The Caramel Apple – A Fall Classic
By Cooking Classy
It is said that the first caramel apple was created in the 1950s when a Kraft Foods employee named Dan Walker discovered the recipe when he experimented with excess caramels from Halloween sales. He melted the caramels down and dipped the apples, and as they say – the rest is history.
Caramel apples are one of the ultimate fall treats! This is a foolproof recipe that is nearly impossible to mess up and it makes perfectly tempting and tasty caramel apples that are great for holidays, parties and gifting.
The easiest caramel apple recipe! Made with just three ingredients, plus toppings if you want to make them extra special. One of the ultimate fall treats! Perfect for gifting and parties. Makes 7 caramel apples (about 3 servings per apple).
7 small granny smith apples (about 2 1/4 lbs)
15 oz. caramels, such as Werther’s Chewy*
3 Tbsp heavy cream
Various toppings, optional (see hints)
Rinse and thoroughly dry apples with a paper towel. Insert a caramel apple stick*. Having toppings ready if you’ll be adding some to apples.
Line a 13 by 9-inch baking sheet or baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper, spray parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray, set in the fridge.
Place caramels and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl (about 5 cup size bowl)*.
Heat in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring well between intervals, until melted and smooth. This will take about 2 – 3 minutes. If caramel is extra runny let it cool just briefly so it doesn’t run right off the apples.
Dip apples one at a time into caramel on an angle so it covers nearly to the top center. Rotate and turn to coat apple. Lift apple and let excess run off, then run bottom of apple along inside edge of bowl to remove excess caramel. Lift apple and turn apple upside down to let caramel run up the apple a little then immediately roll in toppings (or sprinkle with toppings) before caramel sets.
Turn apples upright and place on prepared baking sheet in fridge, repeat process with remaining apples. As needed reheat caramel in microwave in 15 second increments for a runny, dip-able consistency.
Allow caramel to set completely, about 30 minutes in the fridge (you can eat them before this but if you want caramel to firm back up the wait the 30 minutes). Cut apples into slices just when ready to enjoy so they don’t brown.
*Kraft caramels will work too, Werther’s just taste better to me. I don’t recommend using Werther’s “Soft” caramels. I’ve tried and the caramel melts off of the apples even if you refrigerate right away.
*TOPPING IDEAS: I like to use crushed Oreos, chopped candy bars such as Butterfingers, chopped nuts such as peanuts or pecans, crushed graham crackers with ground cinnamon, mini M&M’s, sprinkles, shredded coconut, crushed pretzels, a little sprinkle of flakey sea salt, or marshmallow bits.
*Lollipop or popcicle sticks work great too.
*It’s also delicious to dip in melted chocolate or white chocolate or drizzle chocolate over apples. White chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate bars melted for dipping, or good quality chocolate melts such as Ghirardelli. If you go the route of dipping or drizzling apples in melted chocolate let the caramel set up first then dip in melted chocolate. If adding toppings to chocolate, add right after dipping before the chocolate sets.
Can I Make a Double Batch or Small Batch?
I don’t recommend a double batch unless you have multiple people there ready to dip as the caramel does start to set and you’ll just have to keep reheating it. And yes I have made a small batch of these using only 1 (5 oz) bag of caramel, 1 Tbsp cream and dipping 2 apples, just use a small bowl.
Can I Melt the Caramel over the Stove Instead?
If you don’t own a microwave or prefer not to use one yes you can definitely do this in a saucepan on the stovetop instead. Melt caramel with heavy cream over medium low-heat stirring constantly.
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