Gourmet Homemade Caramel Apples are a delicious treat that is perfect for any occasion. These sweet, buttery caramel apples are easy and fun to make, and you can decorate them with as many crunchy, chewy, nutty, or crispy toppings as you want! The tart Granny Smith apples perfectly complement the rich, creamy caramel, making for a flavor explosion in every bite.
Caramel apples make great gifts and are perfect for special occasions like Halloween and Thanksgiving. They also last a long time, so you can make them in advance and have them ready for whenever you need them. Just be sure to store them in the refrigerator to keep the caramel from melting.
Making your own caramel apples is also a great way to save money. Gourmet caramel apples can cost upwards of $10 each, but you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can customize them to your liking and have fun in the process.
Overall, making delicious gourmet caramel apples is easy with the right tips and tricks. Follow these recommendations and use step-by-step photos to guide you through the process, and you’ll be enjoying delicious homemade caramel apples in no time!
- Caramel – I used Krafts Caramel Bits’ as this saves time on unwrapping individual caramels.
- White chocolate – I used the Ghirardelli white vanilla flavored melting wafers
- Dark chocolate – I used the Ghirardelli dark chocolate flavored melting wafers.
- Toffee – I used the Heath’s English Toffee Bits
- Wooden Apple Sticks – These are generally available in the craft store or grocery store.
Choosing the Right Apples
When it comes to making gourmet homemade caramel apples, choosing the right apples is essential. The type of apple you choose can greatly affect the taste and texture of your caramel apple. Here are some things to consider when selecting your apples:
Tart Apples are a great choice for making caramel apples because they provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the caramel. Some popular tart apple varieties include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady. Granny Smith apples are a classic choice and are widely available at grocery stores and apple orchards.
Crisp Apples are also a good choice for making caramel apples because they hold up well to the weight of the caramel and toppings. Some popular crisp apple varieties include Honeycrisp, Gala, and Fuji.
Best Apple for Caramel Apples
While there are many different types of apples you can use to make caramel apples, the best apple for caramel apples is the Granny Smith. This tart apple provides the perfect balance to the sweetness of the caramel and holds up well to the weight of the caramel and toppings.
Best Way to Make Gourmet Caramel Apples
The easiest way to make gourmet caramel apples is to use a premade caramel like Peter’s Caramel. It’s available at most craft stores and produces delicious results with minimal effort. However, if you prefer to make your own caramel, I recommend using a recipe that includes heavy cream and butter for the best flavor and texture.
When it comes to toppings, the possibilities are endless. Some of my favorite combinations include pumpkin spice caramel with crushed graham crackers and white chocolate drizzle, or classic caramel with chopped peanuts and a chocolate drizzle.
Techniques and Tips
Here are some techniques and tips that will help you achieve perfect caramel apples:
- Choose the right apples: Granny Smith apples are the best choice for caramel apples because they are firm and tart, which balances out the sweetness of the caramel.
- Prepare the apples: Wash and dry the apples thoroughly before dipping them in caramel. Remove the stems and insert wooden sticks into the top of the apples.
- Heat the caramel: Heat the caramel over low heat until it is smooth and runny. Be careful not to overheat the caramel, as this can cause it to burn.
- Dip the apples: Hold the apples by the sticks and dip them into the hot caramel, swirling them around to coat them evenly. Use a spoon to help coat the apples if necessary.
- Remove excess caramel: Once the apples are coated, hold them over the pot of caramel and rotate them to allow excess caramel to drip off. Use a spoon to scrape off any excess caramel that accumulates at the bottom of the apple.
Cooling and Setting
After dipping the apples in caramel, it’s important to allow them to cool and set properly. Here’s how:
- Place the apples on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let them cool at room temperature until the caramel is completely set.
- If you want to speed up the process, you can place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Once the caramel is set, you can decorate the apples with toppings such as chopped nuts, sprinkles, or chocolate drizzle.
Once you have your melted chocolate ready, it’s time to apply your favorite toppings to your caramel apples. Here are some popular toppings to consider:
- Mini M&M’s: These colorful candies add a fun pop of color and crunch to your caramel apples.
- Toffee bits: These sweet and crunchy bits are perfect for adding a caramel-like flavor to your apples.
- Crushed Oreos: Crushed Oreos add a delicious chocolatey crunch to your caramel apples.
- Chopped nuts: Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are all great options for adding a nutty crunch to your caramel apples.
To apply toppings to your caramel apples, follow these steps:
- Dip your caramel apple in melted chocolate and let any excess chocolate drip off.
- Roll your caramel apple in your chosen toppings, making sure to press them gently onto the chocolate layer.
- Let your caramel apple cool and harden on a sheet of parchment paper.
For an extra touch of elegance, you can also drizzle melted white chocolate over your caramel apples. This adds a beautiful contrast to the dark chocolate and caramel flavors.
Overall, adding chocolate and other toppings to your gourmet caramel apples is a fun and creative way to elevate this classic fall treat.
Storing and Serving Gourmet Caramel Apples
First and foremost, it is essential to store your caramel apples properly to maintain their texture and flavor. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper to store your caramel apples. This will prevent them from sticking to the surface and make it easier to remove them later.
- If you have multiple caramel apples, make sure to space them out on the baking sheet to avoid any contact between them.
- Store your caramel apples in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for a longer time. Wrap them in paper towels to absorb any excess moisture and prevent them from becoming soggy.
- If you plan to store your caramel apples for an extended period, consider using a slow cooker to keep them warm. This will help maintain their texture and prevent the caramel from hardening.
- If you need to transport your caramel apples, wrap them in paper towels and place them in a sturdy container to avoid any damage.
Now that you know how to store your gourmet caramel apples let’s talk about serving them. Here are some suggestions to make your caramel apple experience even more enjoyable:
- Before serving, let your caramel apples sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften the caramel.
- If you want to add some extra flavor to your caramel apples, consider drizzling them with melted chocolate or sprinkling them with chopped nuts or candy.
- To make your caramel apples more festive, insert a popsicle stick or skewer into the top of the apple before dipping it in caramel.
- If you have leftover caramel, consider using it as a dip for other fruits or snacks like pretzels or popcorn.
- To display your finished caramel apples, place them on a decorative cookie sheet or tray and garnish with fall leaves or other seasonal decorations.
Avoiding Common Issues
One of the biggest issues people face when making caramel apples is the caramel sliding off the apple. To prevent this, make sure your apples are completely dry before dipping them in the caramel. You can also try dipping them in very hot water for a few seconds before drying them to remove any wax coating.
Another common issue is the caramel becoming too hard or too soft. To get the best results, use a heavy saucepan and a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the caramel. I recommend cooking the caramel to 240 degrees F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can also do the “soft ball” test by dropping a small amount of caramel into a bowl of very cold water. The caramel should form a soft ball that holds its shape but is still pliable.
When making caramel apples, it is important to choose the right type of apples. Granny Smith apples are a popular choice because they are tart and firm, which makes them easier to work with. However, you can use any type of apple that you enjoy eating.
If you don’t have the time or skills to make your own caramel apples, you can always purchase them from a candy shop or gourmet food store. Places like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory offer a wide variety of gourmet caramel apple options that are perfect for Halloween parties or other special occasions.
Overall, making homemade gourmet caramel apples is a fun and easy way to enjoy a classic fall treat. With the right recipe and toppings, you can create a delicious and memorable dessert that everyone will love.