These caramel apples are enrobed in a buttery caramel coating made with butter, sugar, cream, maple syrup, and dark molasses. A great Halloween treat for the kids.
Sweet. Sticky. Crisp. Gooey. Gonna go back for another one. These are the sorts of things that meander through our thoughts as we lose ourselves in the autumnal classic from childhood that still satiates, no matter the age. Go on. Try one. We dare you to defy the urge.–Renee Schettler
Caramel Apple FAQs
The caramel coating on these apples is quite sweet. Our suggestion is to go with an apple that has some tartness, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or McIntosh.
To achieve a devilishly dark caramel apple, like half of the ones pictured, add the teeniest drop of black food gel to the caramel and swirl or stir until no streaks remain before dipping apples.
- 10 to 12 popsicle sticks or twigs sharpened to a point at one end
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Butter the foil or paper lightly. Insert a stick into each apple at the stem end. (I use the bottom of a heavy mug to “hammer” in the sticks, but be careful not to drive the handle all the way through the apple.)
- In a deep, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, butter, cream, corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, and salt. Stir gently with a wooden spoon from time to time to make sure no sugar is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture registers 236°F (113°C) on a thermometer, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the caramel cool to 180°F (82°C).
- Working with 1 apple at a time, dip it into the hot caramel, let the excess drip off the bottom of the apple, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. The caramel should cling to the apple. If the caramel slides off the first apple, let the rest of the caramel in the pan cool for a minute or so and try again. You may need to tilt the pan to dip the last few apples. (To free your hands, place a wooden spoon under one side of the pan.)
- Let the caramel apples cool completely so the caramel sets. The apples will keep, uncovered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (But who are we kidding? They'll never last that long.)
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These caramel apples were delicious! The addition of molasses gave the caramel a depth that is not usually present in a caramel apple. I was able to purchase some fresh beautiful apples and maple syrup at the farmer’s market.
My apples were a bit smaller than what was called for in the recipe, and I probably could have made a few more with the extra caramel I had left, but I had run out of sticks. I used the remainder as a dip for apple slices. I’ll be making this again!
Originally published October 26, 2011