Halloween treats take center stage in October. And what can be better this time of year than a fresh autumn apple coated in a sweet candy shell?
2 cups white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup 1 1/2 cups water
8 drops red food coloring
Lightly grease cookie sheets and insert craft sticks into whole, stemmed apples. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Heat to 300 to 310 F, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Holding the apple by its stick, dip in the syrup and turn to coat evenly. Place on prepared sheets to harden.
Old-Fashioned Caramel Apples
12 medium apples
2 cups granulates sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2⁄3 cup light corn syrup
1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup half-and-half (10%) cream or evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans, 11⁄2 cups sweetened flaked coconut or 2 cups crisp rice cereal (optional)
Wash and dry the apples. Remove the stems. Insert a popsicle stick into the stem end of each apple, using a twist-like motion so that the apple will not split. Cover a large countertop area or a large baking sheet with waxed paper. In a large heavy kettle over medium-low heat, bring the granulated and brown sugars, corn syrup, butter, half-and-half and salt to a boil, stirring until the sugars dissolve and the mixture begins to boil. Cook, gently stirring to prevent scorching, to the firm ball stage (246 F). Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat. Cool until the mixture thickens slightly.
Hold each apple by the wooden skewer and quickly twirl into the caramel, tilting the pan to cover the apple with caramel. Remove the apple from the caramel, allow the excess caramel to drip into the pan and then twirl the apple again to spread the caramel smoothly over the apple. Use a spoon to coat any part of the apple not covered with caramel. If desired, roll the coated apples in the toppings before the caramel sets. Place on the waxed paper until the coating is firm. Store in a cool place.