Since most of the children in our neighborhood have grown too old to trick-or-treat we haven't handed any candy out for the past 4 or 5 years, but the Hubs always reminds me to buy a bag of his favorite peanut butter cups, "just in case". So while I was out getting said peanut butter cups, he called to tell me 3 trick-or-treaters had just knocked on our door. Not knowing where I stash the emergency treats, he explained the situation to the parents and told them the only thing he had to offer were homemade candy apples. They happily accepted - crisis averted.
Anyway, this recipe tastes exactly like the candy apples I ate at street fairs when I was a child. They're pretty easy to make, but you definitely need a candy thermometer to ensure the sugar reaches the proper temperature. Items that are helpful, but not completely necessary are: a silicone sheet pan liner or parchment, and a 1-quart copper sugar pan (or similarly sized heavy-bottom sauce pan).
Red Candy Apples
makes 8-10 apples
- 8-10 apples, washed and stems removed
- 8-10 popsicle sticks
- 1/2 cup red hot candies (aka cinnamon imperials)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 15 drops red gel paste food coloring
- Prepare apples by washing, drying, and removing their stems.
- Push popsicle sticks about an inch into the stem end of the apples.
- Over medium-high heat, combine red hots, corn syrup, water, sugar, and food coloring in copper sugar pan. (or similar heavy-bottom sauce pan); cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and red hots dissolve.
- Stop stirring, place candy thermometer in the pan, and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 302F (150C).
- Turn off heat and remove candy thermometer from the pan; allow syrup to stop bubbling, about 2 minutes.
- Tilt the pan so the hot syrup pools to one side and carefully dip the apples, one at a time, turning to coat completely.
- Allow excess sugar syrup to drip back into the pan before placing the coated apples on a Silpat liner or parchment paper to harden (about 5 minutes).
- Cool completely before serving.
Note: Best eaten within 24 hours.
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart