Happy official first day of Autumn! Today has been very blustery and overcast outside, the perfect cozy, autumn setting. One of the best parts of autumn to me, is the baking. There is nothing better than autumn treats! The sweet taste of apple, pumpkin and cinnamony treats! And one of the best of all–homemade caramel apples.
You have not truly had a caramel apple until you have made the caramel completely homemade with cream, butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Homemade caramel is so smooth and creamy. It literally just melts in your mouth.
The apples I used came from an orchard that my husband and I visited a couple of days ago. These tasty apples made the perfect crisp and crunchy base for my caramel. If you have been following along you’ll know about my recent apple treats. And if you haven’t, you should check out my recipes for Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and The Perfect Apple Pie Recipe!
What Kind of Apples To Use?
In order to make sure your caramel apples are as delicious as they can be, here are a few tips. Make sure to start with apples that are good for snacking and eating raw.
Here is a good list of apples to use for caramel apples:
- Honey Crisp
Make sure to wash them well and set them on a clean towel to dry before you begin making your caramel.
Once the caramel is done, you want to make sure your apples are already ready to go. That way the caramel is not hardening while you prep your apples! I also like to use these sticks made especially for caramel apples. They go in easier because they have a pointed end and they are overall just a bit sturdier (and look nicer!) than Popsicle sticks.
Creating the Caramel
Making homemade caramel apples is actually easier than you might think it is. It just needs to be monitored and stirred more than anything. Start by adding your granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, cream and corn syrup to a medium-sized saucepan. Set it over medium heat and watch it turn to caramel!
You want to make sure to stir it often so that it does not scorch. Also, clip a candy thermometer to the pan and watch for it to reach firm ball stage, about 245 °F. to 250 °F. The picture below shows how the caramel will look while it is boiling.
The different stages in candy making are tests of how hot the sugar syrup is. Also, how much water is left in the mix. It is imperative to reach firm ball stage when making caramels. If it doesn’t get to cook long enough, the caramel will just slide right off the apple. And if it cooks too long, the caramel will harden and be too hard to bite into.
This is why it is critical to use a candy thermometer, without one it will be hard to know when to take it off of the heat.
Adding the vanilla and coating your apples
Once the caramel has reached firm ball stage, remove from heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Then, take your prepared apples and dip them in the caramel, turning to coat all sides. You will need to work somewhat quickly through this process before the caramel starts hardening.
The Final Touch!
After dipping each apple in caramel. You can dip them or roll them in sprinkles, nuts or whatever you like. Then, place them in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. This will help the caramel cool and keep it from sliding down the apple.
Enjoy your tasty, homemade caramel apples! Remember to tie a nice ribbon around them for a cute Halloween party!