I didn't make these, but I am giving them 5 stars because it's a Kittencal recipe, so I am positive it's awesome, lol. Anyway, I saw a "Good Eats" the other day, and Alton used pairs of disposable chopsticks as sticks for his candy apples, and it struck me as a terrific idea. He poked them through the flower end instead of the stem end, and suggested using small old-fashioned apples, instead of the big grainy red delicious ones. And one more tip - once the apples are on sticks, dip them in boiling water for about 15 seconds, to remove the wax on the outside of the apples. This will allow the candy/caramel to stick better.
It's the little things that make the difference, right? Enjoy!
I'm addressing a few problems people have had. Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking. If the caramel is splattering and burning your hand either your spoon is too short or the caramel is on WAY too high! When my bilubnles burst, the 'spitting' was only about 1/2" high! If it is grainy, that is because you allowed sugar crystals to develop on the edges of the pot. You can remove them with a damp pastry brush of scrape the sides as you stir with a silicone scraper rather than a spoon. It would be nice of the instructions included this recommendation. Or it could come from not enough stirring. If you over or under cooked it, try the cold water test to check doneness. I relied on that way more than the thermometer. Google: candy cold water test. If it cooked too fast or slow, be sure your quantity of condensed milk is correct and make sure you aren't cooking it on too high or low heat. If you are in a dry climate, it will cook faster as the water evaporates more quickly and in a humidy climate, vice versa. Hope this helps!
This recipe is EXCELLENT!!!! Caramel is soooo yummy! Truly gourmet style! I stopped cooking at 225 degrees - leaves solid enough for dipping and soft enough for easy eating. I didn't add the vanilla. It was simply delicious without it. Next time I will try with vanilla - and there will be a next time! This recipe was super easy. I tried a recipe from Emeril and the caramel was runny and the directions were lousy! Thank you for a perfect recipe! I especially love using the condensed milk! Just remember - name brand matters with the condensed milk (Borden is best)!
I forgot to mention in my review that if you have a SILPAT, or silicone baking liner, you can place them on there and they won't stick at all. No more butter required, and easy to clean.
Love this recipe! It is so quick & easy. I only boil for 10 min. or less to reach a rather soft "firm" ball stage. (Live in Utah at around 4200 feet above sea level). Also, I can get at least 12 med. apples dipped and pour the rest in a pan to cut into squares. YUMMY STUFF!
This is a great caramel recipe. I've made it for years. READ the directions and make AS WRITTEN. For those that have suggested to lower the temperature to LOW during the cooking process this is not correct for making caramel to the proper consitancy for coating apples. I know, I worked in a candy making store before. You must constantly stir to prevent scortching on the bottom of your pan and you must reach 248 on the candy thermometer. To prevent sticking butter wax paper like Kitencal says or dip them in chopped nuts (or other treats like choc chip) like I did and place them on muffin/cupcake paper and they won't stick. It is also best to prep apples first by washing them well to remove wax so caramel sticks better and have sticks in them and be ready to go when caramel is ready. Thanks for another great recipe KC!
Great recipe; this makes smooth, buttery, classic caramel. I was able to dip 8 small (2 1/2") home-grown McIntosh apples and pour the rest over about 5 qts of popcorn. I added two pinches of salt. My only mistakes were not stirring constantly which resulted in little scorched bits (but there was no burned taste) and I forgot the vanilla (still very good)! I cooked it to 236' (I live in Utah at 4600 ft) and it took about 15 min on medium heat. It is a good idea to cold water test in addition to using a thermometer. And to those of you who have rated this recipe poorly because of your caramel's "epic failure"....yeeeaaah....not the recipe's fault...stick to unwrapping ;)
Very good tasting caramel. Follow directions - stir the entire time and keep your heat on medium. And use parchment paper -NOT waxed paper. Only problem I had was that I tried to dip TOO much caramel onto the apple and it slid off of the apples as they cooled. Next time I will use this recipe but try dropping the apples in boiling water to get rid of the wax prior to dipping. That may help the caramel "stick" better.
For all those who are using candy thermometers for their caramel--always test your thermometer periodically before using. Bring a pot of water to a hard boil and let it boil heavily for five minutes. Water at sea level boils at 212 degrees. If your thermometer reads differently, adjust your recipe temperature up or down depending upon what your thermometer reads for boiling water. For different altitudes, do an internet search for water's boiling point at your particular altitude. I make a lot of candies and my good thermometers are always off a few degrees which can make a big difference in how your candy turns out. I test my thermometer if I haven't used it for awhile. Before making this recipe, get the apples washed and prepped and compile all nuts or toppings you're going to put on the apples. You want everything ready-to-go before the caramel is cooked so you can dip the apples right away. I put chopped peanuts in a small bowl so that immediately after the apples are dipped in caramel, I plop the apple in the peanut bowl and twirl it around until covered in nuts. Works fine for mini chocolate chips or whatever toppings you choose. Sometimes I dip the apples in nuts and drizzle melted chocolate over the top. You can get real creative with caramel apples.
These were super easy. Thanks so much for posting. I have used the extra caramel and poured over popcorn, which I then spread in a pan and put in oven for 20mins... so the corn would stay crunchy. This is the only recipe I use now. We also used this recipe for a breast cancer bake sale and made apples.