Making caramel apples during Labor Day weekend is a family tradition for many, and the sticky sweet treat, normally found at roadside snack vendor stands and at carnivals, or made during Halloween, is a great way to welcome the arrival of autumn. Caramel apples can either be made plain, or topped with things like chopped nuts and candy, to give them added texture and visual appeal.
Chopped nuts, popcorn, candy and chocolate syrup (for topping)
Begin by selecting the right kind of apples. The basis for a caramel apple should be a hard, firm apple – stay away from the soft, fluffy varieties, like Golden Delicious.
Green apples work best, as their tart, tangy flavour goes very well with the sticky sweetness of the caramel, but bright red apples, with their sweet mellow taste, can also be made into great caramel apples.
Next, wash the apples thoroughly – in addition to being unhygienic, caramel will not stick to apples that are covered in dust or dirt. So run them under a cold stream of water until they become clean and shiny, and then dry them off thoroughly.
After they are all clean and dry, remove the stems of the apples, and push a popsicle stick in though the top of each apple, a little more than about one-fourths of the way through.
Line them up on a large baking tray covered with waxed paper or parchment paper.
Now, it is time to prepare the caramel. Unwrap all the caramels, and put them in a microwave-safe bowl.
Add a tablespoon of milk, to make the mixture creamier and less solid – this will prevent it from just sticking together and forming a big gooey caramel ball.
Microwave this until the mixture melts and becomes almost syrupy.
While the caramel mixture is still hot, dip each apple into the caramel, and then in your preferred topping – have bowls filled with chopped nuts, chopped M&Ms, or popcorn handy.
Once you have rolled the caramel apple through your preferred toppings, top it with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Finally, place the coated apples back on the baking sheet, and slide the tray into the refrigerator until the caramel hardens.
Once the caramel apples set, they are ready to be taken out of the refrigerator and enjoyed.