It’s official. Fall is here. Some of you may be dreading it, but we are ready for it to be here already. Yes, it gets dark really early, and it starts to get really cold. But we live for the change of seasons around here. So how do we celebrate the momentous occasion? With a fall treat of course. Caramel apples to be exact. While we’ve certainly eaten one or two before, this was our first crack at making them ourselves, and we are marking it off as a success.
Last night we made a few stops on our way home to make this happen. We thought it would only take one stop, but of course it was two hours of hopping around town looking for everything on our list. We started at the St. Louis Park Super Target where we grabbed a bag of granny smith apples, chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chips, caramels, and cupcake wrappers. While they had pre-fab caramel apples for sale, they did not have the sticks we needed or the mini-m&ms. Grrr. They also only had two of the four curtain rods we picked out for our sun room of course, but they were nice enough to look it up for us and send us to the Edina Super Target. Meanwhile we headed to the nearby Cub Foods, which thankfully had the fancy sticks we needed, but they didn’t have the mini m&ms either. On our way to Edina, I called Byerlys and the Super Target we were en route to and was told by both that they didn’t have any mini m&ms. So we were certainly surprised to encounter individual containers of them in the Halloween section at said Super Target. Busted grocery department phone answerer. After all of that, we had all of our ingredients (really only apples, milk, and caramels) and four toppings: 1) white chocolate chips; 2) chocolate chip cookies; 3) sprinkles; and 4) mini m&ms. Because we apparently wanted to go all out with our first batch of caramel apples.
I started by unwrapping all of the caramels. Since we decided to double the batch, it was about 100 caramels worth of peeling the plastic wrap off of the stickiness.
While I worked on that, Dain washed and dried the apples that we had chilled in the refrigerator. He also twisted out the stems and added the wooden sticks.Then all we had to do was microwave the 28 ounces of caramels with 4 tablespoons of milk. The recipe we found online called for two minutes of microwaving stirring once, but it took us a good four minutes thanks to our microwave’s not-so-awesome skills. Then Dain stirred it, and we let it cool briefly per the instructions.While it was cooling, we finished our topping station by setting each topping out on its own plate. Dain crumbled the cookies in a ziploc, and the rest were ready to go.Then we rolled the apples in the caramel, which is easier said then done. It was very thick and hard to roll in so they certainly don’t look perfect, but we still think they are pretty enough for our first attempt.And they sure look better with the toppings on them. We ended up doing eight apples so we have two of each topping.
After we dipped them in the caramels and rolled them in toppings, we set them each in a cupcake wrapper on a baking sheet to avoid a sticky mess. We read that you could also butter the baking sheet, but that sounded unnecessarily messy so we rolled with the wrappers. Hopefully the bottoms won’t stick too much to the paper.
After we had them all caramelized and decorated, we set them in the refrigerator to cool for an hour or so before putting each one in its own cellophane bag.
Why did we individually wrap them? Because they are gifts of course. As much as we might like to eat eight caramel apples, it probably wouldn’t be that great for us. So we decided to keep our names in the running for best aunt and uncle ever by giving them to our nieces and nephews since I am going to see them this weekend (while Dain will be busy taking down trees and landscaping). We will of course try at least one for ourselves, but we have a feeling four little rugrats might enjoy them more.
Dain mentioned that we should start a caramel apple business, but I had to point out that we aren’t quite passionate enough about making caramel apples (yet) to give that a go. Buzzkill. How about you? Have you ever made caramel apples? Or do you have another fall favorite?