Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cinnamon Caramel Apple “Pumpkins”

by Darla

September is in full swing…the train has carried the kiddies off to Hogwarts, the nights are getting crisp and cool, and the leaves are even starting to change colors. Somewhere. Not in the Virgin islands, where it is hotter than hot. Granted, there’s still those less hot days when it’s just a hurricane outside instead. That’s how it is, though. Every place has it’s signs of Autumn, and in the Islands, it just happens to be scorching heat and crazy wind and rain. :) But in some of my favorite places in the States, things are cooling down and working their way into the best time of year.

September is the gateway into Fall for me. It’s back to school, cool mornings with warm days, bright red leaves hiding out with the greens of summer, and apple orchard time. Last year, I was inspired to make candy apples in November, but this year, I really wanted a caramel apple. Like, now. I planned to go with some basic, but delicious and interesting, flavors, like…salted caramel and milk chocolate. Yumnumnumnum. But then you guys had to go and make my entire year when you loved my Star Trek cookies so much.

I can’t even express how fantastic my weekend was. It wasn’t just that you liked the cookies, though. It was also that you shared them with your friends, and you shared with me about your own Star Trek memories. I love it when you guys share your memories with me. :) I’m so honored to be entrusted with them! It was also that, when the cookies started getting featured in some pretty heavy places, you were all just as excited and happy for me as I was. Not that I ever get bored here (this is totally my Happy Place), but this weekend, your excitement and enthusiasm for a stranger you talk to on the interwebs sometimes really touched my heart, and it renewed my blogging excitement and inspired me to be more creative with my caramel apples.

I wanted to show my friends something that they haven’t seen before. Yeah, they’re still just caramel apples, and I couldn’t afford to dip them in gold, carve each and every one of your names into them, and ship them out around the world, but I still think they’re pretty cute.

Before I get into these apples too much, let me point out a few great things about them. First of all, I used to shy away from making caramel and candy apples, because they were too difficult. Wrong. They are SO easy. Whether you make them from scratch, like I have, or you save a bit of time using store bought caramels, they are E-A-S-Y, easy.

Second, they can also easily be vegan/dairy free, with only two minor substitutions. Yay! Plus, they’re naturally gluten free, so no one has to miss out. Double yay!! (I can’t guarantee vegan or gluten free licorice, though. Booo!)

Thirdly, and disappointingly, I can’t find more orange shoestring licorice anywhere, not even the interwebs. It only requires four pieces, about 10 to 12 inches each, per apple, but I can’t find any anywhere (mine came from a couple of licorice wheels in a grab bag of candy). Fortunately, black looks amazing also, and black shoestring licorice is everywhere!

Now we can get started on these, step-by-step.

First thing, wash your apples thoroughly with soap and warm water. The warm water will help melt the wax off of the apples, while the soap washes it away. It’s important to remove as much wax as possible, so that the caramel will stick to the apples better.

I chose to use green apples for these, because I love the tartness of the apple with the sweet caramel candy.

Next up, sand your apples gently with fine grit sandpaper (the apple on the left has been sanded). Again, this is a step that will help the melted caramel stick to the apples, rather than sliding right off. You can skip this step, but I find it very helpful.

Now the apples need their sticks. I found these fantastic, fat wooden skewers at Michaels. They’re made by Wilton, and the end that is in the apple is pointed. They worked beautifully and they were cheap (like, two bucks for two dozen).

Now that the apples are all ready to go, it’s time for the caramel. You only need brown sugar, unsalted butter (margarine for vegan), sweetened condensed milk (*vegan/dairy free readers, see note), corn or maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (optional). I also like to add anywhere from 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt. Because I love salted caramel. A lot.

To make these more pumpkin-y, I used plenty of orange food coloring.

*There are several homemade recipes for vegan sweetened condensed milk, like this one. Or you can buy products like this one at the store. I’ve never tried either, but it’s great to know there are options out there.

The caramel is a pretty simple mix-it-up-and-cook-it-down candy recipe, so all of the instructions are below. One tip, be sure to stir pretty much constantly, and don’t cook too long or you’ll end up with hard caramel instead of chewy. It’s important not to pass 240 degrees F. I’ve found the perfect temperature to be just after 235 degrees (236 to 238). I really recommend a candy thermometer. You can get one pretty much anywhere now, and they’re quite inexpensive, and extremely helpful.

When dipping the apples, go in at about a 45 degree angle. You’ll coat more surface area of the apple that way, and you’ll also prevent air bubbles from forming on the bottom.

