Caramel apples are just a "Fall" food, I guess...I can't imagine even thinking of having one in any other season. Maybe it's because I remember those red candy-coated apples at school harvest festivals and Halloween carnivals - or maybe it's the time of year when I occasionally flip past QVC and they are selling those Mrs. Prindables apples that seem a little expensive (about $33 for six, plus shipping).
Anyway, I've never had one of those Mrs. Prindables apples, but it's so easy to make these at home - and you can do it with any flavors you like...
Ingredients - this is enough for four large apples:
1 bag Kraft caramels (these come with little sticks for making caramel apples)
2 tbsp water
4 large apples (or maybe 5 small ones) - I used red delicious
little sticks for apple handles if you don't buy the Kraft brand of caramels
ribbons for embellishing the cooled finished caramel apples
various toppings: I used Heath bar toffee bits, chopped pecans, tiny M&Ms, and melted chocolate morsels...but you could use anything!
Make sure there is room in the refrigerator for the baking pan once these are made.
Put each topping in its own bowl so that's ready to be applied once the apples come out of the hot caramel. Depending on each, you may want to have a little spoon ready for each topping to help put it on. Have these bowls close to where the apples will come out of the caramel because the caramel cools off pretty quickly and everything sticks best while the apple is still hot.
Wash the apples and make sure they are completely dry. Put them on a baking sheet that's lined with parchment paper.
Over medium heat, melt the caramels/water mixture - stir very often:
After a few minutes, the caramel will be completely melted:
Here are the apples, ready to be dipped:
Place each apple - one at a time - into the melted caramel and spoon the caramel over all sides. While the apple is covered with hot caramel, place it into the bowl with the topping(s) you're using for that apple. For most of mine, I just rolled the apple around in the topping bowl to get the best coverage. Place each apple back on the baking sheet to cool:
If you are going to personalize any with writing, wait until the plain caramel apple has been in the refrigerator for a while and is cold. Then melt the chocolate, place in a small ziploc bag, cut off a tiny bit of one bottom corner, and pipe your message. Since I made these for a little pre- Rosh Hashanah treat, I piped the upcoming new year on it - 5769:
Once these were ready to serve, I cut a length of different ribbon for each. Here's the M&M caramel apple (oh - and next time I might think about using the regular, bigger M&Ms. These baking M&Ms were so quick to melt while I was placing them on the hot apple, so in a few places you can see where they burst open):
Jewish New Year: