelia Graham

    These apples look so pretty. I always admire them when I have seen them in upscale candy shops. Do you think you could sometime do something similar with pretzel rods? I have tried and if I put them on wax or parchment paper to dry they have a “puddle” on the side that was on the paper. I have stood them up in juice glasses and that works ok but would love any tips you might have for doing that. They make nice additions to cookie trays I give out at the holidays.
    Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.
    Hi Amelia,
    I have had the same thing happen with puddling for both caramel apples and other dipped items. The best advice I can offer is to dip and then let the apple or pretel drip for a bit over the pot. You can turn it as it drips, and use a spoon to wipe off any excess caramel. A cold tray can help the caramel set more quickly, so that it doesn’t spread as much. I usually have a fan going in the kitchen so I can point it at things that need to cool off quickly. Hope this helps! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
    1. Lori

      I did pretzles once – all sorts of dips and drizzles. They came out fabulous! I poked holes in the bottoms of some (paper) egg cartons, and stood the pretzles up in them to finish cooling – they were pretty all around.

  35. Eileen

    Wow…these apples are incredible! I am thinking they would make great gifts as party favors at my daughter’s birthday party! And, the bonus could be that the kids make them themselves!!! How fun is that? And very easy on us parents!!

    Reply
  36. Sarah

    wow-grew up in Norwich, returned to the area 8 years ago, then moved to TN. KAF is a favorite, even long distance. Sending this site to friend in MO, she will love me forever..thank you all. Will be in store for caramel and more very soon. Bless you all.

    Sarah, we’ll look forward to seeing you here again. As will Dan & Whit’s… :) PJH

    Reply
  37. Margy

    I make these every Halloween for the nieces/nephews, including sending some to the ones in college. This year, thank goodness, no one in braces(there was always at least one unable to partake for that reason). As for the leftover caramel, one year I had some leftover ganache from Halloween cupcakes—hmmm? Mixed the two together–serendipity! Warm chocolate caramel sauce, yummy on ice cream. :-P
    AWESOME idea Margy! Too bad I’ve used up all my caramel :( . ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  38. AJ

    I just remembered…back when I was a kid, my sister-in-law would make candy and caramel apples for Halloween. For the ones she coated in chopped peanuts she would allow the excess coating to drip off, roll them in nuts and put them down on a layer of nuts. Seems to me that would
    take care of them sticking to the surface and make them completely
    coated. The trimmings that didn’t stick could be gathered back up to use for the next batch. I do wish I could remember how she made that red candy coating though!
    Hi AJ,
    I remember nut coated caramel apples too. Yum! There are several recipes online for making the red candy coating for apples. I like the ones with some melted Red Hots candies in them. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  39. Ann

    I work at a family-owned farmer’s market, and we use Empire apples for coating. They are crisp, juicy, and tart-sweet. Honey Crisp apples are WAAAY too good to cover in caramel. Just eat them straight.
    HI Ann,
    Love those Honey Crisp! Try just a pinch of smoked salt on them. Delish! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  40. Lish

    I love making candy and caramel apples, and haven’t made them in the past couple of years. Now I can’t wait. We are going apple picking this week, since the ginger golds are finally here in CT! LOVE Them!! I never wanted the caramel apples at the Big E, only the cream puffs! I would love to learn how to make those cream puffs, the filling is so good! Am looking forward to going to the Big E this year, and to KAF this fall. Just got my last “summer” order with the lime powder for mojito cookies! Next is the apple season! Really looking forward to those recipes. Our new favorite apple last year was the mutsu, which is great for caramel apples as it is huge, crisp, and doesn’t oxidize when cut, so the slices stay crisp and white with the beautiful gold green skin. Love those fall apples, and so do my babies, they are really looking forward to picking!
    Lish,
    Have a great time picking with the family. Those are outings they will remember for a lifetime. Have a great time at the Big E.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  41. Sandra Highfield

    I would like to make these for a school fundraiser. Perhaps, I could get some suggestions to make smaller versions of these to sell. Sometimes, people are not willing to buy a big size caramel apple.