Slowly turn the apple while it’s submerged in the caramel, covering as much or as little of the apple as you like. I like to get them as covered as possible. :)

Once it’s coated, let it drip over the pan for a minute or so, to get rid of excess caramel.

When it’s ready, place the dipped apple on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or…

…have a little more fun. While someone holds the dipped apple (over the pan of caramel), wrap a length of orange (or black) shoestring licorice across the bottom of the apple and up the sides.

Continue wrapping licorice on the apple until you have four pieces attached, dividing the apple into eight wedges.

The licorice immediately sticks and looks so fun. If your licorice pieces are too long, just snip the extra bits off once the caramel has hardened up a bit.

Once the caramel set, I added some pretty green satin ribbon to the sticks, with a bow just above the apple. I think it gives the cutest impression of a stem and little leaves. :) Like I said, I added the ribbon after dipping the apples, but I recommend adding it before hand. Insert the sticks into your prepared apples, then wrap them with ribbon or twine before dipping. Unless you plan to fully submerge your apples in caramel, then everything will stay pretty.

I think these are so cute, and pretty. The ribbon adds a little elegance too them, and they are so perfect for Fall…not just for Halloween, but for all of Autumn!

Of course, these are just as lovely left plain. I love, love, love plain caramel apples, so I always make a few.

I also love junked up candy covered caramel apples too, though…so. Yeah.

The center apple is a caramel base, drizzled with milk chocolate, then sprinkled with plain M&M’s. Yum&Yum.

The left apple is…… Well, let’s take a closer look…

Yep. You guessed it. It’s a s’more caramel apple. Cause I’m obsessed with all things s’more lately. These have caramel first, obviously, then they’re rolled in crunched up graham crackers, drizzled with chocolate, and sprinkled with tiny, mini, itty bitty marshmallows. Lots of them.

Last, but not least, I made this simpler, more rustic looking apple. That happens to be my very favorite. It’s the one that I mentioned at the beginning of the post. You know, the “yumnumnumnum” one. I couldn’t resist, I needed this apple to happen. It’s just simple caramel drizzled with milk chocolate, but the secret is the little white crystals. Yeah, that’s sea salt. Yummy, fresh, crushed sea salt. These are so fabulous!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have hated eating caramel apples. Seriously, they’re just a pain. They’re so hard to bite into, you can’t get a good grip on them, they’re sticky, and you almost always end up with caramel on and up your nose. Too hard!

Problem solved. I always eat them like this now, but you’re gonna laugh when I tell you that it never occurred to me to slice the apple off the stick until about 3 months ago. I was visiting my sis in Minnesota, and we hit up Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. If you’ve nevr been to a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory:

1. Go.

2. They have SO many different varieties of caramel apples.

Anyway, we ordered an apple to share and the girl asked if we wanted it cut up. Ding, ding, ding!! Lightbulb! It was genius, I tell you. Genius! And I felt like a moron for never having thought of it before. Oh well. Now I know. :)

When I first had this idea, I seriously didn’t think much of it. I figured it was worth a shot. If it worked, YAY! If not, I still get caramel apples, YAY! Fortunately, it did work, and they are so much cuter than I anticipated. Fer rillz, I love these little fakers. Not only are they totally adorable, but they’re seriously delicious! Like, Imma-drool-over-one-for-breakfast delicious. Yay for things going right and making us smile. :) And yay for having the most awesome, amazing readers in the entire blogiverse! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Caramel Apples [Printable Version]
Makes 10 to 12 apples, depending on size

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter (margarine for vegan/dairy free)
2 cups (510 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 cup (250 ml) light corn syrup or maple syrup
1 14-ounce can () sweetened condensed milk (vegan versions available)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Orange food coloring (optional)
Orange shoestring licorice (optional)

In a large saucepan set over medium high heat, melt the butter. Stir int he brown sugar and reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is incorporated. Add the corn syrup, mixing thoroughly, then stir int he cinnamon. Finally, add the sweetened condensed milk, and return to medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 235 degrees (113 C). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and food coloring (if using). Immediately dip apples.

Dip apples: Hold the skewered apple at a 45 degree angle as you dip it into the caramel. Rotate the apple until it is coated completely. Allow excess caramel to drip off then place the dipped apples on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Recipe, pumpkin design by Darla

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cookbook Queen September 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

LOVING these!!! Sooooo cute and they look so yummy too!! I love the candy ones, but the pumpkin ones are genius for sure.

