Monday, October 28, 2013
Fall Flavor: caramel apples from scratch
While planning Sydney's Halloween party I knew I needed to keep it children friendly, meaning simple foods, that they can grab & go. For the most part, it seems that children look for food they recognize at these kinds of events. They don't want to mingle & talk to me about the dip, they want to get their food quickly & get to socializing with Sydney! I thought long & hard about what kind of food I wanted to make, I really don't want to serve things that won't be a hit because the last thing I want is them to feel hungry & gorge on candy! If you checked out my mood board for this shin-dig, you'll see that I wanted to sneak healthy foods in. Granted it might not be the biggest victory, sneaking in fruit under candy, but it's a start!
This was my very first time making caramel from scratch & I was crazy nervous. It seemed so scary, like I was for sure going to ruin a pot & most likely catch the house on fire. I am happy to declare I was really, really, wrong. About ten minutes is all it took but I will say you have to watch it, it goes from "smooth sailing" to, "i'm going to burn", if you don't pay attention! So for this one, i'm going to say this is an adult recipe while the kids watch from afar.
3/4 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup water
1/2 Cup Heavy cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
Dash, Lemon juice
Toppings (sprinkles, marshmallows, nuts, pretzels)
Something to put candy apples in or on ( a foam block, a plate, or get creative like I did!)
Begin by washing the apples & setting aside, I used Rome apples but you can use whichever kind you like, I choose them because they were small, a little tart & on sale!
Next cut skewers to desired length.
Choose a deep pot & wash (even if it seems clean, give it a good rinse, caramel is persnickety)!
Get all of your ingredients poured out & placed within arms length.
Pour sugar & water in pot, make sure all the sugar is covered with water, lightly stir.
Cook on medium heat stirring frequently, this will be a few minutes of stirring & watching, slowly the sugar will melt & become a syrup consistency.
At this point put a few drops of lemon juice in the pot (this will help to prevent clumps in your mixture).
Slowly it will start to become an amber color. Once it is the desired color of caramel remove from heat.
Quickly stir in butter & heavy cream.
It will bubble like crazy, keep stirring, all of the sudden it will become smooth & actually look like caramel!
You did it! I know it was scary, but pretty easy at the same time! It just needed a little of your love!
Once the caramel has cooled down a bit, skewer your apples & dip away!
Let them cool a little more & become tacky instead of runny, then decorate to your hearts content! I like salty sweet so I made one with pretzel crumbs! The rest I decorated with sprinkles or left plain for the picky eaters, like Sydney.
& if you're wondering what I used to place my caramel apples while drying, I had a store bought birthday cake container, so I just poked holes for the skewers & rested the apples on top. Now go get creative!