These gourmet caramel apples are made with the best homemade caramel, and taste just like the ones from the candy shop!
Can you believe it’s October 1st already? Between buying a house, moving, and chipping away at the endless list of house projects that need to be done, I feel like the summer flew by for my family. It feels like I haven’t been able to really catch my breath since we put in our offer way back in early June, and now months have passed in the blink of an eye. We’re now firmly into fall, and it feels strange and sudden to me. October is always one of my favorite months, and I love doing all of our family traditions, like visiting the pumpkin patch, picking apples, trick or treating in the neighborhood, and making all of our favorite fall treats.
These gourmet caramel apples are a tradition my girls look forward to every year. They’re made with the most luscious homemade caramel, and made even more delicious by adding chopped candy bars, nuts, and crushed cookies. I got the recipe from Ella Claire several years ago, and they never disappoint. In the last few years, we’ve started inviting friends over to decorate apples with us, and that has definitely added another layer of fun to our tradition! Over the years, we have each developed our own favorite combination of flavors for our apples, and the apple below is my favorite. I’ve heard them called apple pie caramel apples before, and I would say that’s a pretty apt name. They are covered in creamy white chocolate, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. So delicious, and such a great combination of flavors!
My girls’ favorite apples are the Snickers caramel apples below. They’re covered in semi-sweet chocolate, then topped with chopped peanuts, and chopped Snicker’s candies. They’re the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and so tasty!
My husband’s favorite apples are the cookies and cream apples below. They’re spread with melted white chocolate, then drizzled with melted semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled with crushed Oreo cookies. So, so good!
The sky is the limit with these apples, and you can really add anything you like to them! We’ve added M&M’s, crushed butterfingers, toffee bits, crushed Nutter Butter cookies, chopped Reese’s candies, walnuts, pecans, shredded coconut – you name it! They’re always delicious. If you’re making them in advance (like we do for our caramel apple parties), I would suggest dipping all of the apples in the caramel and letting them cool, then setting out the toppings and melting the chocolate when you’re ready to start decorating. If you happen to have a fondue pot, it will help to keep the chocolate melted and easy to work with, but if not, you can just reheat it periodically when it starts to harden. You most definitely need to give these gourmet caramel apples a try!
Gourmet Caramel ApplesPrint Recipe
for the homemade caramel:
- 1 cup salted butter cut into pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
to make the gourmet caramel apples:
- 12 small to medium size green apples
- 12 popsicle sticks or caramel apple sticks
- melting chocolate or candy melts
- toppings of your choice chopped candy bars, nuts, crushed cookies, cinnamon sugar, etc.
- Prepare the apples by scrubbing them clean and drying well. Insert a stick into each apple and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate at least one hour.
- To make the caramel, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt, and stir using a rubber spatula. Add the sweetened condensed milk slowly, stirring well to incorporate. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Dip each apple into the caramel, turning the apple around to coat all side. Let the excess caramel drip off the apple, and scrape a knife across the bottom of each apple to remove the excess. Place the apples back onto the baking sheet and let cool to room temperature.
- To decorate the apples, start by melting the chocolate. Microwave at 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. To decorate, use a knife or offset spatula to spread chocolate around the outside of the apple, leaving a small amount of caramel showing at the top. Sprinkle with desired toppings.