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Homemade Caramel Apples

Halloween weekend is upon us and if you’re looking for a last-minute treat to whip up for some of your favorite Trick or Treaters, these caramel apples will definitely fit the bill. Growing up, I adored caramel apples and although I only ate maybe one per year, I was always excited to try a different flavor. The candied apples though? With that shiny red coating? I was never a fan. Give me caramel apples all the way! I had always wanted to try my hand at making these – you can get so creative with it! – and while on a recent trip to Toronto we picked one up as a souvenir of sorts (truthfully, more of a “We Survived Toronto” t-shirt substitute). It was an “apple pie” version, with the caramel covered in white chocolate and then rolled in a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Pure bliss. So that one was definitely on my list to recreate, and many other ideas starting flowing. These really aren’t very difficult and don’t take much time, and would be a blast to do with any kiddos you know.

Okay, so these aren’t 100% homemade; I cheated and used the little caramel melting bits that you can buy at the store.

Since it was my first time I figured I’d just use those and then next time do a homemade caramel sauce. I am a little mad at myself for not just going all out because the caramel was okay, but I’m certain that a homemade caramel would be more than fabulous.

Let me introduce you to my inaugural varieties:

The Apple Pie Caramel Apple (white chocolate rolled in a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture)

Apple Pie Caramel Apple

The Snickers Caramel Apple (milk chocolate rolled in chopped peanuts)

The Reese’s Caramel Apple (milk chocolate rolled in peanut butter chips)

The Rocky Road Caramel Apple (dark chocolate rolled in mini semisweet chips, chopped walnuts and miniature marshmallows – inspired by a favorite ice cream concoction at Marble Slab)

So, give me the scoop… What is your favorite flavor of caramel apple? Or do you prefer candied? Have you ever made them at home?

Homemade Caramel Apples

Yield: 10 apples

Prep Time: 45 minutes (active), 1 hour (inactive)

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 bags Caramel Bits
10 Granny Smith apples
Assorted chocolates for melting
Assorted candies, chips, etc. for rolling

Directions:

1. Wash the apples, remove the stems (and any stickers!) and refrigerate them overnight.

2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Insert wooden or lollipop sticks into the center of each apple.

3. In a small saucepan, melt the caramel according to the package directions. One at a time, dip the apples into the caramel, swirling and using a spoon to get it covered. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with all of the apples. Place the apples in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

4. In a 2-cup measuring cup (this works perfectly for this!), melt whatever chocolate you are using. I used the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments. Have your candies and chips ready. Dip the caramel apple into the chocolate, covering it as much as possible, and then roll it in the desired toppings.

5. Apples will keep for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Note: I add 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening per 1 cup of chocolate chips when melting. It keeps the chocolate thin (no clumping) and it dries nice and smooth.

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42 Responses to “Homemade Caramel Apples”

  1. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 29, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Those are sooooo cool! Love them!

    Reply

  2. Echo @ Barely Mommy on October 29, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Reason #314 why it’s a blessing that photos don’t have calories.

    Reply

  3. Katrina on October 29, 2010 at 6:36 am

    I agree with you. Caramel apples beat the red candy apples for awesomeness hands down! All of these apple look amazing.

    Reply

  4. Susan on October 29, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I am definitely a caramel anything over a red candy apple! In the town I live in there is an ice cream shop that makes chocolate covered caramel apples with every kind of coating imaginable on the out side…they are absolutely the most delicious I have ever had! Never made any at home…remember the caramel discs that use to be out to wrap around the apple? My mom would buy them for me and I would just eat the caramel disc and never make the caramel apple…lol

    Reply

  5. Rodzilla on October 29, 2010 at 8:01 am

    ohhhh, reeses caramel apple

    Reply

  6. Mary on October 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

    This year I made caramel apples dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and rolled in Heath toffee bits. YUM!

    Reply

  7. ScullyPA on October 29, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Any tips for dealing with the messiness of the caramel? I tried these last year, and it was such a mess!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Hmm I didn’t have any mess issues. I just dipped the apple, let the excess drip off the bottom, gave it a little swirl, then placed them on the lined baking sheet.

      Reply

  8. Liz @ Blog is the New Black on October 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

    There’s still time to make these… YUM!

    Reply

  9. Tina from PA on October 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

    WOW! These apples look great! I can not wait for you to make the caramel homemade and share the recipe,I know it will be wonderful ! Happy Halloween everyone!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Happy Halloween to you Tina!

      Reply

  10. nicki on October 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

    What’s the reasoning behind refrigerating the apples overnight? Just curious. I am going to have a caramel apple making party for the kids! What fun!! BTW, love your blog!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Nicki, Refrigerating the apples overnight gets them nice and cold, which helps the caramel to adhere better. Enjoy your party!

      Reply

  11. Dawn Dishes It Out on October 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    To Die For!!! These look amazing! By far my favorite fall treat. Great job!

    Reply

  12. Tricia on October 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I’m actually having a Caramel Apple Party at my house tonight! We have caramel, mini reese’s pieces (one of my favorites!), chocolate chips, and maybe a few other things to dip them in. I’m very excited!!

    Reply

  13. Abby on October 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Did you get your Toronto one from “Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory” it’s their speciality. Amazing.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Yes, I did, Abby!

