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Easy Homemade Candy Apples
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Have you ever tried to bite into a candy apple?
I don’t think it’s humanly possible.
And after whipping up a dozen of them last weekend, I’m even more convinced it’s just one of those foods that doesn’t make sense—like naming miniature candy bars as “fun-size.” There’s nothing fun about having less candy.
But with Halloween right around the corner, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at the homemade version of one of fall’s classic desserts. It turns out giving my friends candy apples was more of a trick than a treat, as I handed them out then enjoyed the hilarious scene that ensued. Their teeth were slipping and sliding across the slick red surface like tennis shoes on an ice skating rink. Eventually my caveman instincts kicked in. Me use knife. Me cut apple. Me eat apple in slices.
tripping leaping over the practicality hurdle, we enjoyed slice after slice of the sweet and crunchy snack-on-a-stick. My sister, ever the attorney, suggested I include a legal disclaimer with this recipe stating that I am not responsible for any injuries and/or broken teeth caused by the candy apples. But I, being the glass-is-half-full kinda gal that I am, like to think of them as a dessert that’s simply keeping dentists around the world in business.
Easy Homemade Candy Apples
- 12 small red or green apples, any variety
- 12 lollipop or popsicle sticks
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
- Equipment: candy thermometer
Wash and thoroughly dry the apples (See Kelly's Notes below). Insert the lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks so that they are firmly positioned in the apples. Set the apples aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and coated with cooking spray.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300ºF (the hard crack stage).
Remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the red food coloring (it may splash, so stand back). You may have to add more than the designated ½ teaspoon, depending on the quality and strength of your food coloring.
One by one, carefully dip the apples into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan. Transfer the coated apples to the prepared cookie sheet and allow them to cool until the candy has fully hardened.
Apples often come with a waxy coating, which will prevent the candy from sticking to the surface. To remove the wax, simply boil 6 cups water with 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Quickly dip the apples in the boiling mixture for 5 seconds then thoroughly dry them. The candy will stick in an instant!
If the candy mixture gets too hard during the dipping process, simply re-heat it over medium heat and continue coating the apples.
Serving the apples in colorful cupcake wrappers is a fun way to jazz up your Halloween party spread.