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2 Wenderly September 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

Those have to be the MOST DARLING caramel apples ever!!!!! I am in love…

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3 Sherry Jones September 13, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thank you for the step by step instructions on how to make caramel Apples. This is something that I have always wanted to try! I a friend of mine by in Tx. made them and use to buy them all the time! I will give a try! wish me luck!

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4 Jenn September 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

Super cute, super easy and super delicious! can’t wait to try and make these myself!

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5 Maria September 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

Love these! Super cute and fun for fall!

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6 Francois September 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

Lovely pics for some gorgeous treats. !

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7 KariAnnM September 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

Love the pumpkins! Too cute! Love caramel apples! But I also hate eating them, for those very reasons. I never thought to cut them with my wedger either!! Thanks for the tip!

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8 sweetsugarbelle September 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

You blew my mind twice in one week…pinning sharing tweeting. love!!!

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9 shelly (cookies and cups) September 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

gorgeous!!

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10 Alba September 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

How lovely and sweet! Gotta try this! (:

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11 Chrystal September 13, 2011 at 10:46 am

your blogs always make my day and this is just the cutese idea my bf’s birthday is the day before halloween and one year i tried to get away from the halloween theme n he didnt like it. lol im sharing this page with all my friends you rock yay for making my day awsome!

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12 Kim @ The Celebration Shoppe September 13, 2011 at 10:52 am

These are just lovely and so very clever! Congrats!

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13 bttrflybabydoll September 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

I’ve already bought the stuff I need to do caramel apples with the kids this year. I plan on taking them to the orchard as soon as we can. You have such a great imagination! I just love to see the spin you put on things. I’ve seen candy before, but making it look like a pumpkin is unique. So cute!

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14 Nicole @ Tradewind Tiaras September 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

I saw all sorts of colors of licorice string just yesterday! It was my first visit to Sweeties, an incredible independent candy store here in the Phoenix area. They have everything. *Everything.* http://www.sweetiescandyaz.com/

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15 TANYA September 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

Have you ever had an apple pie caramel apple from Rocky Mountaing Chocolate Factory?? It’s A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. – but it’s also like $7 for one apple. It’s dipped first in caramel, then in white chocolate then rolled in a cinnamon sugar coating. Oh heavens it’s the best. I plan to make these this year and give them as gifts. I bet I can make at least half a dozen for $7.

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16 Caroline @ chocolate and carrots September 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

I’m pretty sure caramel apples are one of my favorite fall treats. These look amazing…I especially love the junked up candy apples. Mmm! :-)

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17 T September 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

This blog is a happy place for me too! I don’t often bake, but I still LOVE looking at the beautiful and delicious things you make, and reading your background stories. When I do get the time to make one of your recipes, it turns always out beautifully! The devil’s food cookies are one of the Best Recipes Ever. (Only problem with them: I’d love to bring them to parties and work, but they disappear in this puzzling way! I have no idea what happens to them!)

Thank you so much for doing this blog.

T

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18 Blog is the New Black September 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Such talent!

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19 Kathia September 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

OMG, the most beautiful, darling and amazing caramel apples I have ever seem. I want to eat them now. I love the green ribbon around the stick.

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20 Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm

These are too cute for word (as is everything else you make!)! What a great idea for a fall treat and I am SO with you on the cutting the apple up. I haven’t always loved caramel apples for the same exact reason!

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21 Dori September 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm

My goodness, woman! I’ve never found the need for one of those apple slicer corer things before…and now I find that I. Must. Have. One. Genius is right!

Apples are about to hit our farmer’s market…I have so many recipes piling up but this one just went to the top of the pile! :)

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22 Baltic Maid September 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm

These are amazing!!! And the pictures are beautiful!!! I will have to make these soon. Thanks for sharing!

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23 mis-cakes September 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

these are so incredibly cute. i have just discovered that making caramel is not rocket science like i first thought. these are on my list!

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24 Nikki @Pennies on a Platter September 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Beautiful!! Bookmarked to make this weekend!

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25 Erin September 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm

OMG I can’t wait to make these with my daughter when she’s older! So much fun!

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26 Linde September 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I’m definitely going to have to make these for my Halloween party next month! They’re so cute ^_^

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27 Robin September 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Genius! And I have a caramel apple lover who will be thrilled with variations. S’more…..ahhhh.

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28 Carlie Crause September 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

These look Fantastic! I cannot wait to try it out!

