Fall is my favorite. Have you heard that one before? Fall is everyone's favorite. How can it not be? There are all those beautiful colors, fun boots, and great holidays. There is so much to look forward to in the fall. One of the many things I love about fall is all the apples. For some reason, I don't really like apples until the season arrives. Once it is fall, I want an apple everyday (of course they are in season so they just taste better, but part of me thinks I'm just being ridiculous). One thing I try to do this time of year is make gourmet, caramel-covered apples. I forgot to make them last year. This year, I remembered and my husband, Steve, was a bit surprised. When Steve came home for lunch one day he opened up the refrigerator and yelled out, "JENN! GET DOWN HERE!" I rushed down the stairs. I thought my 20-month-old, Iain, had stuck one of his toys in the microwave.
What I found was my husband staring into the refrigerator and when I came around the corner he said, "What are these?! This is what I'm eating for lunch."
I was able to stave off my husband's stomach and save the apples for dessert, so that I could take one last picture of them. I wanted to share this recipe because I've had a few people ask for it. Seriously, it's ridiculously easy. No magic needed. Just a lot of patience and a sweet tooth. They are really delicious. I should know. I'm eating one right now.
These would be great as wedding favors for a fall wedding (make sure you have a TEAM of people helping make them), include them in wedding party gifts, or as a gift to smaller roles in the wedding. I prefer just sharing them with someone.
The recipe is below the pictures.
I love using Granny Smith apples because they are the perfect amount of tart to sweet.
Definitely don't skip the step of dipping the apples in the boiling water. It will help the caramel stick.
Because I was chasing around a 20-month-old and I only have two hands, this part took a while. I'd recommend having a few helping hands, or that you at least listen to some good music to help pass the time as you unwrap the caramel.
The caramel was a bit runny, but it cooled off smooth.
Here's the Apple Pie caramel apple. Caramel, white chocolate, and graham cracker makes for the perfect flavor mix. This one is my favorite. If anyone has any ideas how to get the white chocolate smoother, please share! I've tried shortening and oil.
This is Steve's favorite. Chocolate caramel apple. I drizzled white chocolate over the top for looks, it doesn't really give it much of a flavor.
Gourmet Caramel Apples Caramel Apple Pie, Chocolate Caramel, and Caramel Heath Bar Serves 6
What you need: 3 Medium size Granny Smith apples (any will work, but I prefer the tart with the sweet) 1 12oz bag of individual wrapped caramels (buy two bags if the apples are a large, the 12oz was barely enough for my apples) 1 1/2 tablespoons of water 1 cup chocolate chips (1 cup per 2 apples is enough sometimes, but it's easier to dip with too much than too little) 1 cup of white chocolate chips Toffee bits 2 tbsp of oil (1 tbsp per cup of chocolate, I've used both veggie and canola) 3 graham crackers
Preparation: Bring enough water to a boil to dip the apples. Dip the apples in the boiling water to remove all of the wax (and kill the germs). Don't leave in too long or you'll cook the apple, a few seconds is enough. Dry the apples. Let the apples cool. At this point you'd insert sticks. I usually don't. I like the look without and the stem is usually strong enough to hold the apple.
After unwrapping all 36+ caramels, put them in a microwave safe bowl and add 1 1/2 tbsp of water. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir. If some are still solid, microwave for 30 seconds until it's at a good constancy. A good way to tell is stick in your spoon and let it run off, if it's like thick maple syrup then great. If it's like water, let it sit for a while to cool down before you dip.
Dip the room temperature apples in the caramel. I don't like to chill my apples before dipping because sometimes is makes the caramel sit too quickly, causing lumps. I dip in a few times to make sure I have it as thick as I want it and place it on a tray with wax paper. After I've completed all the apples, I put them in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
After the caramel is set (sticky but isn't sticking to my hands) I prepare the next layer. I warm up 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of oil. This is necessary if you don't want the chocolate to flake off when you cut or bite into it. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute or on the stove. The microwave usually gets the job done. After stirring, if the chocolate isn't fully melted, microwave for 30 second intervals until it is completely melted. Immediately, dip 2 of the caramel apples in the chocolate. Let it sit. Now, warm up 1 cup of white chocolate chips. You are going to have chocolate left over but the white chocolate is a lot thicker than the semi sweet, so it's easier to coat the apple. Add 1tbsp of oil. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute or on the stove. After stirring, if the chocolate isn't fully melted, microwave for 30 second intervals until it is completely melted. Immediately, dip the remaining caramel apple in the white chocolate. Let it sit. Take a fork, dip it in the white chocolate and drizzle over one of the chocolate caramel apples.
At this point it's usually safe to add toffee candy to the other semi sweet chocolate apple. Take a handful and sprinkle the pieces over the apple. If they immediately hit the apple and run towards the table, wait until the chocolate sets a little more. Dip the white chocolate apple in crushed graham cracker. I used cinnamon this time and really loved the extra flavor.
Place all the apples in the refrigerator once more. They are usually ready in an hour but they can be left in overnight.
When cutting, make sure you use a large straight (non-serrated) edge knife, like a chief knife. Serve immediately after cutting.