How to Make Gourmet Caramel Apples

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Well, howdy folks!! I am busy in northern Washington on a blog trip just enjoying the chilly fall weather and gorgeous changing leaves! You’ll be able to read a lot more about my stay in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. But in the mean time, this trip is making me fall more and more in love with the Fall season. Every season is my favorite for different reasons, but I have a special place in my heart for Fall. Mainly because I love the cooler temperatures, the pumpkin recipes, the heartier chilis and stews, Halloween, Thanksgiving and……caramel apples!

You had to have seen that coming.

Growing up, my Mom never made caramel apples with me. Probably because I hated apples {and most fruit} with a passion. It wasn’t until years and years later that I embraced that food group. Luckily, my children have not inherited my strange ways…that I know of. If you’re struggling to get your kids to eat fruit, just dip it into some caramel, roll it in some Oreos and drizzle it all with chocolate. It’s REALLY healthy.

Ok maybe not. But!! My kiddos certainly ate all the caramel apple slices we gave them.  Can you blame them? These dudes are gorgeous and are covered with all sorts of goodies! So…can’t say that I do. Incase you have never made caramel apples before, there are a few little tips and tricks you need to be successful. I cover them all below in the step-by-step photos, so get a-scrolling.

Here’s how to make them:

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You’re going to want to stock up on copious amounts of sweet treats. Most of these coatings are totally optional so pick what you’d prefer. I wanted to show you lots of options, so I went a little overboard.

I’m so nice like that!

Some of this stuff will be used as garnishes and some will be used in the actual caramel to coat the apples.

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One of the very first things we need to do is unwrap a bunch of caramels. I’m using two 11-oz. bags; enough to coat 12 apples. I employed my husband and daughter for this job.

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I told her to work harder and she laughed at me….whatever.

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I’d also recommend getting your toppings all laid out and ready to go. I have nuts, chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, crushed oreos, coconut, graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows. Just about anything you like could get stuck onto a caramel apple as long as its cut into small pieces.

I used paper plates for easy clean up but that is optional too.

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Ok, so the caramels should be unwrapped and put to the side while we prep the apples.

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Pull your 12 apples out of the fridge and wash them well. I used organic apples because they don’t have that wax coating on them. The wax coating can prevent the caramel from sticking so for this recipe specifically, grab yourself some organic apples. I used golden delicious and braeburn but honestly, any good looking apples that you like will work.

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Dry the apples off really well and pull the stems out of each one.

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Like so! Now we can push the sticks into the tops for our handy dandy handles.

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I used sticks I collected from my backyard because I could not find those wooden craft sticks ANYWHERE. It drove me *nearly* insane. 

Anyways.

If you forage your own sticks, wash them well first before using.

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Ok, so one last thing to do before actually dipping the apples: turn a crockpot onto high. Bring some water to boil on the stove. Pour it into the crockpot, switch crockpot temperature to warm, then add in your chocolate chips in containers to melt slowly and evenly. This will keep it melted and warm and ready to go!

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Ok, you guys. THE TIME HAS COME. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to your caramels and microwave on high 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramel is completely melted.

Dip your *still cold* apples into the hot caramel and let it drip for a good 30 seconds. Then immediately dip them into the toppings you’d like.  {Cold apples help the caramel harden up faster than room temperature apples.}

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I like to dip my apples so that some caramel still shows at the top, but feel free to cover them as much as you want.

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Nuts make a pretty and  yummy coating.

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Also, these pecans are ta-die-for!

So, once you have all of your apples dipped and coated, place them onto some wax paper to completely harden. You can pop them back into the fridge to harden the caramel faster, but they will eventually harden on the counter too.

Feel free to stop here and eat these caramel apples as is.

Buuuut, I like to live on the edge so, lets turn these into gourmet caramel apples.

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Your chocolate should be looking pretty melty and yummy. Spoon this into a piping bag or a squeeze bottle and drizzle over the top of your apples.

If you don’t have a piping bag or a squeeze bottle, just use a spoon to drizzle.
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While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on a few festive sprinkles and that is it! Amazing caramel apples that look and taste amazing!