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29 pam ramirez September 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I don’t know if you know this but your cookies were on the OFFICIAL Star Trek website!!! its such a small geeky world.
Pam Ramirez

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30 Carly September 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Cut. Up. The. Caramel. Apple. GENIUS! I have the same problem with candy apples…I’m not sure if this would work the same way, but I am so freakin excited to make some caramel apples and cut them up! I am going to do it this weekend! Thanks! (BTW, cinnamon, salted, caramel apples? You’re a double/triple genius.)

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31 Bonnie September 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

These are seriously adorable! Each year for my birthday, because it lands so close to Halloween, we have always done some sort of pumpkin craft. I am absolutely going to do this is year! I can’t wait!

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32 Diane {Created by Diane} September 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm

These look so wonderful! All pretty wrapped up sweets :)

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33 jennifer @poirier September 14, 2011 at 12:02 am

i really enjoyed your step-to-step pictures! and the different versions you show! beautiful!
greetings from germany!

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34 Denise D September 14, 2011 at 1:15 am

AWESOME!!! I look forwar dto making these with my daughter! :)

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35 Beth Michelle September 14, 2011 at 2:32 am

Your caramel apples are beautiful. I never thought to sand mine, what a fantastic idea!

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36 Lora September 14, 2011 at 5:49 am

Genius. Love the other flavors you did as well.

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37 Mommyof2Girlz/StephD September 14, 2011 at 7:40 am

Fabulous blog and recipe! Found you through Created By Diane, so glad she FB this link! Lovely to meet you!

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38 Analosa September 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

These caramel apple’s look so good!

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39 MySweetCreations September 14, 2011 at 10:05 am

Wow, that is awesome! They all look amazing!

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40 Susan September 14, 2011 at 10:27 am

Your photos are so beautiful! I wasn’t thinking about making caramel apples until I saw these.
Thanks!

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41 Stephanie September 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

I’m dying, these are so freaking cute!!! Congrats on the fame from the Star Trek post, that is super exciting! I hope you get some new readers from it :)

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42 Carol Cross September 14, 2011 at 10:48 am

Oh, these are so cute, too. I love the S’mores one!

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43 Hilary @ Cupcake Avenger September 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

These look AMAZING! Thank you for sharing such a cute idea!

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44 Muni Pop September 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Thanks for the step by step tutorial, you are great!!
They all look delicious -^.^-

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45 Angela E September 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Those are so cute. And now I know how to make vegan caramel! Yay! I really miss that stuff. Also, I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this to you before but not all margarine is actually vegan. You might want to clarify that in your recipes (just saying vegan margarine is fine) so that someone trying out vegan cooking for the first time knows. It’s something I run in to a lot. It wouldn’t necessarily bother me if I wasn’t lactose intolerant. But whey (which is usually the culprit in margarine) is rather bad for me. People tell me all the time that something is safe for me to eat when they just used margarine instead of butter. And there’s actually only a few brands of vegan margarine since SMART Balance started putting fish oil in their margarine. Anyway, sorry for the huge comment. I really do love your blog and your creativity and I hope I haven’t come across all angsty and snarky. Just thought you might want to know :)

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46 Andrea September 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Supercute! I’ll be making the pumpkins ones for sure! Thanks!

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47 Natalie September 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Great job on these. They look super yummy and would be a great hit at a Halloween Party!

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48 Mónica September 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I never eat a caramel apple! Maybe I would make something about it… :D

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49 vincent September 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

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50 Britney September 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm

your creativity outstands me! Its so inspiring.

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51 Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats September 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

These are so stinkin’ cute! You’re so talented!

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52 Lynn Dorney September 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

*Hand hits forehead!* DuH! What a simple, great (and perhaps obvious (hanging head in shame)) idea for cutting up caramel apples. Thank you for sharing. I love caramel apples (there was a mom in my son’s preschool who made fabulous ones, but would never share the recipe), but I’m not sure about the cinnamon. Is the flavor very strong? Could I leave it out without destroying the taste of the caramel?
Thanks, Lynn

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53 Darla September 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm

HI Lynn, In all honesty, I wasn’t 100% sure about the cinnamon either, but I ended up loving it. So much. :) It’s not terribly strong, and doesn’t overpower anything else. It’s just a nice, subtle compliment. But you can totally leave it out, too. I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt in place of it, just to punch up the caramel flavor a bit.

