Last year, I never got around to carving pumpkins. This year, I’ve done one already, to delight my two-year-old grandchild who sang, “Happy birthday, pumpkin,” when we lit the candle.
I also made a first round of caramel apples. It’s easy if you start with caramel candies and melt them in the microwave.
The recipe below is a general one because the amount of candy you need will depend on the size of your apples, and the time to melt the caramels will depend on the type of caramels you buy and the power of your microwave oven.
An Important Caution
Recent findings have shown that caramel apples are a breeding ground for listeria. Researchers think that juices released when the stick is poked into the apple, coming in contact with the caramel, is the cause. It appears that refrigeration and consuming the caramel apples within a week avoids the problem. In any case, do not make these apples until you’ve read about the listeria issue and feel comfortable proceeding.
3 small apples
3 craft sticks or chopsticks cut to size
Cooking spray or butter
1 package (4.51 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
1½ teaspoons water
Wash and dry apples. Insert a stick in the stem end of each apple.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper large enough to hold the apples. Spray paper with cooking spray or grease lightly with butter.
In a small microwave-safe bowl wide enough to easily fit your largest apple, add caramels and water and microwave 1 minute. Stir caramels with a fork and if completely melted, remove from microwave. If not, microwave 1 minute at a time, stirring after each minute, until caramels are melted.
Cool caramel mixture slightly; while caramel is still melty, dip apple in caramel bowl to coat the bottom. Using a spoon, spoon additional caramel over the top of the apple until the entire apple is covered. Lift the apple out of the bowl, letting excess caramel drip off. Use the spoon to scrape some of the caramel off the bottom of the apple, since as the apple sits, the caramel will continue to flow down and puddle at the base. Repeat with remaining apples.
When all apples are done, refrigerate them immediately and eat within a few days.
- I bought Werther’s Original Soft Caramels, which was the only brand I found at my drugstore and supermarket; the caramels are creamy and buttery and melt easily.
- You can double or triple the recipe, as needed, but you may want to start with three apples if this is your first effort.
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