I am still working through this HUGE bunch of apples we picked, so I thought I would put up another apple recipe. Who doesn't love a caramel apple? I found this recipe on the newsletter of one of my favorite authors. Her name is Marcia Lynn Mcclure, she writes clean romance novels. The stories are always fantastic, usually set sometime in history. They are totally sappy, cheesy, love stories and I just eat them up! Total eye candy for me! Anyway, apparently this recipe is one that Marcia's mom made all the time, and I can totally see why! Now I have amazing caramel apples to enjoy while I read a Marcia book! The great this is this recipe can either be caramel apple dip or you can dip whole apples in it. Either way you won't be disappointed and you may never go back to unwrapping those store bought caramels again!
Caramel Apples or Apple Dip
(makes 10 caramel apples)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 t salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 t vanilla
10 medium apples
In a sauce pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to very, very soft ball stage (for dip) and soft ball stage* for dipping apples. Once it is at this stage, remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla and completely combined.
For apple dip serve with sliced apples.
For caramel apples wash and dry apples. Insert a Popsicle stick into to top of each apple and set aside. Place a length of wax paper on a cookie sheet, butter the wax paper and sprinkle it with sugar (this is very important, caramel apples will stick to the wax paper otherwise). Once my caramel reached the soft ball stage I continued stirring for a few moments until the caramel was a good caramel color (do not do this for too long or your caramel will be too hard). Then I stirred in the butter and vanilla. I let my caramel cool slightly, (when I tried to dip the apples right away, the caramel just slide off the apple). I let the caramel sit for about 2 minutes and then the caramel was perfect. Set the dipped apples onto the wax paper and let them set up. You can leave them like this or you can go on to dip them in melted chocolate, drizzle them with chocolate, decorate them with nuts, sprinkles, or coconut, etc.
*Soft ball stage can be determined with a candy thermometer OR if you are like me and don't have one, just get a small bowl filled with ice water and drop a small amount of the bubbling caramel into it. If you can pick up the caramel out of the water and it holds together in a soft ball, it is ready!