My mind's totally blank on ideas until last Friday when I was drooling over pictures of caramel apples. Suddenly, the light bulb in my head flashed...that's it! So I got busy browsing for a recipe with easy instruction. I found some that tell you to buy pre-made caramel candy and melt them, some show you how to make them from scratch using a candy thermometer (I need to buy one soon) and some gave tips but refused to share their secret, passed-down from generations caramel recipe
For sure, I didn't want to buy the pre-made caramels but I also wanted something easy to follow. Finally, a caramel apple recipe from bloom.acious intrigued me. The recipe calls for cream cheese and toffee bits, something I didn't see in any other recipes and never even thought they're ingredients in caramel apples. So I got totally excited to tackle my first attempt at making homemade caramel apples.
Since I was making these for a baby shower, I wanted to fancy them up a little by dipping the caramel apples in dark chocolate and drizzle with toppings. I chose chopped peanuts, chopped pistachios, and toffee bits as the toppings. I also got some cute striped blue ribbons at Michael's Craft store to tie on the sticks.
I'm happy to say the caramel recipe was so easy. The cream cheese definitely added some richness to the caramel. The combination of the caramel, bittersweet chocolate, salty toppings, and tartness of the apples in one bite is unbelievable - over the top delicious! And once all dressed up with the ribbons, they looked so adorable. My personal favorite is the one with pistachios topping but the toffee bits were the most popular and were gone first. Hmmm...I see many more homemade caramel apples in my future...
10 small Granny Smith apples
10 sticks (wooden or lollipop sticks)
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz.) package toffee bits (I used Heath toffee bits/chunks)
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate and Toppings
4 C. Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips
1 C. chopped pistachio nuts
1 C. chopped peanuts
1 C. Heath toffee bits
1. Wash apples in lukewarm water to remove some of the wax then dry. Place them in the refrigerator.
2. Stir caramel ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat until blended and allow to cool a bit.
3. Dip apples that have been fitted with a stick and set aside until the dip sets up.
4. Place each topping in a separate plate.
5. Pour chocolate chips in a glass bowl and melt in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and heat in 15 seconds increments, if needed, until chocolate is all melted and smooth. Dip caramel coated apples in the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with toppings.
Note: Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper and grease lightly with cooking spray. This will allow you to easily peel off the wax paper from the bottom of the caramel apples.