Although today is Halloween, we here in Ohio celebrated last night. It’s one of those midwest things I still don’t understand, like why my kids never get off school for Columbus Day when we live in Columbus, Ohio! Anyway, they call last night beggar’s night and I handed out over 125 pieces of candy, pretzels, lollipops, glow sticks and Twizzlers to more than 75 cutely dressed trick or treaters!
There are some traditions I have for myself on beggar’s night. I usually get my candy ready in a big black cauldron early in the day, pick up a pizza for dinner, make a pot of coffee and wait till 6pm arrives. That’s when the kids start coming and it doesn’t stop until 8pm when either the last little goblin shows up, or I run out of candy – whichever comes first! Last night I broke tradition. This was the first year my youngest son did not go trick or treating. It marked the end of an era. This year, there was no pizza and no coffee. I didn’t even have my cauldren! However, there were caramel apples – plenty of caramel apples. A new Halloween tradition is born! Enjoy!
No matter what you roll them in, they are delicious!
6 apples washed and dried well (I used a combination of Granny Smith and Empire) I find cold apples work best
1 pound of caramel (find a local candy making supply store to buy it in bulk so you don’t have to unwrap a million little caramels)
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup good quality melting chocolate, white or dark (optional)
Mini chocolate chips
Chopped nuts (almonds, peanuts and pecans work very well)
Crushed Heath bar candies
Crushed Oreo cookies
Sea Salt (this is especially good if you are into the salty caramel craze!)
Line a sheet pan with wax paper, spray it lightly with oil and set aside.
In the top of a double boiler, add the caramel and two tablespoons of milk. Bring the water in the bottom portion of the pot to a boil then lower the heat to a low simmer. It takes about 10 minutes or so to melt down – stir every couple of minutes.
While the caramel is melting, wash and dry the apples very well. Insert the pointy end of the chopstick into the center of the apple. I like to push it all the way down. If it’s too tough, use a rubber mallet to tap it in gently.
When the caramel is completely melted, stir it well then dip each apple in and twirl it around to coat the apple. Let the excess caramel drip off. I use a spare chopstick to take some of the caramel off of the bottom. Then set on the prepared pan. You have to work quickly with the caramel. Now on to decorating…
You can use any size apple. I found these cute little apples at a local farmer’s market. They came out adorable!
The apples can be made several ways. Just be sure to have fun with it, there is no wrong way to create a deliciously decorated caramel apple!
You can dip them in caramel refrigerate 30 minutes and eat.
You can dip them in caramel and immediately roll into the topping of your choice. Decorate with any combination of toppings while the caramel is still wet, then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set – and enjoy. Decorate one apple at a time after dipping.
You can dip them in caramel then dip or drizzle them with chocolate and decorate with toppings. If you do this step, place the caramel apples in the fridge to set. While they are setting, melt about 1 cup of chocolate melts in a double boiler . You have to wait until the caramel is set before you dip them into the melted chocolate. This takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Then sprinkle or roll them into any topping you like.
Whatever method you choose, place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set. They should be stored in the fridge if you’re not going to eat them right away and will stay fresh for a week or more. I found the best way to wrap them is individually in wax paper.* Cut a sheet that is about 12 x 14 or larger, depending on the size of your apple. Set the apple in the middle of the rectangle and gently bring each corner in towards the stick, then twist it to close around the stick.
*Fun fact, Thomas Edison is credited for inventing wax paper! How do you like that?