Making Candy Apples
It was a week before Halloween, we had tickets to go to an outside fall festival with some friends along with their kids. The kids had been counting down the days to the festival that promised a petting zoo, bouncy houses, food & games. However, two days before the festival we got an email that it was canceled, the weather forecast was predicting our first “nor’easter”(a storm or wind blowing from the northeast, especially in New England.) which would consist of heavy rain and high winds that weekend. The look of disappointment look on the kid’s faces when we had to tell them it was canceled, was heartbreaking. We knew we had to do something fun, why not make candy apples we thought?
It is something everyone would have fun doing so we picked out some non-traditional toppings like Sour Gummy Bears, Nerds, Mini M and M’s and Pixie Sticks along with some traditional toppings like; coconut flakes and crushed peanuts.
We would also make a few modifications as my friend’s 13 year-old has braces and can’t bite into an apple nor can she have caramel. Okay, I thought easy fix, we would melt down some milk chocolate and she can use apple slices to dip & decorate. After all…it’s about including everyone no matter the obstacle!
When it came to the caramel, what’s best for making caramel apples?
- Homemade caramel with butter, brown sugar?
- Boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk?
- Caramel cubes?
- Caramel wraps?
We tried the three simplest ones, with the kids. Here were the results from best to worst with the pros and cons of each.
Pros: Melts easy with a little cream, you can microwave in a glass bowl in under two minutes and coats the apples evenly when you dip.
Cons:It cools too quickly and you have to continue to heat after every two dips, One bag of caramels only coats four apples
Boiling can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Pros: Just peel the label, puncture the can and boil for three hours, taste great and is fairly inexpensive per can
Cons: It takes a lot of time, it’s very thick therefore hard to coat the apples and does not harden. The candy and caramel just slides off, this would be great for caramel topping for a cake or ice cream but not for candy apples.
Pros: It’s unwraps like a fruit roll-up= easy, no mess. You just place over the top of the apple and bake.
Cons: You can’t decorate the apple as the caramel does not get sticky. It softens just enough for you to form over the apple. We brushed each apple with light corn syrup and that solved our issue so the kids could decorate their apples.
Everyone’s apples did come out great, and we all shared countless laughs!