This easy gourmet caramel apple recipe is the perfect way to enjoy apples when they’re in season. Serve these candy apples as a tasty snack or party treat when entertaining this fall.
Gourmet Caramel Apples
The saying goes, as we know, that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. These days I’m more concerned about getting the right herbal supplements than eating apples. That said, however, I can’t resist a delicious, homemade caramel apple. Usually I’ll catch them on sale at Kroger and score a four pack. They’re the perfect mid-day snack when I’m craving something sweet. And, hey. There’s an apple hiding in there. So it’s still sort of healthy, right?
Making your own caramel apples, however, is relatively inexpensive. And that you can add your own favorite toppings is a huge plus. This caramel apple recipe is perfect for a weekday treat, an after school snack for the kids or a cake alternative at parties. They also make a fabulous Halloween treat.
This gourmet caramel apple recipe is made using packaged candy caramels. So they’re really quick and easy to make. I also included white chocolate then dipped it all into crushed Oreo cookies for the topping. If you really want to get creative with caramel apple toppings then go for it! You can literally use cookie sprinkles, candies, nuts or anything else edible that brings a smile to your face.
While you can buy apples from the grocery store or farmers market, I highly recommend a drive to a local orchard. Not only are freshly picked apples more delicious than those that have been kept in cold storage, you also don’t have to worry about the wax they use on apples so they look shiny at the supermarket.
Do you need party ideas? Try setting up a caramel apple bar! Or make these caramel apple pops with your favorite toppings as a fun family project with the kids. Keep reading to learn how to make a delicious, gourmet caramel apple recipe with toppings as a tasty everyday treat or party food.
What is the Origin of Caramel Apples?
Candied apples were made well before caramel apples. A Kraft Foods employee noticed that they had a lot of caramel candies leftover after Halloween. He decided to melt them and make caramel dipped apples as an alternative to candied apples. Soon, a gourmet caramel apple recipe was born involving dipping caramel apples in toppings like nuts and candy.
What is the Difference Between a Candied Apple and a Caramel Apple?
Candied apples and caramel apples are similar in that both are an apple dipped in something. Candied apples are dipped in a candy coating made of sugar, corn syrup, water, cinnamon and red food coloring. Caramel apples are dipped in melted caramel.
Candied apples usually do not have any additional toppings like nuts or candy. However, caramel dipped apples usually have nuts or candy on top of the caramel.
What is the Most Common Type of Apple for Making Caramel Apples?
You can use any apple when you learn how to make caramel apples. However, Granny Smith apples and Fuji apples are commonly used because they are crisp and tart.
How Do You Keep Caramel From Falling Off Apples?
There are three things that you can do to prevent the carmel from falling off your homemade caramel apples. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect gourmet caramel apples:
- You can cool the apples by placing them in the fridge before making this gourmet caramel apple recipe.
- I also recommend letting the caramel cool to 190 degrees before dipping your caramel apples.
- After you’ve made your easy caramel apples, place them in the fridge to cool.
Do You Refrigerate Apples Before Dipping in Caramel?
I recommend placing your apples in the fridge when you make homemade caramel apples. This makes the apple cool and helps the caramel harden quicker.
How Long Will Caramel Apples Keep?
Your easy caramel apples will last about a week at room temperature. Store them in an airtight container on the counter.
How Do You Get the Wax Off Apples for Caramel Apples?
Before you learn how to make caramel apples with caramel dip, you’ll need to remove the wax from the apples. To do this, bring a pot of water almost to a boil. Then dip the apples one at a time for two to three seconds. While the apple is warm, use a paper towel or a clean towel to rub off the wax.
How Do You Make Caramel Sauce From Scratch?
This gourmet caramel apple recipe uses caramel candies. If you’d rather make your caramel from scratch, you can make your own.
To make homemade caramel sauce, you will need these ingredients:
- 1 ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
To make caramel from scratch, combine the heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a medium sized heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat while it cooks. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted. Then brush down the sides of the pan.
Then stop stirring and let the caramel cook until it reaches 235 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before making your easy caramel apples.
How to Set Up a Caramel Apple Bar
If you are having a party or want to let kids help you learn how to make caramel apples, then you can set up a caramel apple bar. To do this, I recommend keeping the caramel warm in a slow cooker. Use a liner to make cleaning up easier.
Then remove the wax from your apples as directed above. Remove the stems from the apples and insert sticks into each apple. Then have bowls of toppings ready so guests can dip and apple and add their favorite toppings.
