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Do you love caramel? I do! To me, there’s something purely magical about the process of cooking sugar. The process isn’t overly complicated; it just takes some patience. And when drizzled over a batch of these homemade caramel apples, it’s seriously so good. Plus, they’re the perfect treat to give out when trick or treaters stop by! I know that if I lived closer to my nieces and nephew, I’d make these for them each and every Halloween.
The caramel-making process:
- By adding a little water, the sugar will dissolve quickly and begin to cook evenly.
- Once boiling, it’s easy to think the sauce is just about ready. But it takes a bit longer to cook off the water and allow the sugar to become a dark amber color. The darker the color, the deeper, almost bitter flavor the caramel will have. Not surprisingly, I love a pretty dark caramel. If your thing is a lighter caramel sauce, make sure to stop cooking a bit earlier.
- The cream is added to prevent the sugar from cooking any further. It also helps to keep the finished caramel at a soft consistency.
- Once the mixture has been cooled to room temperature, the caramel is perfect for dipping apples!
Just like that, you have a deliciously smooth, perfectly rich caramel sauce! See, homemade caramel really is easy to make!
Let’s be honest: caramel apples aren’t always easy to eat (seriously… how do you gracefully bite into one?!), but they are fun to make and to give as gifts.
If you want to make them over the top, add some drizzled chocolate and dip them in crushed nuts (I prefer pecans) and toffee bits.
Watch how to make these homemade caramel apples
Homemade Caramel Apples
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup heavy cream room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 small crisp apples
- 6 6-inch long sticks
- 4 oz dark chocolate
- ½ cup toasted chopped pecans
- ½ cup toffee candy pieces
- In a large kettle, combine the sugar and water. Swirl the pan to moisten all the sugar. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Swirl the saucepan periodically to ensure the sugar is evenly heating. Once at a boil, continue to cook until the sugar has reached a deep amber color, about 310°F. Remove from heat.
- While whisking the caramel, slowly pour in the cream. The sugar will bubble vigorously. When all the cream is added, continue to whisk until smooth. If the caramel seizes at all, place over low heat and stir until smooth.
- Off the heat, add the salt and vanilla. Whisk and pour into a heatproof bowl to cool.
- At the stem end, pierce each apple with a stick to create a handle.
- When the caramel is room temperature and thickened, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds, stir and heat again. Continue until just melted.
- Dip the apples in the cooled caramel and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If the caramel seems low for the last apple, spread it on and allow it to drip down until coated.
- Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and sprinkle with nuts and toffee. Dip the bottoms of the apples in nuts and toffee to ensure they don’t stick to the parchment.
- Allow to cool and enjoy.
I’ve tried this three times. Failure. Caramel never sets up enough to thicken. It runs off apple. Very thin and pools on baking sheet. I followed recipe exactly.