This week it will be October. Can you believe it? That means that Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that those wonderfully hectic holidays bring will be upon us before we know it. Have you thought about gifts? Me, either. I have so many projects going on with this blog and real life that I haven't given it a lot of thought.
I had a friend years ago that used to make gourmet apples every fall to sell at bazaars and to give as gifts. She always started with huge Granny Smith apples and used only higher end chocolates and caramels. Her apples weighed over 2 pounds by the time she was done and they were much sought after by all who knew her. I looked online to see if they are still popular...and they are. They retail for at least $12 and up to $19 before shipping! You can make these for much cheaper at home. What great gifts they'd be for friends, teachers and neighbors.
Watch for caramels to go on clearance after Halloween. You can usually find them for 75% off a week or two after Oct. 31. Chocolate chips are due to be going on sale as all grocery stores gear up for baking season. Nuts will be cheaper, too. Look for sales and these babies will not cost you much at all to make.
You will need:
firm, fresh apples (no bruises, no odd shapes)
clean popsicle sticks
1 bag caramels (or more if desired)
2 Tbsp water for every bag of caramels
chocolate or other flavored chips
nuts, M&Ms, sprinkles or whatever you can think of
Stick the popsicle sticks into the apples at the blossom end.
Melt the caramels with water in a saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Holding the apple by the wooden stick, twirl the apple in the caramel to coat. Let the excess drip back into the pan. Let sit on a buttered plate or cookie sheet to cool slightly.
(note: this was not a dipped caramel apple, I molded the warmed caramels around the apples, but this is Not recommended as it does not stick to the apple and after the entire thing is made, the entire coating slips off the skin....not a pleasant end for all of that hard work...however this is the only picture I took at this stage, so you have to use a little imagination.)
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler. Dip the apple into the chocolate and twirl the apple to coat with chocolate. Roll it in the nuts, if desired. Let cool slightly and roll in chocolate again...or another flavor of melted chips. Coat with sprinkles or shaved chocolate or candy pieces. Store in the fridge.