Ultimate Apples 101
Caramel apples are SO EASY right? Ha. Not if you have tried them before. Luckily as a kid I was taught some amazing little tricks as I was watching my grandmother making them. But can you believe I had never made them on my own? Crazy. Back then my grandmother talked about peanuts, pecans, and other readily available things to put on them – but as you know we live in a crazy world now so we have to make them more ultimate! 🙂 I wanted to write a blog about the tips I know and how to make your next Halloween batch amazing!
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare:
There is nothing more important than having everything prepared before you start. Here is a list of things you are going to want to make sure before you start having fun:
- Pick Your Apples. No matter which apples you choose, they need to be VERY firm with no soft spots. Try to find the most perfect apples you can find. Green is preferred because they are usually a little harder than most, which is what you want to have when you are adding warm ingredients on top of them.
- Wash your Apples. Like, REALLY wash them. You want as much of the wax off of the apples that you can possibly remove. Why you ask? Your caramel/chocolate will slide right off if you don’t. You can also use a product like FIT Produce Cleaner to assist.
- Prepare Your Apples. Remove the stems from your apples and add in you sticks. You’re going to make sure your sticks are very sturdy, because they apples are going to be top-heavy when consumers tip them upside down to eat them. I prefer the Cookie Sticks from Wilton (pictured below).
- Prepare Your Toppings. No matter what you want to add to them, make sure it’s all ready to use before you start. Caramel and chocolate can cool quickly so you want to be able to apply your toppings quickly. I used milk chocolate, almond chocolate, almonds, Snickers bars, Kit Kats, Butterfingers, and coconut flakes (sweetened). Be sure to keep the pieces small.
- Piping Bags: If you want to add the intricate levels to the apples, you are going to need piping bags for some of the warm chocolate. You can also use a ziploc bag as well. Just have them ready with the tips cut off.
- Prepare you counter. This can be a messy project, so I recommend placing wax paper all over your counter. That way, no matter if you spill, if the caramel drips, or you start drooling, you’re totally covered and its easy clean up! The close you are to the oven the better this will be so keep it all within an arms reach.
- Clear your sink! Sounds like a weird one right? Caramel can really stick and ruin your pots, so make sure your sink is cleared so you can add hot water to you empty, sticky pot so it cleans easy!
- Choose what your finished product is going to look like. What are you going to serve it on (I used festive cupcake liners)? Are they going to be tied with ribbon? Make sure you have them all ready!
Begin Your Base Preparation:
Depending on what you are using to make your apples, you may need to time out getting them prepared. For instance, if you are going to make your favorite caramel from scratch, you will want to prep that before you start your chocolates.
- Ready your caramel. If you are making it from scratch, you will want to complete that recipe first. If you don’t have one and want to try it out – here is my favorite
- Melt your chocolate(s). If you are doing multiple you are going to want to make sure they are all ready at the same time.
- Consider chocolate and caramel combos. If you are going to have an apple or two with both caramel AND chocolate, make sure you drip the apples in the CARAMEL FIRST and it let it fully harden in the first before you add the chocolate to it. Otherwise you are going to have a sticky, non-pretty mess.
Ready, Set, GO!
After all this is done – you are ready to have the fun, and if you give these away, your friends/neighbors/co-workers are going to be REALLY impressed. Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings and get ready to watch your timing on every apple.
- Dip the apples. Chocolate will cool faster than caramel, so on chocolate apples, add the chocolate on and ensure its even all round. I use a knife to do this. Make sure you also cover the bottom. I like to leave the top a little uncovered so people know what kind of apple it is.
- Garnish your apples. As soon as its covered, you can roll your apple in your toppings, or if you are like me, sprinkle it on by hand. I like my apples to be garnished with the toppings, not covered in them. Balance is key.
- Double Caramel Dip. I recommend double dipping your caramel only apples a couple times in the caramel. One layer will thin and it wont be balanced with the apples.
- Cool your creations. Once you have fully dipped and sprinkled your apples, stick in the fridge for about 30 minutes before you add your final, and the most pretty layer. This will give your apples time to set and cool for the next and final step!
Get All Prettied Up.
- Add you final edible touches. After the apples have cooled, you can add that last bit of chocolate trimmings to make them look like a million bucks. This could be horizontal lines of another color of chocolate (or you can color some white chocolate orange), maybe adding some special candies, setting the out on their special wrappers.
- Add final pieces. If you are adding ribbon or sprinkles, or have any fun packaging, this is the time to do it!
- Store your perfection. After you are all said and done make sure you keep them in the refrigerator. You don’t want anything to melt or fall off before you give them away
- Enjoy! Make sure you keep one for your self to enjoy as well!