    Sandra, I’d say use the smallest apples you can find – often at farmstands you’ll find smaller local apples… PJH
    Sandra, I agree with PJ. Some of the varieties out there are fairly small, just a few bites rather than a full day’s eatin’. Good luck with the fundraiser! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  42. Rebecca Gottschamer

    How fun is that!?! I know what my family and I are doing for our wonderful friends and family for a fall treat. Thank you for the great idea and decoration tips!

    Reply
  43. Vicki

    To find smaller apples at a reasonable price, check at your local apple grower/farm market. When they pick the apples those that are too small have to be set aside. The apple growers I go to in North Georgia use the the too small apples to make juice or sell them at a reduced price as “rejects”. Those rejects are just as good and a much more manageable size for 1 person! I buy the rejects to make my own dried apples.

    Reply
  44. Daniela

    The apples look beautiful. I would like to try making the caramel apples. The step by step directions and pictures will diffinitely help. I have one question, why do you leave space at the very top of the apple (where the stick is inserted)? Why do you not coat the entire apple? In your opionion, which variety of apple is best for dipping?
    Thanks for all the tips, I’m exicited to start.

    Daniela, The “dimple” at the top of the apple will hold a lot of caramel, we wanted to leave a little evidence that there is an apple involved. We like Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, Golden Delicious and Gala, but use whichever apples you like best so long as they are firm and crisp. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  45. Debbie Milbreath

    I have been making chocolate carmel pretzels for a couple of years. The trick to make the carmel pretzels is to not melt the carmel but simply cut a chunk of maybe two inches and lay flat on a cuting board and cut strips of carmel and rollinto a long rope about 6 inches and simply wrap the carmel half way around the pretzel . I have a prepared baking sheet with lined with wax papper and lay the pretzel with the carmel part resting on the lip of the pan and the bottom resting on the wax paper. After I have all the pretzels that I am going to cover with carmel, I then melt my chocolate in a tall container and dip the pretzels into the melted chocolate and allow thre excess to fall back into my container. I place the pretzels on another wax papper lined pan and laythem at least an inch apart. I then use colored jimmies to decorate. You will need to do the chocolate and sprinkles one and a time because the chocolate will set up right away. I hope this is helpful I can make about 50 in less than an hour.

    Reply
  46. Cara

    Deelish!!! Your apples look amazing! I love making caramel apples for my family. Our PTO is considering selling caramel apples at our annual fall festival’s concession stand. How many apples do you think this block of caramel would cover? Thanks so much for the step by step and beautiful photos!

    You will need 1 pound of caramel for 6 apples. Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  47. Kimberly D

    Ever try a pear…….caramel pears are yummy. If bought from a supermarket you need to remove the wax also. And you need it soft enough to eat but not to soft that the stick when inserted wont split the pear in half. I used a Bartlet Pear.

    What a great idea! Anjous would be a great choice, too. Susan

    Reply
  48. Jeri

    Hi, I put carmel on my apples and then added chocolate, but the carmel bubbled out of the chocolate and some of the chocolate even cracked with carmel seeping through…. do you know what caused this?

    Thanks! It’s a good idea to let the caramel get completely set, and not to get the chocolate too hot. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  49. jeannie casey

    i love the carmel but it did not work in my super large crock pot doing just had of the box of carmel. so I used the double boiler and had to keep
    stiring it since the bottom was smooth and the top thick.
    when i tried to smooth off some of the thick carmel on the apples it would all come off. tricky process. i have my costed apples in the frig cooling now/ do you recommend using cupcakes wrapper to sit then in to transoport to my daughter at sewanee- the univ. of the south ?
    i also got the clear treat bags to sit them in for the trip, has anyone used those?
    Hi Jeannie,
    Yes, you do have to stir the caramel when you are melting it to make one smooth batch that is evenly heated throughout. For the slipping caramel, it sounds like there may have been some residual wax still on the apples. Be sure to give them a really good bath.
    I have used both the cupcake liners and the clear goodie bags for storing and transporting the apples. The cupcake papers do tend to stick a bit sometimes, just peel them off. The goodie bags make the apples very easy to store and a pretty ribbon ties it all together. How ’bout using her school colors? ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  50. Chrystine

    Any tips on mailing these as a gift from East coast to the West coast? They look like they would be pretty impressive!

    As much as we would love to have a simple solution for this treat, the cool dry place that the finished apples need for storage can’t be guaranteed with shipping. How about sending your own gift-style box with everything but the apples fixin’s (chopsticks, caramel, chocolate, candies) and a link to the website directions? Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  51. Iris Leonard

    These look amazing! I will be coming to your store soon for a block of caramel! The question I have is, how would you package these to sell in a bake sale? How long will they last, etc?…thanks!
    Iris

    Clear cellophane wrap (so you can see all the treats around the apple!), raffia ties? The blog mentions setting each apple on a cupcake liner and wrap in clear goodie bags. They will store in a cool dry place up to a week. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  52. Trisha

    This was very fun! The slow cooker worked well to melt the caramel and keep it at a good temperature. I had five pounds of caramel for 26 Jonathan apples and still a bit left over. The mini chocolate chips were yummy but melted on the warm caramel. Autumn sprinkles and M&Ms made them look very festive.

    Reply
  53. Stephanie

    I am making these tonight and I am so excited! I’m pretty nervous, though, because every time I have worked with white chocolate it has seized. Do you have any suggestions?

    Low, low, low temperature (did we mention low?), a bowl over the pan of water works well – as well as constant stirring- will all prevent white chocolate from seizing. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  54. cryan3

    I make these every year for Christmas gifts for people in my office. I use Granny Smith apples and my produce man brings me into the back and lets me hand pick the apples so I can get the biggest, nicest ones possible! After dipping in caramel and chocolate I cool them on baking sheets in the fridge before wrapping in the celo bags and decorating with festive ribbons, etc. I have had them last as long as a month without losing any freshness! Great tutorial. Never thought about using the slow cooker!

    Oh that we lived closer! Enjoy the holiday preparations! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  55. meerakhanna

    I made caramel apples last weekend with the kids. They LOVED making and eating them. We used the Merckens caramel and it was great. Very good flavour! Will will make the caramel apples again next Halloween.
    Thanks
    KAF

    Glad the kids enjoyed the apples! I love that Merckens caramel, too… PJH

    Reply
  56. chrisl19961

    I made these for my daughter’s wedding reception a few weeks ago and they were a hit. People were hitting the dessert table and taking the apples before we even ate dinner! I used the Merckens caramel but it didn’t take nearly 2 hours in the crock pot – it melted right away. I put my chocolate in a ziplock bag, microwaved it for a few seconds until it melted and then cut a very small bit our of the bottom corner of the bag. That way I could drizzle the chocolate over the apple and not have any clean up.
    You are right in using a tart apple to balance with the sweet caramel. I can’t wait to try it with the salt – that sounds so good!
    How wonderful! What a great wedding memory your family will have for years to come. Just think, every time your daughter and son-in-law have caramel apples, they will be reminded of their wedding. Go MOM! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  57. Courtney

    Do you stir the caramel while it is melting or do you just leave it to melt?
    When melting the caramel, you’ll want to stir slowly and evenly. If you stir too quickly and dip your apple, you can get bubbles in the caramel. You want a smooth, shiny surface like the apple on the right.

    Reply
  58. Nicole

    Beautiful tutorial. How many apples would a 6 lb block of Merken’s cover? thank you.

    We find a 5 pound block of caramel covers 24 to 30 medium apples – depending on their size. Happy Halloween! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  59. Robin

    I made carmel apples yesterday, this morning one of the apples is “bubbling” around the top. What causes this.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Robin- I believe that is some of the juices from the apple trying to escape their caramel cage. If you keep your apples refrigerated, that should help the liquid from pooling a bit and also if you can completely enclose the apple up to the stick in the caramel, that should help as well. If you have any further questions, please feel free to give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-2253. Happy baking! Jocelyn@KAF

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *