We tried our hand at caramel apples this afternoon and I think we were pretty successful. I did spend some time researching the best methods on Pinterest (of course). My cousin had warned me that due to the waxy texture on the outside of the apple, I may have a hard time getting the caramel to stick. All of the blogs I read agreed that the wax was an issue. A couple of the suggestions were to boil the apples for thirty seconds, wash them with soap and water, or sand them down with sandpaper. That last one seemed a bit far fetched to me. I decided to go with boiling each apple for 30 seconds. Obviously this made the apples very hot so I thought it would be a good idea to place them in the freezer for 30 minutes. I figured a hot apple may also cause the caramel to slide off.
While the apples were chilling in the freezer, I got the toppings ready and began melting the caramel. Now the obvious method for melting the caramel would be the microwave but we are currently a microwave-less home... Gasp! Actually, it hasn't been that bad. We have learned we can live without a microwave and I really like having the extra counter space. Back to melting the caramel, my first attempt was the old method of boiling water in a pan with a glass bowl on top. This was taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!!! I lost my patience and placed the caramel squares in a sauce pot with a little milk, stirring like a mad woman so it would not scorch. So even though this was a bit risky, it worked really well and fast.
I know what you are thinking....
She really knows how to walk on the wild side....
No??? Oh, alright then. I never have been the adventurous type. :)
(This picture cracks me up. It was taking so long they pulled up a chair. Notice Ginger was also very interested.)
The next part moved super fast. I called one child over at a time, helped them roll their apple in the caramel and then move it into the toppings. I really wanted to get cute pictures of their excitement mixed with concentration but there really wasn't any time for that. We were dealing with melted caramel after all!
(Our toppings included, crushed graham cracker, mini marshmallows, crushed peanuts, and mini M&M's.)
Another tip I found on Pinterest was to turn the apples upside down on a cooling rack (sticks pointing down). This was a fantastic tip and helped us to really pile on the toppings.
All in all, it was a super fun activity. I think this is now a Halloween tradition for our family.