Monday, November 2, 2015

Caramel Apples







I'm going to let Jill talk about Caramel Apples--she is the authority! I've made a few with success but Jill has made hundreds. She often makes them for craft fairs in her area. They are a coveted item, ladies wait in line for them, yes they are that good. So here is what Jill has to say:

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Well hello! My mom is right, I have made a several {hundred!} caramel apples in my day.  I began making 4-5  for our craft shows, but those few quickly turned into 10, which turned into 25, and sometimes up to 40 per show! I've retired from the craft show scene, and run Jill's Sweet Shoppe on Facebook. Caramel apples are a lot of fun to make and can be a great gift for teachers, neighbors, or yourself!

So, let's get started! First, let's talk about what you'll need. When making caramel apples, it's important to have all your ingredients ready to go.  Once you begin the process, you won't be able to stop in the middle to chop nuts or crush Oreo's!


You will need:
*Apples - I prefer Granny Smith.  They provide the tart flavor that you need to counteract the sweetness of the caramel and other toppings.

*Caramel - If you are making more than 5-10 apples you will want to get a 5 pound brick of Peter's Caramel...it will cost you around $20, but the quality is great and it will store for several months in your pantry. You can also just buy the individually wrapped caramels and trick your kiddos into a race to unwrap them.


* Chocolate for drizzling - Use good quality dipping chocolate for this. Ghirardelli and Guittard make great apeels that melt beautifully.  You can find them here, or your local Winco will have them in their bulk food section.  DON'T (yes, I just capitalized that) use Wilton melts from the craft store. Their waxy texture and overly sweet taste will most likely ruin your apple and make it not worth eating. Ok I'm teasing, but seriously folks, don't use them if you can avoid it...the taste is nothing like Guittard!

*Toppings - crushed Oreo's, crushed peanuts, mini M&M's, cinnamon sugar, etc

*Popsicle or craft sticks. Sticks with pointed ends (my preference) are typically found in the produce section of the grocery store.


Supplies are gathered - time to dip some apples!

1. First, wash and dry your apples then chill them in the fridge for 15 minutes. Chilling will help the caramel set faster so you don't have a gooey caramel puddle at the bottom of your apple, although I doubt anyone would complain! You'll also want to prep for the apples by laying out parchment paper, or tin foil coated with a light layer of Pam cooking spay.

2. Insert sticks in the top of the apple. You'll want to insert them about halfway down the core, being careful not to force the stick through the other end of your apple.

3. Melt your caramel. The ideal dipping temperature is 160 degrees, and there are several good methods you can use depending on how many apples you're making. The first method (and my preference) is to use a crock pot. Throw a brick of caramel in there on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Be sure to stir the caramel gently, but or  it will produce air bubbles in your finished product. Another way to melt your caramel is to use the microwave to heat and stir in 1 minute increments until you've reached your desired temperature and consistency.

I prefer the crock pot because it continues to keep your caramel warm while dipping...if you use the microwave, you'll have a much smaller dipping window to work with. As a rule of thumb, if I am making more than 5 apples, I'll use the crock pot. If I'm just making a few, I'll use the microwave.

4. Dip the apples! Tilt the apple on its side while holding the stick and dip in the caramel, rolling the apples to coat all the sides. After rolling the apple in the caramel, turn it back upright and let the caramel drip off.  When the it stops dripping, take a spoon and run it along the bottom of the apple to scrape off the excess.

5. Next comes the fun part: "Accessorizing" your apple! you can dip, drizzle, and roll your chosen toppings.  If you are going to roll your apple in nuts, M&M's or crushed Oreos, make sure you do it while the caramel is still warm.

If you are drizzling chocolate, I find the best method is to hold the apple over the sink, and use a spoon (for a thicker drizzle) or fork (for a fine drizzle). This will take a little practice...if it doesn't look that great, you can just say you were going for the "rustic" look. People like rustic, right? I promise, no one will complain.  This is where having good chocolate really pays off.  If you have decided to use the Wilton Melts, your drizzle will not be nearly as fluid and beautiful. trust me.

6. You made it! Now let your apples set then package them up with some cellophane, ribbon, and tags. Remember, presentation is everything. A not-so-perfect apple can easily be revived with pretty ribbon - trust me!










A final note: Apples best eaten within 24 hours, but can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. Don't allow them to get too cold or the apple will "sweat" and your caramel will sluff off and produce watery mess at the bottom of your packaging.

Thanks for letting me visit, mama! If you fabulous readers have any questions, visit Jill's Sweet Shoppe and send me a message!





25 comments:

Gloria - The Ginger Snap Girl said...

How perfect for fall! I love all the flavor combos. Thanks for the online resource for bulk chocolate. ;)

S Leetham Family said...

Thanks for sharing. I always love what you make and share with everyone!!!

S Leetham Family said...

Thanks for sharing. I always love what you make and share with everyone!!!

Cara Peace said...

Gorgeous apples! I love the ideas!

Live Well With Judi said...

Thanks for the tutorial Jilly Bean. These are Brad's absolutely hands down favorite dessert. I have only tried once to make them and failed miserably. I'll be following your directions with exactness.
Hugs

Live Well With Judi said...

Thanks for the tutorial Jilly Bean. These are Brad's absolutely hands down favorite dessert. I have only tried once to make them and failed miserably. I'll be following your directions with exactness.
Hugs

Lizzy Do said...

Thanks, Jill, for the wonderful tutorial! It's been so long since I've made caramel apples, and they were never so fancy and beautiful. You've inspired me :)

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

These are very pretty caramel apples - aroung here they are called "Paradise Apples" and are sugar coated, red and crackly and kids adore them - your versions look wonderful and since I adore caramel, I am sure that I would stand in line for them too!

Have a great weekend!

MH said...

Hey Jill. I'm your dad's cousin-Diana. My faves are the ones that are dipped on caramel then white choc then sugar cinnamon. Did you spoon the white chocolate over the caramel? Or did you dip it in white choc?

Unknown said...

Hi dianna! The white chocolate is dipped, not spooned. This is another reason to use the good quality apeels...the wilton brand will be clumpy and won't give your that beautiful, smooth white sheen.

-Jill

momto8blog said...

my all time worst temptation! I love carmel apples. i never even considered adding all those other goodies...thank you for the new twists!!! yum!

Kathy said...

Beautifully done…so perfect for fall! I used to make caramel apples for my kids…I agree with Lizzy…not as fancy as yours.

kitty said...

Aren't they beautiful??!! I have some wonderful caramel that a friend gave me and I've been waiting to make these. What a perfect Fall treat!

Katrina said...

Those look delicious and pretty professional!

Barbara Bakes said...

So many great tips. Thanks for sharing.

Erin said...

Your apples look absolutely heavenly!

Cakelaw said...

I have always wanted to try one of these - they sound magical.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Thanks for all the tips. I might make a few now. Love all the add-ins.

Flourchild said...

Be s still my heart..these look amazing! I love caramel apples.

Dixie n Dottie said...

These are so lovely and look scrumptious! Happy Fall! :)
http://dixie-n-dottie.blogspot.com/

Sweet and That's it said...

Cindy, these are the most beautiful caramel apples I've ever seen.
Thank you for sharing.

Shiloh Barkley said...

Thank you for the instruction!

http://www.shilohstaste.com

Shiloh Barkley said...

Thank you for the instruction!

http://www.shilohstaste.com

Jocelyn said...

We are making caramel apples in our ladies group, so I loved all the tips and can't wait to share them with everyone!!!

Jill H said...

Jill, when going to the website for the chocolate, there are many options. I'm wanting to use a white chocolate... which one do you recommend?
Thanks so much for your help!