Caramel apples are a great treat to make with the kids, but keep in mind that the caramel will be very, very hot. If you’re doing this with younger kids, it’s best if an adult dips the apples and lets them cool a moment before the kids dip them into whatever dipping items they wish.
- 8 | 8 red apples, at room temperature
- 8 | 8 lollipop sticks
- ¼ cup | 60 mL water
- 2 cups | 400 g granulated sugar
- ½ cup | 125 mL white corn syrup
- ½ cup | 115 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp | 5 mL pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- dipping items: granola, toasted coconut, Reese’s Pieces (or M&M’s), salted peanuts, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushed pretzels
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Have all your ingredients measured out and close at hand, with all your dipping items in separate small bowls.
- Wash and dry the apples well. Insert a lollipop stick into the top of each apple, but be sure that it doesn’t poke through to the bottom. Place the apples on the baking tray.
- Place the water in the bottom of a medium saucepan and add the sugar and corn syrup. Bring the sugar up to a full boil over high heat without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the saucepan with water and boiling until the sugar turns a light amber colour. Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the butter (be careful of the steam). Once the mixture stops bubbling and the butter is completely whisked in, whisk in the vanilla and salt.
- Dip an apple into the caramel (do take care, as it will still be very hot) and spin it slowly to let any drips run off and the caramel set a little. Dip the apples into the dipping items of your choice, or simply leave plain. Place the apple back on the baking tray to set and repeat with the other apples. If the caramel in the saucepan sets as you are dipping, warm it over low heat, stirring gently until melted again.
- Red apples are best for dipping into caramel because the skins of green apples may turn brown under the caramel layer, which sometimes shows through as looking bruised.
- When dipping the apples in the caramel, it’s important that they are at room temperature and fully dried after washing. Any droplets of water could cause the caramel to melt and slide off.
- Brushing the inside of the saucepan as the sugar boils helps to prevent any sugar droplets from sticking to the saucepan and potentially crystallizing (which could spread through the rest of the sugar mass and cause a grainy caramel). The water does no damage to the sugar as it cooks—it simply evaporates as steam.
Excerpted from Bake with Anna Olson by Anna Olson. Copyright © 2016 Olson Food Concepts Inc. and Peace Point Entertainment Group Inc. Photography by Ryan Szulc and Mike McColl. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd. a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.