With Halloween just around the corner, a few of my Canadian blogger friends and I decided to share some fun and boo-tiful project ideas. My contribution- sweet and delicious Halloween caramel apples…
Before we get to the recipe for these caramel apples, I must confess that Halloween really isn’t my thing. I know there are some people who go all out, but I simply can’t wait for the first of November when it’s a little more acceptable to start preparing for Christmas. However, after seeing more and more fun and “pretty” Halloween projects in the past while, I’m starting to warm up to it. A bit, anyway…
Am I alone in this? Are you somewhat of a Halloween scrooge too? Although, I do have to say I love seeing the little ones dressed in their costumes- so cute!
Okay, back to the apples…
Although there are many recipes for caramel apples out there already, I wanted to share a “homemade” version that’s a little healthier than you’d typically find. To begin with, there’s no margarine or corn syrup in this recipe, and they’re dipped in healthy bits like nuts and coconut (for a bit of crunch) instead of more candy. Yes, they’re still full of sugar and butter, but if you can’t enjoy some sweets on Halloween, when can you? I say, go ahead and indulge once in awhile.
Halloween Caramel Apples
Apples (about 20 medium sized- I used gala & granny smith)
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 300 ml can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Toppings: dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut, and other healthy bits.
1) Most apples have a food grade shellac (yes, you heard me right!) on the peel to keep them fresh. I’m guessing you probably don’t want to eat this, plus the caramel will have a harder time sticking if it’s left on. To remove, soak the apples in a sink of water plus a few tablespoons of vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a clean tea towel.
2) Set up your dipping station by placing your toppings into bowls (so you can immediately dip the apples after you’ve coated them in caramel). Also, line a large pan or your countertop in parchment paper.
3) Remove the stem from each apple and skewer.
4) To make the caramel, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan on medium high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is incorporated. Add the maple syrup, and mix thoroughly. Finally, add the sweetened condensed milk, and return to medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 235 degrees (use a candy thermometer for best results). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
5) With one hand, tip the saucepan on a slight angle and dip the skewered apple into the caramel with the other hand. Rotate the apple on its side until it is fully coated. Allow the excess caramel to drip off into the pan, then dip into the toppings (I dipped the bottom of the apple into one topping and then sprinkled some of the others on the sides over a plate). Work quickly before the caramel starts to set up.
6) Place on parchment paper and allow to cool before serving.
If you’re like me, you’ll want to cut up your apple into wedges before eating. Remember that handy cutter my son gave me for Christmas? It cuts through caramel apples no problem. Perfect for sharing too!
These apples will keep for a few days, but are best eaten on the same day they’re made. I always end up with way too many, but the neighbours don’t seem to mind!
You can also remove the core and bake them in a parchment lined dish at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until they’re tender. I just throw any toppings that fall off into the center. So good with a bit of ice cream!
Now for more Halloween inspiration…
Check out some Halloween recipes and craft projects from some of my friends. Enjoy!
A Witches’ Brew Martini from Suburble
Halloween Dropcloth Sharpie Pillow from The Happy Housie
Halloween Caramel Apples from Satori Design for Living (that’s me!)
Frankenstein Rice Krispie Treats and Free Printable from Clean and Sensible
Halloween Planter Decorations: Chalkboard Wood Bats from The DIY Dreamer
Jello Jar Monsters from Echoes of Laughter
Black Cat Velvet Pumpkins from The DIY Mommy
Halloween Rat Wreath from Fynes Designs
Creepy Crawly Resin Tray from Craftberry Bush