02 November 2010

Tutorial: My Mom's Caramel Apples

Before I get into this giant picture-heavy tutorial let's talk numbers from this Halloween:

76 = the number of caramel apples made.
3 = the number of caramel apples remaining at the end of the night.
40 = the number of sugar cookies made.
3 = the number of sugar cookies remaining at the end of the night.
60 = the number of candy bars purchased
10 = the number of candy bars remaining at the end of the night.

Can you believe it? 76 caramel apples? I have to admit that when I was helping mom with the Halloween prep I was skeptical. I thought we were making more than enough goodies and that we would have leftovers coming out of our ears. Clearly I was wrong and my mother knows just what she's doing. Her house is definitely the place to be on Halloween. That is, if you like a crowd. And if you don't mind parking your car at the end of the line of minivans in her driveway. And if you don't mind waiting in line for your caramel apple or sugar cookie. Which you don't.

Enough chatter then, let's get to the recipe!

Mom's Caramel Apples
Yields: About 12. Batch can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled as necessary.


Apples should be washed and cold. Sometimes we put the sticks in them and keep them in the fridge overnight. My mom keeps hers in the cooler at the convenience store a few miles away because you know, she has connections. If you get your apples as the grocery store be sure to wash them well to remove any wax they may have on them.



Combine 1 C. light Karo syrup, 1 lb. light brown sugar, and 1/4 C. butter into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until all the sugar is dissolved.



Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Put it back on the heat and cook—stirring constantly to prevent burning—until it reaches 230 degrees on your candy thermometer (be sure to calibrate for altitude!).



Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. If the caramel is too hot it won't stick to the apples (and if it gets too cold you can warm it back up on the stove). At this point you can bask in the heavenly smell of caramel that has wafted into every part of your house. But not for long! You have a lot of apples to dip!

While we're waiting for the caramel to cool, we like to crush rice crispies in a Ziploc bag. We use these to dip the bottoms of the apples in to keep them from sticking to the pan and to make them more awesome.

From here it's pretty easy:

Take your apple,


dip it in the caramel,


turn it a bit to let the excess drip off as the caramel cools,


dip the bottom in the crushed rice crispies,


and place in the fridge on a WELL BUTTERED pan.


Please don't forget to squirrel away an apple for yourself or for a loved one. These suckers go fast and I would hate to have you miss out on all of your hard work!

Oh! And one more thing! There is always a little bit of caramel left in the pan when you run out of apples. We use that to dip marshmallows in. Marshmallow + Caramel + Rice Crispies = Bliss. I think my brother likes the marshmallows better than the apples.




April said...

I want one!!
What do you mean calibrate for altitude? I need more info if I am going to attempt this alone... :)

Kelli said...

I love how your mom has connections. How long has she been doing this? Sounds like her house is a must visit.

Miranda said...

@April: You won't want to cook yours to as high a temperature because of the altitude. It has to do with the fact that water boils at a lower temperature at a higher altitude. You can try googling "calibrate candy thermometer" or something like that. You can also call me if you need more help.

Staci said...

Miranda forgot to mention that this year's apples are Wealthy. They are usually MACINTOSH (only my favorite apple variety. ever.) But those all fell off of Grandpa's tree while he was on a trip with Miranda's parents, so Grandma N had to go with the other apples from Grandpa's pasture...

Just an FYI: Another good carmel apple apple is Empire (it's a Macintosh hybrid). I haven't tried Cortland, but it's supposedly a good dessert apple, and it's also a Mac hybrid.

Greeneyes said...

Holy cow. You know every single pathway straight into my heart. (Never you mind that most of those paths involve food...) I am jonesin' for one of those apples!

Our Halloween tradition is to fry up a mondo batch of homemade doughnuts. I think we should get together and watch the tastiness explode all over.

Nikkala said...

Hello where was this recipe weeks ago! I had a hard time finding an actual recipe for carmel apples, most just say "unwrap carmels..." And google failed me. The recipe said to heat to too high a temp and produced a sugar daddy, teeth ripping out carmel. Next year I'll be using Nina's recipe for sure.

PenguinBot said...

Some year I'm going to come to your mom's house for Halloween. Maybe I'll let the kids come too.

Kimberlee said...

Thank you, thank you Miranda {and Nina}. I've wanted this recipe/tutorial since I had your moms carmel apples in college. So good.

michelle said...

Lucky lucky trick or treaters in your mom's neighborhood! I had NO idea about calibrating candy thermometers for altitude. That explains a lot of overcooked caramels and syrups around here!

Cassie said...

I can honestly say that I have never had a caramel apple - how terrible is that!

These do look and sounds divine though!


PS: Thanks for your lovely comment on my post, I am glad to be back.

redhead83402 said...

Ok,this is one awesome post. I started reading through these posts, thinking.. yah know.. this sounds like idaho. Those apples look just like the apples my mom grows in burley. That sushi restaraunt looks like the blue hashi or wasabi in idaho falls... that weather... Then i read, oh, yup, she's in idaho. NO WONDER I LIKE YOU. lol scary huh, yelling that out like that. ;-D Well anyway, enough bloggy bonding, i love the recipe, and i have about a bazillion apples from my moms again that i am so gonna use it on for carmeled apples this year! Thanks for solving that problem for me. ;-D

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