Exacty what is a candy apple and where did it come from you ask? Well, surprisingly, Newark, New Jersey is the birth place and the year was 1908. William Kolk, a confectioner was experimenting with red cinnamon candy for Christmas and he dipped some apples into the leftover mixture. He put the brightly colored apples in the windows for display and they sold like hot cakes (or candy apples if you prefer that analogy). Soon candied apples were being sold not just in Jersey but up and down the East Coast (think Coney Island, circuses and carnivals) and in candy shops across the country. While the original coatings were sugar/candy based, caramel and chocolate topping soon became popular. The stick that’s almost always in the middle was there from the beginning and it obviously just makes them easier to eat.
The best apples are available right NOW as in go get them NOW. The recipes can swing from the ultra easy unwrap pre made caramels, melt them in the microwave and dip your apples to the use a candy thermometer and make your own caramel or candy coating. You can, of course, make really elaborate apples by covering the coating with chocolate (white or dark), nuts, candy and anything else you can think of. Time and willingness to get up close and personal with a candy thermometer will determine what type of covered apple you make.
I prefer to use tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or MacIntosh but you can use any apple you happen to have handy. It’s important to remove the wax that might be on the apples you purchase from the grocery (the wax is used to help preserve the apple during shipping). Wash and dry the apple very well. You can use nuts or chocolate of any kind of dipping or sprinkling candy you like to decorate your apples and sometimes, if you’re not carefully watching the younger generations applications, the toppings out weight the apple
Some might say, hey, why go to the bother of making caramel apples when you can just buy them in just about any grocery store or gourmet candy store. My answer is: why pay a bazillion dollars for a mega apple or one that was made weeks ago when you can make your own ultimate apple for a fraction of the cost and ten times the taste?
GRENADINE CANDY APPLES (pareve)
I cut this recipe out of a House & Garden magazine in 1998 and have been using it ever since
6 red apples
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup grenadine syrup
2/3 cup light corn syrup
Place a large cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
Insert a fork into the top of each apple. Combine the sugar, grenadine, and light corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, brushing down any crystals on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water. When the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil until the syrup reaches 285° on a candy thermometer, the soft-crack stage. Set the pan over-not in-boiling water. Working quickly, uses the forks to dip the apples, one at a time, coating them evenly with the glaze. Remove from glaze and twirl each apple so the extra syrup drips off. Set the apple on the cooling rack. When you have dipped all the apples once, repeat the process. Remove the forks.
Serve at room temperature. Best eaten within 24 hours. Makes 6.
BROWN SUGAR CANDY APPLES (pareve)
BEWARE the cooked syrup is very sticky can burn. Parental supervision suggested!
2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 to 1 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
6 to 8 apples with sticks (skewered)
Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and set it aside. Combine all ingredients except the into a small, deep saucepan. Mix to combine with a wooden spoon and cook, over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Be sure that all the ingredients come to a boil and reach about 290° to 300° on your candy thermometer. Once the syrup has reached this temperature remove the mixture from the heat. Begin dipping the apples and place the dipped apples on the prepared pan. Makes 6 to 8.
MARSHMALLOW CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)
1 package (14 oz) caramels
2 cups kosher miniature marshmallows (divided)
1 tbsp. water 5 or 6 small apples
1 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
6 tart apples (granny smith or rome)
Line baking sheet with buttered waxed paper; set aside. Combine caramels, 1 cup marshmallows and water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until caramels melt. Cool slightly while preparing apples. Rinse and dry apples. Insert skewers into apples. In a shallow bowl combine the remaining marshmallows and chopped peanuts. Dip each apple in caramel mixture, coating apples. Press the bottom of the coated apple into the marshmallow and peanut mixture. Place the apple on the prepared sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Makes 6