Chocolate caramel apples are one of my favorite treats.
My mom started the tradition of dipping apples way back when. It is something my whole family looks forward to every Halloween. Over the years we have tried lots of different ideas. Some worked out really well and others, not so much.
I will share tips and tricks we have learned over the years to make our chocolate caramel apples just right.
Check out my Halloween charcuterie board to add as a fun treat.
Best Caramel for Dipping Apples
I have never been able to get the little caramel candies you buy from the grocery store to work. The caramel is just too thin and has a really hard time sticking to the apple.
We have had luck with 2 types of caramel:
- Peter's Caramel- This caramel will come in a big 5 lb brick. You can buy it on Amazon here. We have used this caramel for years and it works great. It sticks to the apples very well and tastes delicious. You don't have to use all of it at once. I have warmed up part of it and kept the rest in the fridge for use at a later date.
- Homemade Caramel- We tried this for the first time the other day and it worked AMAZING. We did have to experiment with the cooking but I think we perfected it. I will share the recipe with you below.
Prepping the Fresh Apples
Our favorite apples for dipping are green Granny Smith apples. They are the perfect tart apples for the sweet. Honeycrisp apples are another great option. They still give you that nice crunch too.
I first wash all of my apples with a little bit of dish soap. Make sure and rise all of the soap off, and wipe them completely dry. You can also use a fruit and veggie wash. This will make it so the caramel sticks to the apple.
Add wooden sticks into the stem end of each apple. These wooden sticks are 5 ½ inches long and have a point at the end so they go into the apple easier. You can use a popsicle stick. I would recommend making one of the ends pointed.
Making Homemade Caramel Tips
- You need a stock pot with with thick bottom. Having a thick bottom will help keep the caramel from burning
- We found a digital meat thermometer works best for getting the temperature just right. However you can use a candy thermometer if you have one.
- Never stop stirring and scraping the bottom
- As the caramel boils up and leaves sugar residue. Use water and a silicone brush to remove it.
- As soon as the caramel reaches temperature remove from heat.
Ingredients for Homemade Gourmet Caramel Apples
- Evaporated milk
- Heavy cream
- Corn syrup
- White granulated sugar
- Salted butter
See recipe card for full instructions
Dipping Chocolate Caramel Apples
To dip apples we leave the creamy caramel in the stock pot. We do slightly tip the pot and use a spatula to add the caramel to the apples. Once the apple is covered we pull it out of the caramel and let it drip. After it is done dripping use the spatula to clean off the bottom of each apple. This will make it so the apple sits flat.
Now place the caramel covered apple on parchment paper in a baking sheet or on a silicone mat to cool.
While the caramel cools, melt your chocolate. I have found melting chocolate wafers work the best. The don't burn quite as fast and have a much smoother finish. We usually do milk chocolate and white chocolate chips. However dark chocolate will work too.
For this batch since we are only doing a few apples I used my glass pyrex measuring cup to melt the chocolate in the microwave.
To melt chocolate in the microwave heat it on high for 30 seconds, stir and then repeat 1 or 2 more times. Just be careful to not cook the chocolate or it will be lumpy.
If you are making a lot of chocolate it is easier to melt the chocolate in a double broiler. You can use this double broiler to add to any pot.
To use a double broiler add water in the medium saucepan and bring to a boil. The steam will heat the chocolate. Just make sure the water doesn't run out.
Now that the chocolate is melted and your caramel apple is room temperature you can dip your apple or drizzle the homemade caramel apples. This chocolate layer is so delicious. While the chocolate is hot you can add apple toppings for a yummy finished apple.
Our Favorite Toppings
- Oreo cookies
- Reese's peanut butter cups
- cinnamon and sugar
- Mini marshmallows
- Candy eyes
There you have the most delicious chocolate caramel apple recipe.
To cut the apples we use a big knife and slice down each side of the apple. This will give you 8 delicious slices to enjoy, either by yourself or to share.
If you are sharing the apples wait until it is time to eat them before cutting. Once cut the apples will turn brown, just like a regular apple.
Storing the Delicious Caramel Apples
We eat a lot of the apples that are made that same day. Sometimes we do have to store a few of our apples. When this happens I like to store the apples in the fridge until we are ready to eat them. This is a great way to keep them fresh for a little longer. We take them out of the fridge and let the dipped apples sit for about 30 minutes before cutting the apples. This allows the caramel and chocolate to warm up.
You can also leave them at room temperature overnight.
Storing Leftover Caramel
Gooey caramel doesn't reheat very well. So, I found the easiest way to store the remaining caramel is to dump the leftover caramel into a glass baking pan and place it in the fridge. When we have parties or need something sweet it is the perfect treat. I cut it up into little cubes and place it on a try or you can also wrap it up in wax paper.
Caramel for Apple Dipping
- 1 Stock pot with thick bottom
- 1 Silicone spatula
- 1 Digital thermometer
- 1 Pastry brush
- 2 cans evaporated milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups corn syrup
- 5 cups white granulated sugar
- 1 ½ sticks salted butter
- Add butter to heavy bottom post and melt on medium heat.
- Add evaporated milk, cream, corn syrup, and sugar. Stir together until post starts to boil.
- Insert digital thermometer and continue to stir
- After pot has boiled down a bit use the pastry brush and water to wash away undissolved sugar on the side or the pot.
- Keep the caramel boiling until the thermometer hits 233 degrees F
- Remove instantly from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes before dipping.
With these tips and tricks I hope you can easily create a family tradition all can enjoy for years to come.
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