Sunday, January 29, 2012

Caramel Apples



Making caramel has always been super scary to me. It just seems so intimidating! Well, today I decided to suck it up and tackle Caramel Apples with homemade caramel sauce. I have seen the same recipe floating around blogs for the past year or two and decided to try my hand at it. I used the recipe from Annie's Eats and Brown Paper Packages. I also watched this video that featured helpful tips with storage.

Now, these apples did not turn out perfectly... but that's life! I will share the recipe I used, what I did, what happened and what I will do next time to improve! Hope this is helpful to everyone!

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 small Granny Smith apples, stems removed, washed and dried
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 c packed brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 c light corn syrup
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Candy thermometer 
Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.


2. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir and bring to a boil.


3. Add the sweetened condensed milk and incorporate.


4. Heat until it reaches 258* F which is the "firm ball" stage. 


5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

6. Stick the popsicle sticks in the tops of the apples.


7. Slowly dip the apples in the caramel. You can use a spoon to carefully scoop the caramel up over the sides.

8. Let it set on wax paper. (See below for other options.)


9. You can coat with other fun toppings such as candies, sprinkles, nuts or melted, drizzled chocolates.

Troubleshooting:
  • My caramel ended up with tons of bubbles in the surface. I believe that this came from my constant stirring! I was so afraid I was going to burn the caramel that I stirred in so many air bubbles! Next time I will take deep breaths and not stir nearly as much.
  • My caramel set really fast. I wanted to roll my apples in topping such as cute Valentine's sprinkles and crushed Valentine's peanut M&Ms but I couldn't seem to work fast enough. By the time my apples were coated, they were practically already set. Even when I tried pressing the toppings in with my fingers, it was too late. Drizzling liquid toppings (such as melted chocolate) seems to be the easiest way to go. By the time I was at the bottom of the pot with a few apples still left to go, it was getting pretty stiff. Maybe if I put it in a double broiler to keep it melted and slightly warm, I will have a few more seconds.
  • I ran out of caramel.  This could have been because my apples were slightly larger than recommended. Or it could also have been how thick I was laying it on. 
  • The bottoms of the caramel apples stuck to the wax paper. This seemed to be a common problem for other people too. (I should have been more prepared and looked this up before I started!) Brown Paper Packages suggests greasing a baking sheet with butter and nixing the wax paper altogether. I think I will do this next time. But since mine stuck and there was nothing else to do about it at the time, I simply pulled and cut the caramel off the wax paper. 
  • The caramel slid off the apple when I went to eat one. I saw online that this typically happens because the wax isn't completely removed from the apple. I made sure that I thoroughly washed my apples and dried them ahead of time. I also have seen that cold, refrigerated apples work best. Then again, I have also seen that room temperature apples work best. Who knows? Brown Paper Packages suggests lightly sanding them with sandpaper. That seems like an interesting idea that may actually work! I think I will try that next time. Although I was disappointed that the caramel kinda slid off, it still tasted pretty good! 

Have you ever made homemade Caramel Apples? Were you successful or not? I would love to hear about it! Please feel free to share your suggestions as well. :)


{ linking up with }

Making the World Cuter Monday @ Making the World Cuter
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
I'm Marvelously Messy @ Marvelously Messy
Making Monday Marvelous @ C.R.A.F.T. Creating Really Awesome Free Things
Creative Me @ The Southern Institute
Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Make it Monday @ Brassy Apple
Manic Monday @ Serendipity & Spice
Destination: Cutesy Monday @ Destination Craft
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Take-a-Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts 
Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Tuesday To Do Party @ The Blackberry Vine
Show Me What Ya Got @ Not JUST a Housewife
Made by ME @ JAQS Studio
The Inspiration Board @ Homework Today's Assignment: Be Inspired 
Valentine's Categorically Crafting Show @ Someday Crafts
We Did It! Wednesday @ Sew Much Ado
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara
What's Up Wednesday @ Sew Woodsy
Show & Share @ Southern Lovely
Wicked Awesome Wednesday @ Handy Man, Crafty Woman

18 comments:

  1. Oh yum! I love caramel apples and they look so cute for Valentine's Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love them too. :) Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      Delete
  2. My mouth is watering for a taste! I want one NOW!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I could give you one, I would! :) Have a great week!

      Delete
  3. I'm terrified of making caramel too! It seems too easy to burn. Although, I would suggest that instead of using sand paper maybe use a wire brush to scruff up the skin of the apple before applying the caramel...that way you don't risk getting some sand stuck on the apple. :) I'd love it if you stopped by my linky party and link up one of your favorite posts! www.serendipityandspice.blogspot.com
    -Melissa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using a wire brush is such a great idea! Thanks! :)

      Linked up to your linky party; thanks for the invite! Also became a follower of your blog. :) Have a great week!

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  4. These look great! I definitely want to try them! Stopping by from makin it monday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hope you have a fantastic week! :)

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  5. These look so tasty! I would LOVE for you to link this up to my link party!
    Thanks!

    - Kathryn
    http://www.destinationcraft.blogspot.com/2012/01/destination-cutesy-monday_30.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Kathryn! I have linked up to your party & have become your newest follower! :)

      Delete
  6. caramel apples are my favorite!!! thanks for sharing on Make it MOnday! I'll be sharing your link on the Brassy Apple FB page :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing it on your FB page! I have just "liked" your page. :)

      Delete
  7. Thanks for all the tips - I've never made them! I always end up just dipping the apple slices in the caramel. Yours look yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Dipping the apples slices in caramel is so much easier and just as delicious! :)

      Delete
  8. Looks delicious :)


    Love for you to share this at JAQS Studio Linky Party:
    http://www.jaqsstudio.com/2012/01/made-by-me-16-linky-party-and-features.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your sweet caramel apples at the Tuesday To Do Party! It is one of this week's List Makers!! Feel free to stop by and grab a feature button! Looking forward to seeing what you link up this week!
    Smiles!
    Jami
    www.blackberryvine.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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