Out of all the apples I dipped and made, these were my favorites 🙂
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Caramel + almonds + white and dark chocolate! YUM!
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Caramel + crushed oreos + white and milk chocolate

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caramel + coconut + white chocolate

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I had my daughter helping me and we seriously had so much fun picking and choosing what toppings, chocolates and sprinkles to use. That girl was in HEAVEN!

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You can pop these back into the fridge for a brief 5 minutes to harden the chocolate fast before wrapping in cellophane or cutting and eating.

If you’ve never made caramel apples before, you MUST give these a try { especially if you have little ones that are easy to impress!}

My daughter and I had such a great time adding layer after layer of goodies! And no matter what combination you choose they all tasted delicious 🙂

My basic recipe is below for you to use how you like and print. Be sure to make yours before Halloween and send me pictures! Just tag me in the picture you share and I’ll be able to see it! Easy peasy!

Gourmet Caramel Apples

Grab a few simple pantry ingredients and whip up a gorgeous batch of gourmet looking {but totally easy!} caramel apples at home!
servings 12 caramel apples
Prep Time 40 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 12 large cold organic apples any kind you like
  • 22 oz caramels two 11 oz bags, unwrapped
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

any desired coatings/toppings such as:

variety of chocolate chips such as:

  • white
  • milk
  • semi sweet
  • dark
  • peanut butter
  • butterscotch

Instructions

  • Wash cold apples well and dry with clean kitchen cloth. Remove stems and push craft sticks {or cleaned sticks from the garden} 1 inch into the apples to secure them into place. Set aside.
  • Unwrap caramels and place into a large bowl with water. Set aside.
  • Place any desired toppings into dishes or onto paper plates.
  • To heat chocolate, place chocolate chips into heat-proof containers. Turn crockpot settings to high. Bring small pot of water to boil. Pour water into crockpot and reduce temperature to warm. Place containers of chocolate into hot water to melt and keep warm.
  • Back to the bowl of caramels and water: microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to melt caramel completely.
  • To make caramel apples, take a cold, clean and dry apple and dip it into the warm caramel. Turn apple completely around in the hot caramel to coat evenly. Let the excess drip off the apple for a good 30 seconds before dipping into prepared toppings. Place apple onto sheet of wax paper. Continue dipping and coating apples until all are covered. Feel free to refrigerate 5-10 minutes to solidify caramel faster. {Totally optional step!} After 3 or 4 apples, you may have to reheat the caramel if you notice its getting thicker and thus harder to get a thin, even coat on your apples.
  • Remove from fridge and drizzle melted chocolate over the tops of each apple using a squeeze bottle or piping bag. Top with sprinkles. Once chocolate is set, cut into slices and serve. OR wrap up in cellophane bags as gifts.

Notes

Nutritional Information depends on what toppings you choose.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Caramel Apples
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11 Responses
    1. Tracey Wright

      These are not covered very well. I don’t think the apple should show through the caramel and it does not look like the toppings are staying on very well either. Packaged caramels are obviously too thin. I like making my own caramel so that I can control how thick it is.

  1. Rachel J

    Yum yum Lauren! That Oreo number is the best gourmet apple I’ve ever seen. I’d like all the toppings on mine please. Cute family activity! Can’t wait for my little 10 week old babe to partake in food fun with me!

  2. Stephanie

    Lauren, your apples look delish! My husband and I make gourmet apples every year around the holidays. So fun and super yummy! Love all the toppings you chose 🙂

  3. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    Love those gorgeous looking gourmet apples, but I am seriously awestruck at the crock pot tip to melt the chocolate melts!!! That’s awesome! i never would have thought of that!

  4. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    I was just admiring some gourmet caramel apples at the markets on the weekend! They are just making their debut here in Australia, and I’d much prefer to make my own than spend $10 on an apple. And then I get to choose exactly which yummies I am going to sprinkle on top! Thanks for sharing Lauren 🙂

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    […] Go apple picking at Riley’s Farm and make gourmet caramel apples. […]

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