Every Halloween, we have a trick-or-treat party on the porch as a way to get to know and bless our neighbors. The mini-superheroes, ghosts, dinosaurs and hoards of princesses who tramp through our yard have a blast painting small pumpkins. While the kids are artistically occupied, we enjoy chatting with their parents over cups of hot cocoa and apple cider.
Last year we served hot dogs. But now that my Spiderman is gluten-intolerant, they arenít a good option anymore. So this Halloween, Iím excited to add caramel apple slices to the list of goodies. In my humble opinion, apples drizzled with homemade caramel and sprinkled with chopped nuts beats a plastic pumpkin full of candy any day!
Hereís the caramel recipe Iíll be using:
Caramel for Apples
This recipe makes enough caramel to cover 6-12 apples, depending on how large they are.
1 cup heavy cream
5 Tbs butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ľ tsp sea salt
1 Ĺ cups brown sugar
ľ cup honey
ľ cup water
Heat the cream, butter, vanilla and salt to a boil, then set aside.
Heat the brown sugar, honey and water over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. When the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil, moving the saucepan in a swirling motion until the sugar begins to caramelize.
Stir the cream mixture into the sugar. Donít stop stirring until the caramel reaches 246 degrees. Be patient. Keep stirring. Itís worth it.
Remove caramel from the heat and dip apples or drizzle over sliced apples.
- Wash the apples under hot water and rub with a dish towel to remove any wax. The wax could keep the caramel from sticking. Or just buy apples from a local orchard and you donít need to worry about wax.
- Use lollipop sticks, chopsticks, skewers or popsicle sticks to impale your apples.
- After dipping the apples, immediately roll them in toppings, set on a wax covered pan, and place in the fridge. Sticking the caramel apples in the fridge keeps the caramel from oozing off the apple.
- Some amazing toppings are: chopped nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts), sprinkles, crushed Oreos, cinnamon chocolate chips, M&Ms, caramel popcorn, mini marshmallows, coconut flakes, crushed pretzels, raisins and a sprinkle of sea or kosher salt.
For those interested, I get my small pumpkins (jack-be-Iittles), apples and apple cider at Weavers Orchard in Morgantown.