Caramel apples are such a classic fall treat. I made this particular batch for a Halloween party, but I am posting them now because I think they would look phenomenal incorporated into Thanksgiving decor. For example, with a little name tag tied to the stick to serve as place cards, wrapped up in cellophane with some pretty ribbon as favors for guests, or arranged on a platter on a dessert table. Whatever way you choose to use them, they will be a hit! They may be messy to eat, but I think they are totally worth it and eating one made me feel like a little kid again.
I was surprised by how easy these were to make. The caramel was the perfect consistency for dipping and thickly coating the apples. My only frustration was with the air bubbles that popped up under the caramel after the apples had been dipped. Supposedly this can be prevented by dipping and turning the apples very, very slowly – but I did that, and I still had a ton of air bubbles. I actually think most of them were creating by stirring the caramel while it was cooking and incorporating air into the mixture. Next time I will just cook it without stirring and I think that will help. I drizzled mine with dark and white chocolate for visual interest, but I think they would be great plain, or with chopped nuts, or toffee bits, etc. The possibilities are endless and I will definitely continue to play around with variations in the future.
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
10-12 small Granny Smith apples, stems removed
Popsicle or lollipop sticks
Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Mix in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Stir in the condensed milk. Cook and stir until a candy or instant-read thermometer reads 248° F (firm ball stage.) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Insert a lollipop or popsicle stick into the top of each apple so that it is firmly in place. Dip the apples one at a time into the caramel mixture, turning slowly to coat evenly. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper and allow the caramel to set. Decorate as desired, with melted chocolate, chopped nuts, or candy pieces.
Source: adapted from Real Mom Kitchen