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54 Lynn Dorney September 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Thanks! I’ll try it with the cinnamon first and see how it goes. ;)

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55 chinkygirlmel September 15, 2011 at 9:40 am

Awww these are too cute. I don’t think I’d ever eat these they are just too cute to be eaten. I would love to try making these soon. =)

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56 marla September 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Your caramel apples are stunning!
I would love if you linked this and any of your favorite Pumpkin themed blog posts to my “Happy Post” Help spread the cheer :) http://su.pr/1rMDg2

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57 Lorie September 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

These are GORGEOUS! So fun for Fall. And I am ashamed to admit that I have never tried to cute a caramel apple with my apple cutter. You may have just changed my life a little bit.

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58 Mona September 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Mm Mm Mm!! They all look soooo good! I especially love the S’more apple : ) Where did you get the itty bitty *giggle* marshmallows Darla?

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59 Darla September 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Hahahaha! They’re from Bake It Pretty (www.bakeitpretty.com). You get A LOT in one little bag, and they’re wonderful. :)

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60 paige September 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Just wanted to let you know that I featured you on my Friday Favorites!

http://thecreativepaige.com/2011/09/friday-favorites-all-things-pumpkin.html

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61 Charlotte September 19, 2011 at 5:29 am

… I never thought about cutting it off the stick either up until this post…

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62 danielle September 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

So awesome. I am totally making these. I’m interested to know how using maple syrup in place of corn syrup tastes though…

My orthodontist told me to cut up the caramel apples into small bites when I had braces as a kid so I didn’t miss out. ;)

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63 Sam September 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Can you tell me where you got the orange shoestring licorice? I live in NYc and can’t find it anywhere!

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64 Darla September 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi Sam, I actually got my licorice in a random grab bag of a lot of different candy at a local candy store where I live. There was 2 “wagon wheels” of orange licorice in it and they inspired me to make these. If you can’t find orange, both black and green also look fantastic. Or you could even buy regular orange licorice and cut it into narrow strips. It’s a little more work, but I’ve done it, and it looks good, too. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help. :(

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65 Megan September 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I love these and tried them tonight….I am having such a hard time keeping the caramel from getting super thick….and even. ANy thoughts?

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66 Darla September 28, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Hi Megan, It sounds like one of two things happened:

Either you cooked the caramel slightly too long (easy to do), and as it cools, it’s thickening too much.

Or it just got too cool before you used it.

Fortunately, there is a fix. Just add hot water to the caramel, starting with just a half teaspoon at a time until it is a good consistency. Be patient, and don’t add too much water, too fast, or you’ll end up with runny caramel. I wouldn’t add more than 2 teaspoons to start with. Starting really small and adding it in half teaspoon increments will keep the caramel from becoming syrup. :) I hope this is helpful!

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67 Alissa October 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Hey I was wanting to make these as favors for a baby shower, I was wondering if I wrapped them in clear plastic after, would it stick to the caramel? And if so how long would they be able to stay without wrapping?
Thanks so much!
alissa

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68 Darla October 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

Hi Alissa, If you’ve cooked the caramel properly,t hen the plastic shouldn’t stick to the apples in an unattractive way. It will stick a little, of course, but it shouldn’t pull the caramel off the apple or anything. I kept my apples uncovered for about 3 days before I decided that it was time for them to be eaten of tossed, but they don’t usually stick around that long. :)

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69 Jen October 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Thanks so much for sharing…these look amazing! Had to share with my readers :) http://bullfrogsandbutterfliesbaby.blogspot.com/2011/10/oh-my-pumpkin-sweetness.html

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70 Abby October 16, 2011 at 12:09 am

I made these tonight. My first time making Carmel and the recipe is great, very chewy, melt in your mouth stuff. Love the cinnamon! I will make these again before fall is over. The apples were a big hit with the fam.

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71 Nikki October 18, 2011 at 7:39 pm

These look great! I can’t find the shoelace licorice candy though, I found the ones that are twisted in red and black but even then ,it’s impossible to unwrap them from each other. Any suggestions?

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72 Darla October 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

Hi Nikki, I’ve made these a couple more times since I posted them, and I had to use regular licorice that I cut into strips. I haven’t been able to find orange shoestring licorice again either. I bought fruit flavored licorice (Starburst, among others, sell orange, yellow, red, green, and more) and just sliced each licorice piece into strips. They aren’t as smooth as the shoestring, but they still work beautifully. If you can’t find orange, both green and black look great.

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73 Heather S. October 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I have never had a candy or caramel apple… But this year I’m obsessed with all things caramel-y and apple-y! We are having company come over in a few days… Perfect dessert for them! I am looking forward to making these!

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74 Jenny October 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

Thanks for this recipe! I made them tonight, and the caramel is a-mazing. Love the cinnamon! The only problem I had was that I guess I didn’t remove enough of the wax off the apples, so by the last few, the caramel wouldn’t stick. At all. Total bummer! I think next time, I’ll dip the apples in boiling water to help loosen the wax before I scrub and sand them. I just poured all of the extra caramel in a pan, so we’ll see tomorrow what I can do with that. Thanks again!

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75 Lior October 31, 2011 at 10:44 am

OMG!!
I will try to make this!!!!!!

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76 Marianne November 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

Darla, I skipped by from Tea Diary…Hello.
First, I must say that I loved your description of September because after growing up in the northeast I absolutely, without hesitation, believe that “September is the gateway to Autumn”. So you can imagine my chagrin when down here in the ‘not-so-virgin’ SE Texas I am totally and always thinking the 85-90 degrees should be much cooler – and where are the colored leaves for heaven’s sake?! Of course you would think that after 30 some years of living here I’d be used to it. But I will never give up the idea of a colorful, brisk, cool autumn. And when we do have those days I am most appreciative.

Your caramel apples are wonderful! They look delightful, and I can imagine how good they must taste.
My mother made them once a year for us, and they’d be ready and waiting for us after our return from school. I love that memory. I’ve never made them before, but you’ve inspired me. Thank you for this perfectly charming post, and have a glorious Autumn!

Marianne

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77 Harmony November 2, 2011 at 11:21 am

I made caramel apples from your recipe on Monday to hand out to trick-or-treaters. I must not have heated the caramel enough, because it went on thinly an made a lot of apples. But it was perfect! we had just the right amount, and the caramel is delicious! (We even have some left over that surely will be eaten.) Even my picky brother said he liked it! Thank you!

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78 Tasha November 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I have always hated eating caramel apples for the exact reasons you mentioned. I mean, they taste divine but they are too much work to eat. Slicing caramel apples before eating them? GENIUS!

I am excited again and can now get amped up when I see recipes for caramel apples! (Ok, I never really *stopped* getting amped up…and drool-y….for the recipes, but I was never inspired to make them because the end result would be challenging to eat. No more!!!)

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79 Margarette January 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I made the caramel apples today and had a mess all over the kitchen. My problem was that I should have cooked the caramel mixture a little longer. I heated the caramel to 235 but should have gone on a degree or two as the caramel really didn’t want to stay on the apple as it was just a little too thin. So I rolled them several times in the caramel and stuck them in the refrigerator but they still puddled a lot. So after I finished with the apples I scrapped all the caramel that had puddled on the cookie sheet back into the sauce pan that I had cooked it in. Then I threw in a couple hand-fulls of pecan halves. After stirring them until they became more solid I dropped them on a Pam sprayed cookie sheet and stuck them into the freezer. After they were frozen I rolled them in melted milk chocolate chips and had turtles!

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80 Nikki July 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm

GREAT ideas!! I love the pumpkin’ shaped apple!! However, I have had an EXTREMELY hard time finding orange licorice candy! =’(

Any suggestions of where I can find these?? I’ve read that twizzlers can be “unwrapped” and strings can be pulled out individually, however Twizzlers now come “sealed” (if you will) from the ends, which makes this impossible =/ .

I would appreciate any advice :)

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81 marla August 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

Gorgeous! These make me so excited for fall :)

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82 Susan Barbieri September 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Anyone know where I can buy the orange licorice strings online? Great recipe thanks for posting!

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83 Grace October 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi there! I know this post is a year old, but hopefully you can answer my question! Have you (or has anyone you know) made these using maple syrup instead of corn syrup? I wonder which has better result and a better flavor! Thanks!

Grace

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84 Darla October 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I haven’t tried these with maple syrup, but I’m sure they would still be wonderful!

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85 Grace October 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Perfect, thanks! When I try it I’ll be sure to let you know how they taste!

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86 Grace November 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Just an update: I made these this weekend using maple syrup and it was delicious! The caramel stuck to the apples perfectly! I only made a half batch and coated 9 fairly small apples with almost a cup of caramel left over! Thanks for the recipe!

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87 Evelyn October 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

These are great and look so easy to make. I’ve been wanting to make caramel apples for both my boys, and have a small taste of Fall, even though it’s almost 100 degrees here ALWAYS! :D I can’t wait to try this out with my lil’ guys, and have them decorate the candy apples to their liking. These will be so great to make for their birthday parties too (and my soon-to-be babyshower as well!) The ideas to use this is endless!!! Thank you!

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