      Reply

  14. the blissful baker on October 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    oh yum! all the different flavors look fantastic! i havent had a caramel apple in years, but i’m craving one now!

    Reply

  15. eatgreek.net on October 29, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    excellent recipe!!! well done!!! :D

    Reply

  16. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on October 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    These look great, and I love all of the different toppings you used! Speaking of caramel, I just made and posted about some sea salt caramels today… I think you would really like them! :)

    Reply

  17. Robyn on October 29, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    i’m like 99.9% sure you bought your caramel apple at the rocky mountain chocolate factory across from the hockey hall of fame.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      That’s exactly where I bought it Robyn! On our way out of the Hockey Hall of Fame! :)

      Reply

  18. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit on October 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    All of your caramel apples look divine- I love them all! But I also love the bright red candied apples. They were what I looked forward to every summer when the carnival came to my little town. (And cotton candy of course.) :)

    Reply

  19. Jennifer on October 30, 2010 at 7:02 am

    They all look SO good!!! Caramel apples make me weak! I got hooked at the rocky mountain chocolate factory while in Utah a couple years ago.

    Reply

  20. Lauren on October 30, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Here in Ireland we don’t have Caramel bits. Looks like I’ll have to look up a home made caramel sauce! Hope they turn out as nice as these look!

    Reply

  21. Maria on October 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I want one of each!

    Reply

  22. Becky on October 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I like the Snickers version of the caramel apple. Don’t really care for the red candied apples.

    Reply

  23. Amanda V on October 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    My all-time favorite is Apple Pie caramel apple. I always say I’m going to try something different, like M&Ms or s’mores always look good.. but I never do. Apple pie every time.
    One of these days….. :)

    Reply

  24. Kelsey on October 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    This blog post is where it’s at! I have never seen so many different caramel apples.

    Reply

  25. Elaine on October 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Just made caramel apples myself! I did do a homemade caramel and it was wonderful.. I happened to see them on this blog and was inspired..The caramel was easy to make and they set up beautifully. I dipped mine in white chocolate and then used a package of hot apple cider mix and sprinkled it on the outside. Delicious..

    http://www.howdoesshe.com/apples-dipped-in-heaven-part-2

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      Glad you were inspired, Elaine! I love the idea of dipping them in hot apple cider mix, YUM!

      Reply

  26. Nicki on October 31, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Okay, so I followed the directions on the caramel bits package (says to add 2 tbsp. of water to the caramels). Not a good idea. The caramel was a bit runny and did not adhere as well to the apples. I would just melt the caramels without the water addition. Had to run out at 5 a.m. to the supermarket to get another bag at $3.99 a bag. Total cost for this project is now adding up to $25.00 for 12 small (organic) apples! Happy Halloween to all!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 1st, 2010 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Nicki, so happy you had some trouble. I followed the directions on the bag (adding the water) and didn’t have any problems. Did you refrigerate the apples? That helps the caramel adhere better.

      Reply

  27. Dionne Baldwin on October 31, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Oh my goodness. I’ve been eating candy and stuff all weekend and these STILL look so GOOD to me. That’s how good these are. I’ve never made caramel apples (although I did make a cake that sort of looked like one!) and I am not a fan of candied apples. The only caramel apple I’ve tried is caramel and peanuts but it wasn’t very good because the peanuts tasted very very stale. I am convinced that they’re not all like that though and I want to make your apple pie caramel apples very badly.

    Reply

  28. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on October 31, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    These are so cute! I love caramel apples, but never think to make them. They had some beautiful caramel apples at my brother’s fiancee’s bridal shower and I have been thinking about making some ever since!

    Reply

  29. foodlvr on November 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Those look amazing. Mmmm…I love caramel apples. I am not allowed to hand out homemade goods on Halloween though. Against the law around here. I hand out candy and sometimes I put together small bags of special more expensive candies for my sons friends (I didn’t do that this year and only a handful came around). I would make these for me though. I am the only one in the house who would eat them. A few years back I found some of the Mrs Prindibles apples at Marshall’s and bought 2 of them. I gave one as a gift and kept the other for us. Hubby and son wouldn’t eat it. I ate the whole thing myself, within a couple of days.

    Reply

  30. Molly on November 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Me and my boyfriend like candy apples, but we both have a problem with biting into whole firm apples – it’ll tear apart his mouth full of crowns, and my TMJ disorder weak jaw can’t open up wide enough and bite down strongly enough (aside a childhood fear of biting into an apple and ripping out my teeth). We’d either have to go without, or cut up the apple to pieces. Not as fun as eating it off the stick.

    What do you think about baking the apples at some point through your recipe? I’ve had such a baked candy apple many years ago from a carnival, and they were awesome. I don’t have the means to try it out myself this weekend, so I’m curious for your opinion first.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Molly, Hmmm I don’t know about baking the apples first, I’ve never heard of doing that. I imagine it would make the apples a bit mushy and hard to dip?

      Reply

  31. Scarlet on October 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I would love for you to update this with a homemade caramel recipe! I’ve tried multiple ones, some with heavy cream, some with condensed milk, etc., and cannot find one I like. They all drip off of the apple (I even tried sandpapering the apple first) or don’t have enough flavor or are too thick.

    Reply

  32. Jeanette on December 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    How long will these apples keep if I wanted to make them ahead of time?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 17th, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Hi Jeanette, I would say up to 5 days or so.

      Reply

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