Ahh, fall. The season of crisp weather, Hocus Pocus and pumpkin-spice everything. Of course, fall isn’t complete without a few candy apples! Since our childhood, candy apples have held a special place in a lot of our hearts, so we couldn’t resist digging up a few ways to liven up the classic treat.
1. Chocolate-Covered Caramel Apples
But seriously, what girl isn’t a chocolate lover? This works for those nights when you have a seemingly endless chocolate craving and the urge to dip an apple in three layers of sugar (or more).
Recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride
- 6 Granny Smith apples
- 6 Popsicle sticks (some caramel brands include them in the bag)
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 1 14-ounce package of caramels, unwrapped
- Chocolate (white, dark or semisweet)
- Other various toppings of your choice (Oreos, mini M&Ms, nuts, etc.)
- Remove the apple stems. Wash and dry the caramel apples, rubbing the surface well with a dish towel to remove any wax. Insert sticks into the top of the apples and chill for one hour.
- Microwave milk and caramels for 1 minute in a glass bowl. Stir the caramels and microwave for another minute (watch for boil-overs). Stir well and dip the apples immediately, turning to coat. Using a knife, scrape the caramel from the bottom of the apples (this will prevent the apple from ending up in a pool of caramel). Immediately dip into nuts, mini chocolate chips or other toppings if desired.
- If dipping in chocolate, put caramel apples on wax paper (buttered parchment works well, too) and stick in the fridge until caramel has set, about 5 minutes.
- Melt chocolates in microwave with a bit of vegetable oil/shortening and dip the apples, scraping the excess chocolate from the bottom of the apple.
- Immediately dip into nuts or mini chocolate chips or push larger candies onto the chocolate surface. Let the chocolate set before eating (or dipping into second type of chocolate).
2. Red Hot Candy Apples
Because who would have ever thought to melt actual candy to make a candy apple? This is a genius idea and a great way to spice up a regular apple.
Recipe from MomStart
- 8 small Granny Smith apples
- Popsicle sticks or skewers
- 3 cups sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 3 teaspoons red food coloring
- ½ cup Red Hots candies
- 1 cup water
- In a deep saucepan, heat sugar, Red Hots candies, water and light corn syrup over medium heat until boiling.
- Using a candy thermometer (which can be bought for $10 at Target, without touching the bottom of the pan, continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches 290 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a cooking sheet.
- Insert sticks into the apples.
- When the sugar is ready, remove the pan from the heat and remove the thermometer.
- Swirl each apple in the hot cinnamon-candy syrup to coat evenly. Lift out the apples and swirl over the saucepan for a few more seconds to catch the drips.
- Place the candy apples on a cookie sheet.
- Cool for at least one hour.
3. Vegan Caramel Apples with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate
There’s no reason that candy apples shouldn’t be fun for everyone! Please your vegan friends with this delicious recipe.
Recipe from The Lunchbox Bunch
- 1 apple, organic (or regular)
- 4 tablespoons vegan sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ tablespoons coconut cream
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons vegan dark chocolate chips
- 1 wooden stick or thick bamboo skewer
- Wash apple, dry very well and place wooden stick into apple core.
- Process walnuts and chocolate chips in a food processor until thin and crumbly.
- Add sugar, vanilla, coconut cream and salt to a sauté pan over high heat. Stir until melted together.
- Continue stirring as the mixture begins to bubble. Stir bubbling for about 45 seconds.
- Reduce heat to low. Stir for another minute.
- Turn heat off and pour mixture into a small dish. Place in the fridge to chill until sticky (about 10 minutes should do it.)
- Dip dry apple in mixture, then dip in chocolate/walnut coating.
4. Apple Pie Candy Apples
An American classic crossed with another American classic. Who could resist? The name looks a little intimidating at first glance, but it’s actually pretty simple to make—and pretty delicious.
Recipe from The Cooking of Joy
- 1 apple of your choosing, washed and dried
- 10 pieces of caramel
- 2 ounces white candy melts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 dashes cinnamon
- Remove the apple stem if necessary and insert a Popsicle stick down the core. Put in the apple in the freezer for at least 5 minutes but no more than 15 minutes to chill.
- Unwrap the caramels and put them in a small microwave-safe bowl along with 1 teaspoon of water. Melt the caramel in the microwave at 50 percent power for one minute. Remove from microwave and stir.
- Dip the apple into the melted caramel, using a spoon if necessary to get the caramel up the sides. Once the apple is covered, place on a greased plate and return to the freezer to chill.
- In another small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the white candy melts in the microwave using the defrost option. Remove from microwave and stir.
- On a small plate, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, making sure to crumble any lumps.
- Once the caramel on the apple is not sticky anymore (but before it is frozen!), remove from the freezer. If necessary, try to push any caramel that has pooled to the bottom back onto the apple.
- Dip in the white candy melts, using a spoon if necessary to get the candy up the sides.
- Before the white candy sets, roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the apple in the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the white candy to harden.
5. Cotton Candy Apples
Yes, you read that correctly. An apple coated in nothing but sugar that’s hardened to perfection. It kind of makes you forget that, under all of that fluff, there’s actually a piece of fruit in there.
Recipe from Sweetapolita
- 6 medium Granny Smith apples (or variation of choice); washed, dried and stems removed
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- ¾ teaspoon cotton-candy candy flavor oil
- 2 tablespoons bright white soft gel food color, plus 2-3 additional colors of your choice
- Cotton candy
- Edible glitter/sprinkles of choice
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or grease the baking sheet with shortening.
- Insert the cookie sticks about 3/4 of the way into each apple, but be sure the stick doesn't come out the bottom. Place prepared apples close to the stovetop, as you will need to move quickly once the candy coating is ready to go.
- In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup. Brush the sides of the saucepan with a damp pastry brush to rid of stray sugar crystals. Turn the heat to medium-high and clip on a candy thermometer (be sure the thermometer doesn't touch the bottom of the saucepan).
- Let the mixture bubble and cook undisturbed until the thermometer reaches 302 degrees Fahrenheit (hard crack stage). In the meanwhile, get your flavor oil and colors ready to go.
- When the candy coating has reached 302 degrees Fahrenheit, promptly remove from heat and stir in the flavor oil, followed by the white color, using a heatproof rubber spatula.
- Once the white is blended completely, quickly add a drop or two of your favorite food gel colors, but this time, do not stir the coating. You can swirl the saucepan once or twice or use a skewer to marble the colors, but be sure not to over-blend or you will end up with a solid color.
- Holding the handle of the saucepan with one hand, tilt so the coating pools to one side, and dip/swirl each apple until thoroughly coated. Let the excess coating drip back into the saucepan, and set aside on prepared baking sheet.
- When ready to serve, take one or two small pieces of cotton candy and slide down each stick to sit atop the apples. Adorn with sprinkles or glitter of choice.
Try switching things up a little and enjoy these updates on one of our favorite childhood treats. Happy fall!