Make sure you line cookie sheets with parchment paper to set the caramel dipped apples on to cool and set up. When the sheet is full, place it in the fridge to finish setting up. A caramel apple bar is a fun activity, and each guest can make their own gourmet caramel apple recipe.
Gourmet Caramel Apple Toppings and Variations
You can get creative with toppings for your gourmet caramel apple recipe. I used crushed Oreo cookies and caramel, but you can also use any of the following:
- Chopped peanuts or pecans
- Crushed Oreo cookies
- Chopped candy
- M&M candy
- Crushed graham crackers
- Shredded coconut
- Candy sprinkles
- Crushed pretzels
- Sea salt
- Mini Marshmallows
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chopped chocolate
- Cereal bits
Gourmet Caramel Apple Ingredients
You will need the following ingredients to learn how to make caramel apples with caramel dip:
- Candy caramels
- White chocolate chips
- Oreo cookies
- Spray cooking oil
Tools Used to Make Caramel Apples
You will need the following tools to make caramel dipped apples:
- Sticks: You can use regular candy apple sticks for this recipe. However, I love this kit that comes with decorative wooden skewers, bags and ribbons for holidays and parties.
- Paper straws
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
How to Make Caramel Apples
Follow these steps to make easy caramel apples:
1. Begin by placing the unwrapped caramel candies and water in a saucepan. Heat the ingredients over low to medium low heat until the caramel is completely melted. Stir often to keep the caramels from burning. Once melted, turn off heat and remove from the hot stove eye.
2. While the caramel is melting, place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Then spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray or oil.
3. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. (Discover alternate ways to melt chocolate here.)
4. Use a rolling pin to crush the Oreo cookies by placing them in a ziploc bag, then rolling the rolling pin over the bag of cookies. You can also use a food processor to crumble the Oreos. Once crush, set aside a small bowl.
5. Now remove the wax from your apples as indicated previously. Bring a pot of water almost to a boil. Then dip the apples one at a time for two to three seconds. While the apple is warm, use a paper towel or a clean towel to rub off the wax. If you are already working with wax-free apples, you can skip this step.
6. Insert a candy apple stick into each of the apples, once the wax has been removed.
7. Now dip the apples into the melted caramel to make the caramel apple pops. Then, dip the apples into the white chocolate, and finally into the crushed Oreo cookies.
8. Place the caramel dipped apples on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If desired, you can place any remaining melted white chocolate into a pastry bag or ziploc bag and cut off a corner. Then decorate the tops of the apple pops with the chocolate.
9. Now set the apples in the refrigerator to set up.
9. Once the caramel and chocolate on these apple pops has set, cut the paper straws to the size of the sticks you used for your homemade caramel apples. Place the straw over the stick to hide it. Alternately, you can also cut the straw and wrap it around the stick. This is especially helpful if the stick is too big for the straw.
Storage and Shelf Life
If you aren’t serving your caramel apples right away, then it’s important to store them properly.
This snack can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. Storing at room temperature for longer periods of time not only encourages bacterial growth, it also can result in the loss of flavor and crispness of the apples. Room temperature storage is not recommended for those with weakened immune systems or the elderly due to the risk of contamination from the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
For best results, I recommend storing these candy apples in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. This extends the shelf life of the apples and maintains and preserves freshness and flavor. It also slows or prevents the growth of bacteria.
Freezing your candied apples is not recommended.
- 6 red or green apples
- 11 oz. package candy caramels
- 1 Cup white chocolate chips
- 10 Oreo cookies
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Combine the unwrapped caramel candies and water in a saucepan. Heat over low to medium low heat until the caramel is completely melted, stirring often. Once melted, turn off heat.
- Prepare a cookie sheet for your caramel apples while the caramels melt. Place parchment paper onto a baking tray, then spray with a nonstick cooking spray.
- Gently melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler.
- Crush the Oreo cookies with a food processor or place them in a bag and roll with a rolling pin to crush.
- Remove the wax from your apples and insert a stick into each one.
- Dip the apples into the melted caramel. Then dip into the white chocolate and finally into the crushed Oreo cookies.
- Place the caramel dipped apples on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Set the apple pops in the fridge until they set up.
- Finally, cut the paper straws to the size of the sticks you used for your homemade caramel apples. Place the straw over the stick to hide it.
If the candy apple sticks are too big for the straws you've chosen, you can cut the straws and wrap them around the sticks.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 5gSugar: 77gProtein: 3g
This recipe for caramel apple pops with toppings originally appeared on Soap Deli News.