Thursday, October 25, 2012

Making Gourmet Caramel Apples using a Crock Pot

A few weeks ago, my sister and I helped throw a baby shower for our sister-in-law.  Since it was in October, we knew we wanted to include caramel apples.  We decided to make them as party favors.  Although I expected it to be a hard process, it was pretty easy and a lot of fun.  It might even turn into an annual tradition.

We decided to use granny smith apples because of the contrast between the tartness of the apple and the sweetness of the toppings.  Although you can use any apples, I read that Paula Deen always uses granny smith, which weighed my decision. 

First, we removed the wax coating from the apples-this helps the caramel stick better.  To do this, I heated water on the stove and added a teaspoon of vinegar.  It was NOT boiling, but very hot.  You are supposed to just "dip" the apple- however, you can sort of see when the shine comes off, so I turned them into the water until I saw the wax come off.  I THINK I made the water too hot though, because the next morning the apples were slightly brown and lost their bright green color.  This did NOT affect the taste or freshness of the apple though, but just a warning.

After removing the wax coating, put the apples in the fridge for at least an hour.  The caramel sticks better if the apples are cold.
Meanwhile, throw your caramels in your crock pot.  We followed the exact recipe from the Brach's bag, and it worked out great-
1 bag of caramels and 2 tbsp. water for every 7 apples
Stir the caramel every few minutes until it is smooth, being sure to scrap the sides.  It probably took about 20 minutes on high and then we kept it on warm throughout the dipping.

We used Wilton's lollipop sticks for the apple stems.  They worked great!  We pushed them as far as we could so that they wouldn't fall out while eating the apple. 


We used the following for our toppings:
crushed Oreos (FREEZE them, put them in a plastic bag, and smash with a hammer)
chopped unsalted peanuts
crushed Health Bars
autumn colored sprinkles
mini chocolate chips
melted chocolate and melted white chocolate

Dip the apple in caramel- this is slightly addicting. 
 I kind of wanted to swim in it like that candy bar commercial.

Use a spoon to scrape off all of the caramel at the bottom of the apple.  The caramel will settle and sink eventually, so this just saves caramel and makes it less messy.

Dip or ROLL the apples in the toppings.  I found it much easier to dip in the toppings than to try to pat them on the apple.
After dipping and topping, place the apples on parchment paper.  I tried wax paper, but it did not come off easily after the apples cooled.  The apples on the parchment paper came off much easier.

And now comes the even MORE fun part...
Melt chocolate or white chocolate bark in the microwave.  You can use a spoon and drizzle it on the apples, but I found a condiment squeeze tube MUCH easier and they have them at Walmart. 
Plus, it kind of makes you feel like a confectionery artist.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

After cooling in the fridge for an hour, we placed each apple on a cupcake liner, placed it in a plastic bag from Dollar Tree, and added a tag with a twist tie.  The cupcake liners stuck to the caramel and were hard to remove when eating, so you might want to skip that step, BUT they added some cute color!

The favors were a huge hit and tasted incredible!! 
They lasted a couple of weeks, although the caramel eventually slid off to the bottom- still tasted delicious though! 

Oh one more do NOT need to buy a 4 lbs. bag of chopped peanuts because you will only use about 1 cup. 

I have a lot of leftover toppings...

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I am making them for a relief society party! Thanks for your help!



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