Just like pesto makes any savoury dish a thousand times more delicious, so does caramel in the dessert world. I absolutely love caramel anything, especially caramel apples. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has perfected these, but I figured I would take this task to the kitchen. There is always the easy, boring way of melting those caramel squares and dipping apples into them, or there is the more time consuming, yet rewarding way of making caramel from scratch. I chose the latter.
The process takes about 45 minutes to an hour in total, but it is totally worth it. After combining all of the ingredients, you must watch and stir it consistently (see recipe below). When all is said and done, I was left with buttery, creamy, sweet, sticky goodness, in which I dunked Granny Smith apples into. Since I also have a love affair with oreos, I crushed some up and rolled the apples in them, along with skor bits. These caramel apples were literally just as good or better than Rocky Mountain if I do say so myself! They were also a huge hit with my friends and family!
Here are some pictures of the process, followed by the recipe.
Since I cannot let any caramel go to waste, I used the extra to cover some oreos, which are my two favourite things combined. Nothing can be better than this!
1 C. unsalted butter
2 C. dark brown sugar, packed
1 C. light corn syrup (I used honey)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
8-10 medium-sized apples, sticks inserted in tops
1. Over medium-high heat, stir together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk in a heavy sauce pan.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Cook about 30-40 minutes (stirring often), until the caramel darkens and thickens. It should reach the “firm ball” stage of candy-making. This means that a firm ball forms when dropped into cold water. This ball shouldn’t flatten when you remove it from the water, but should still easily change shape when you touch it. The temperature should read 245-250 degrees F with a candy thermometer.
4. Remove finished caramel from the heat.
5. Stir in vanilla extract.
6. Dip apples into hot caramel. In order to get as thick a caramel coating as possible, dip each apple at an angle and rotate within the caramel.
7. Pull apple out vertically and allow excess caramel to drip off. Then turn the apple right-side-up a moment (as if you were about to eat it) and let the caramel settle for a few seconds. This prevents large bare spots at the top of the apple.
8. Dip apples into your favourite candy (oreos, skor, nuts, M&Ms etc)
9. Place apples on greased wax paper or foil.
10. Let cool to set.
I think these caramel apples give Rocky Mountain a run for their money, if I do say so myself!