Bite me. But not really. Bite these apples instead. It’s actually possible since they’re miniature, unlike those gigantic caramel apples you see in stores around Halloween time which require a trip to the dentist afterward… This caramel is definitely still super chewy, but the size makes them more manageable to enjoy. I decided to make them mini in the first place because they were part of my dessert spread at my Halloween/Day of the Dead party that I hosted. And I think that party food should always be bite-sized so guests can try a little bit of everything! (I must admit my ulterior motive was that you can eat four or five of everything and pretend like it wasn’t really that much!)
This caramel isn’t a traditional slow-cooked sugar; it’s designed to stay chewy and not harden completely by a little help from sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup. The salty sweetness offsets the sourness of the apples perfectly. Since I made these for a party, I didn’t go with low-fat or low-sugar anything. If you’re looking to cut a few calories, you could probably use fat-free sweetened condensed milk, though I can’t vouch for the results. You might have to heat it more slowly so it doesn’t scald. If I make these again I will definitely try that method and post results.
I’m still working on figuring out the new camera. I think next time I’ll set up a tripod. Because of the mood lighting, some photos came out slightly blurry due to the shutter speed settings I was trying out. Overall, they are still much better pictures than my Droid can take… Just look at that pool of shiny caramel. *Drool*
Mini Caramel Apples:
*Special equipment: candy thermometer
- 20 Lady Apples (or other very small variety)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 20 sticks, or other holders (ice pop or lollipop sticks will also work)
- Prep the apples by washing and drying well (any wax on the apples will prevent the caramel from adhering) and insert sticks near the stem. I had to puncture them with a metal skewer first so the sticks wouldn’t break when I inserted them.
- In a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk and continue to stir until mixture is boiling and reads 235 degrees F (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and salt. Allow to cool to 200 degrees F.
- Dip each apple the the caramel mixture, rotating to coat. Place on a silicone baking mat or wax paper and let set at room temperature until caramel is completely cool.