Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fancy Caramel Apples


If you have been annoyed that this picture on my sidebar has no post to it, great news... now it does!  I have been meaning to blog these  For.ev.er.  (Say this in a Sandlot voice)

Mostly I was stalled because I wanted to give you some pictures to go along with this post.  Well, hard to believe, but it's kind of hard to take a picture AND dip a caramel apple at the same time.  So I waited for a day when my hubs was home and could take some pictures while I dipped.

Speaking of the hubs, these apples were inspired by the ones at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  Men- you should know- there is nothing you can't be forgiven for if one of those apples is included in the apology.  Seriously.  

Reese's is my favorite.  Oreo and Butterfinger are fun, but I always go back to Reeses.  This is a great way to use up leftover Halloween candy at your house (and add more sugary sweets to your household). 

Fancy Caramel Apples
-1 bag Kraft Caramels
-5 Granny Smith apples
-5 popsicle sticks
-Milk chocolate chips
-White chocolate chips
-Chopped Reeses PB cups or other candy

Wash your apples, remove stickers and stems, and place a stick in each one. Place on a metal baking sheet to move them to and from the freezer easily.

Chop your Reeses, or other rolling ingredient (like Oreos). Place in a large bowl.  After dipping each apple in caramel you will be putting it in this bowl to cover with toppings.

Melt your caramel according to package directions.  Use a heavy pot with a nonstick coating.  Uncoated stainless steel pots yield burned caramel far more often than not.  Just don't use them.

When caramel is completely melted and of a good dipping consistency, grab your first apple by the stick.  Tilt your pot forward slightly so caramel pools at the front of the pot.  Dip apple straight down in to the pot.

Set pot back down. If caramel does not cover apple as high as you would like, use a large serving spoon to quickly spoon caramel over the top and sides.  You want to do this fast, because if caramel starts to harden, you will have ripples in your apple.  (If you're covering it with chocolate and toppings it really doesn't matter, but if you're doing plain caramel apples they won't be the prettiest.)

Keep spoonin.

Once your apple is completely covered use your spoon to scrape the bottom.  It's okay if you scrape off all the caramel because the caramel will continue to migrate down slightly and will cover it.

Hold your apple up and twirl around a few times to get all caramel strands incorporated. 

If you're doing plain apples*, you can place them on a tray and place in the freezer to cool as pictured below. Otherwise, continue to the next step.

(Sorry this is the part where hubs went back to work so no pictures!)

Immediately after dipping apple in caramel, roll it in your candy or other ingredients.   You need to do it quickly while the caramel is still sticky so the topping will stick.  If you are using larger toppings like Oreos as opposed to nuts, you may end up pressing the toppings onto the apple rather than actually "rolling" it.

Once completely covered place back on cookie sheet and place in the freezer to cool quickly.  Dip your next apple in caramel and toppings.  Repeat process for all your apples.

Place full tray in the refrigerator or freezer to cool completely.  Meanwhile place your chocolate chips in two separate freezer baggies or piping baggies.  Melt separately in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, at 75% power, kneading at each intervals. When completely melted, snip tip off of one corner of the milk chocolate baggie.

To drizzle, tip each apple back at a 45 degree angle and slowly rotate the apple around as you drizzle top to bottom with milk chocolate.  When all apples are drizzled, place tray in freezer to cool.

Check that your white chocolate is still melted.  If needed, place back in microwave for a few seconds. Remove apples from freezer. Then, snip corner off of white chocolate baggie, and drizzle each apple again, then place tray in freezer once again to cool.

Package up apples in little boxes or cellophane with ribbon.  Use to get out of trouble.


*Tip: If you are doing plain caramel apples, put them in the freezer immediately after dipping to prevent a "foot" form forming on the bottom.  (Don't worry if you get one- the feet are the most delicious part they just don't look super fancy.)  If want to remove it just use a pair of kitchen scissors to clip it off once cool and smooth the caramel back in place.
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