Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mini Caramel Apples

Everybody loves a caramel apple but nobody actually likes to eat them. They're a pain and you end up with caramel on your nose, plus the apple to caramel ratio is not good, far too much apple.

I've seen these floating around lately and I thought they were such a fun idea.

Mini Caramel Apples

I didn't take a picture tutorial because I only had one nap to complete them in, there wasn't time, also I didn' t know they'd be so cute. I will tell you what I did though.

I started with 3 apples, I meant to get more than that but I forgot to write it on my grocery list. Two were granny smith and one was a braeburn (can't wait until the Ambrosia's come back). I washed them well and then dried them. I then took a melon baller and made as many little scoops as I could. I think I got just under 30 so in the end 3 apples was plenty. I dropped those scoops in lemon water to keep them from going brown and then I dried them as well as I could.

Once they were dry I laid them out on a sheet of parchment paper (put a cookie sheet underneath, it was later that I realized how silly it was not to have). I didn't have any sucker sticks and I didn't want to buy any but I did have a small handful of bamboo skewers so I cut each one into 4 pieces and pressed those down into my apples (next time I'll probably use toothpicks).

It was here that I was grateful I'd read a few other people's experience with these apples and had formulated a good plan. I noticed as I pushed my sticks down that some apple juice would raise up and even trickle down the side sometimes. I had read that people have a hard time getting the caramel to stick to the apple since there's no skin, it just peels right off because there's no way to dry the apple well enough. I had decided to first dip in chocolate.

I melted a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave and once it was melted I decided it was much too thick. I thinned it with a little olive oil though I'm not sure why I didn't use milk, it was just the first thing that came to mind and it worked just fine.

Once my chocolate was a consistency I was happy with I dipped my apples in, one at a time. I used an extra skewer to help get the chocolate right up to the stick so there wasn't any apple showing. I did run out of chocolate halfway though and had to melt a little more. I replaced the dipped apples to my parchment and once they were done I slipped them into the fridge. Here's where I was wishing for a cookie sheet. I used some creative sliding with cutting boards and left them on that until the chocolate was set and I could replace the cutting boards with a cookie sheet.

While the chocolate set I got out my toppings (I should have done this while my caramel cooled). I used peanuts, teddy grahams and skor bits. The peanuts and teddy graham I crushed with a hammer. I put the three in small bowls and then I worked on the caramels.

I used a bag of Kraft caramels, unwrapped and microwaved with 2 tbsp of cream. Again I thought this was way too thick so I added probably another 4 tbsp, maybe even a little more than that.

It seemed like it was so thick it would just push off my chocolate.

At some point I realized my apples weren't setting fast enough so I transferred them to the freezer. I wanted them to be good and cold so my caramel wouldn't melt the chocolate so I only pulled out a couple at a time. The first two were casualties as the caramel was too hot and my chocolate melted. I gave it some time and then I resumed, I got better as I went on and here's what worked best.

I dipped one apple with my right hand and then tipped it upside down and transferred it to my left hand turning occasionally to give the caramel a little time to cool so it wouldn't all slide off. As I did that I dipped a second and transferred it to my left hand as well so I'm now holding and turning two apples. Then I dipped a third. While my third was being turned and cooled by my right hand I used my left to dunk the two in topping and then place on the parchment. By the time those two were done I could dunk the remaining one. I repeated that until I was finished (sounds tricky but it was really no big deal).

Start to finish they took about an hour and a half which I thought was not bad for such a delicious result.

I do think they were a little fragile, It seemed like if I left them out of the fridge the caramel would start to slide off the chocolate and it got really sticky. This could have been for a couple reasons. Maybe the oil in the chocolate was a bad idea, or maybe I used too much milk in my caramel. I think I'll give them one more try to see if I can improve them but even as is they were a big hit and just so cute.


K said...

I saw someone who used mini pretzels sticks on theirs so the entire thing was edible! Going to make some of these for a's Harvest Party at school too!

And try Honeycrisp Apples. Expensive but OHHHHHH so good. I have to hide them from a!

Laura said...

Honeycrisp are delicious but I prefer Ambrosia.

Entertaining Women said...

Thank you for doing such a thorough job of explaining the process for the caramel apples. You've helped make it not such a scary idea. Cherry Kay

Ash said...

This made me laugh soo hard, "I only had one nap to complete them in, there wasn't time". I know how that goes! And the apples look de-lish.

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

What a great idea! Those big apples are a pain, unless cut!

Lisa said...

Saw your link on my BACKYARD eden! Great idea. In fact we just had caramel apples and I had to cut them to even eat them.....splendid!

AUDRA said...


JaCobi said...

These were yummy!! I'm so glad that I was lucky enough to partake in such goodness with you!