Yeah, yeah, I get it. Caramel apples aren’t exactly earth-shattering or anything. But there are caramel apples and then there are caramel apples. Have you seen those amazingly gorgeous caramel apples at places like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory but you haven’t felt like shelling out $8 for some tastier-than-average produce? Well, today’s your day. These are easy, easy, easy, will wow everyone who sees them, and are easily cut up for a gorgeously impressive Halloween party finger food!

Caramel Apples

–1 bag Kraft caramels or Kraft caramel bits

–About 4-5 large, tart apples (I use Granny Smith; some of them were a little too sour this time, but there’s no real way of knowing that when you’re buying them…)

–Desired toppings; could use crushed candy bars (I’ve used Twix, Snickers, Butterfinger {yum}, and Heath), chopped nuts like peanuts, cashews, or macadamias (my favorite), toasted coconut, melted white or semisweet chocolate, melted marshmallows or warmed marshmallow cream, peanut butter or peanut butter chips; the sky’s the limit here!

1. Wash and dry apples; apples must be completely dry before you dip them in caramel.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt caramel according to package directions. Due to the fact that I live in the sticks, caramel bits are not available to me at this time; however, Sara was gracious enough to send me a picture of these little cuties that are doubly adorable because you don’t have to unwrap them, thus increasing the melting-to-eating stage of the apple-making process.

3. Spray a generous piece of wax or parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Firmly place a popsicle stick into the apple (make sure it goes about halfway down. You usually get some with the caramels; if not, you can get a big bag of popsicle sticks in the craft section of the grocery store OR you can get some fancy-schmancy pointed sticks anywhere you get cake and candy-making supplies.

5. When caramel is melted, quickly dip apples. The easiest way to ensure even caramel distribution is to dip the apple and then flip it over and twirl it around so it starts to drip down towards the top of the apple. Just be careful to not get any on your hand; you’ll probably swear. And if it gets on your hand, DO NOT LICK IT. You’ll definitely swear that time, plus you’ll be burned twice and you won’t be able to taste your delicious apples.

6. Working in the order that you dipped the apples, quickly roll apples in desired toppings. If the caramel is really starting to cool, you may need to really press the toppings into the caramel.

7. If desired, dip a fork in melted chocolate or white chocolate and fling it over the apples.

8. When cool and stable, store apples in refrigerator until chocolate is hardened. These will be fine for about 2 days, but after that, some moisture will creep underneath the caramel and it will start to slip away from the apple.

These are huge and messy to eat whole (and actually too much for me), so I like to cut them into slices to share. These also make awesome gifts; spray the inside of a cellophane treat bag (also available near cake decorating supplies) with non-stick cooking spray and place a hardened apple inside the bag. Tie with a cute bow and take it to whomever you really need to suck up to… :)

So spill it…do you like caramel or candy apples? What other ideas do you have for toppings? Who’s making these for Halloween this year?
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