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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to make caramel apples

We got into the fall spirit last year and made caramel apples for the first time ever. It was simple - yet surprisingly hard.

The concept is easy. Put a stick in an apple. Melt some caramel and then dip an apple into it. Decorate it and let it harden.

The reality is that the caramel hardens really quickly and is gloppy to put on the apple. If you don't decorate within seconds (unless you're doing a drizzled decoration), the decorations don't stick. And the caramel takes nature's course and moves slowly down the apple until it pools at the base.

This year I did some reading. And I'll put the reading into action after we go apple picking.

Tips to making caramel apples:
-refrigerate your apples first - maybe even overnight. Apparently this helps the melted caramel set on them
-make sure apples are dry. If using store-bought apples, scrub them clean first (to get the wax off) - use baking soda or dip them in boiling water
-after the caramel is melted (in the microwave or over a double boiler), roll the apple in the caramel.
-or turn them while dipping them in caramel
-turn them upside down after dipping them, so the caramel can set, and also fill in empty spots (like the top of the apple)
-put finished apples on wax paper
-if you don't have craft sticks (to put in the apples), you can also use plastic forks. This mightl be easier for kids to grip .
-for a gourmet taste, add a little cinnamon to the caramel while it's melting
-decorating ideas: crushed Oreos, sprinkles, candy corn, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips
-work quickly

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