Believe it or not, I have never made candy apples before! They are such a staple for the fall and since it’s my favorite season you would think I have been I think because I love caramel apples so much I never got around to trying them! We still had lots of apples from our trip to Becker Farms so we decided to give them a go this past weekend. I thought it would be fun to do a little twist on the usual, so we used branches instead of popsicle sticks and only did one red one, the rest in black which looked slick and cool and would be PERFECT for Halloween! This was surprisingly easy… it does require a candy thermometer (we got one at WalMart years ago for a few bucks that works great!) but you literally don’t have to do anything but add the ingredients and let it boil to the right temp! These harden in seconds and while these colors are great for Halloween, the sugar can be dyed any color making these perfect for any party all-year-round! You could wrap these in cellophane and tie with bows or put them on a tray with some plastic spiders!
1. If you’re using branches like I did here, cut away the bark about 3″ from the end using a box cutter and then wash and dry the ends. I know you don’t eat the middle of the apple but it made me feel better knowing the part that stuck in the apples was totally clean. You can whittle the ends into a slight point to so there are no splinters when you push them into the apples.
2. Line a baking sheet with either a Silpat or a piece of parchment… if using parchment, brush a little butter onto the sheet too so they don’t stick. Put sticks in six to twelve apples (depending on their size!). We used small jonamac apples and we could have probably dipped 12 apples but since we knew we wouldn’t eat that many, we used the leftover sugar to make a sheet of rock candy. You can wash the apples before hand, but make sure they are completely dry before dipping!
3. In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup water and 1/2 cup light corn syrup. Stir and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Without stirring, cook on medium high heat until candy thermometer reaches 300-310 degrees.
4. Once it’s the right temperature, remove from heat and carefully stir in 1 tsp red gel food coloring. (** if you want to add some extra flavor to the candy, add in a tsp of any extract at this step, cinnamon is my favorite!)
5. Carefully dip your apple in, rolling to coat and then let the excess drip off before putting on your baking sheet.
6. If you want to do some black apples now, stir in 1 tsp black gel food coloring and continue dipping your apples! Let cool for a few minutes to harden then store in the refrigerator.