These chocolate caramel candy apples are easy, delicious, and make beautiful gifts. Dip your apples in caramel, chocolate, or even melted candy and top them with cinnamon, candies, or chopped nuts. Use your imagination and the options are endless.
Choosing Your Apples for Candy Apples
The key to these best candy apple is contrast. Chocolate and caramel are sweet on their own. While adding a crisp apple to crunch into will be nice for the texture, choosing a sweet apple could be a headache. For the best contrast against the sweet caramel and chocolate coating, you’ll want a nice, tart apple. Be careful to choose a good-sized apple that is firm and not bruised as well.
We’ve found that smaller Granny Smith apples tend to work best for candy apples because they’re perfectly tart and just the right size for a better serving size.
The Best Chocolate and Caramel for Candy Apples
Use the very best chocolate that you can buy. You can buy melting wafers specifically made for candy coatings. Avoid those melting chocolates designed for thin, hard coatings and leave a waxy feel in your mouth.
For the caramel candy coating, you can use caramel candies and melt them easily in a saucepan, or you can make a homemade caramel with a recipe. It’s easy to melt the individually wrapped caramel candies, but a recipe means you don’t have to unwrap hundreds of candies.
Preparing Your Candy Apples
As mentioned before, you’ll want to be sure your apples are firm and unbruised. The last thing you’ll want from a candy apple is to take a bite into a soft apple.
Next, wash your apples and remove the stems by twisting and pulling the stems or by cutting it with sharp scissors. Be sure to dry the apples completely. If the apples are damp, the caramel will not stick to the apples.
Then press craft sticks for handles into the stem end of the apples. You are now ready to dip your candy apples.
Chocolate Caramel Candy Apples Recipe
- 5-6 medium apples
- 5-6 craft or popsicle sticks
- 14-16 ounces caramel candies (or one caramel recipe)
- 2 tablespoons water for melting
- Melting chocolate for coating
- White melting chocolate (optional)
- Nuts, candies, or sprinkles (optional)
- Place buttered or oiled waxed paper on a cookie sheet or several large plates. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, melt the caramels over very low heat with the water (if using caramel candies), stirring occasionally as they soften.
- While holding the pan to its side to make the caramel deeper, twist the apples through the caramel. By grasping the sticks, you can roll the apples on an angle so that the caramel does not need to be deep enough to immerse the apples.
- Let the excess caramel drip off of the apple. Scrape the caramel off of the bottom of the apple. More caramel will drip down the apple as it sits. Set them vertically on the waxed paper to cool.
- Melt enough chocolate to twist the caramel apples through the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, dip the caramel apples just as with the caramel. Again, set on waxed paper to cool or roll the coated apples through chopped nuts or crushed candies.
- Once cool, consider melting white chocolate or almond bark and drizzling the white chocolate over the apples.
Candy Apple Tips and Troubleshooting
- Don’t cook either the caramel or chocolate coating. Cooking will change the consistency; it only needs to melt.
- If the coating seems too thin, it’s too hot. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
- If the coating is not adhering properly to the apple, it is too cool. Heat the topping further.
- The coatings will set up faster in the refrigerator.
- Once cool, the apples can be placed in individual plastic bags and a ribbon tied around the stick.
- They do not have to be refrigerated unless you would prefer to do so. If refrigerated the apple itself will be cold, but it may make the coatings harder than desired.
(Updated from May 11, 2014)