Different Takes on Traditional Caramel Apples — A Pinteresting World
Pinterest is loaded with amazing fall projects and recipes and I've spotted a few twists on the traditional caramel apple that I just had to try. I experienced some triumphs and some failures on this go round, but I’ll give you all of the details so you can save your own time in the kitchen and turn out some deliciously different caramel apples.
Instead of making homemade caramel, I opted to use Kraft's Caramel Bits. These costs a little bit more than wrapped caramels but it's worth it because it's a big time saver.
Caramel Apple Pops
I love this idea of using a melon baller to scoop out chunks of apple, and coating them with caramel to make a cute, bite-sized treat. Plus, with these you get a higher caramel-to-apple ratio…who doesn't want that?
I was worried about the moisture of the apple affecting how well the caramel sticks. Looking into it, I gathered that the key is the temperature of the caramel when you dip the apple. The feedback I read online was, essentially, if you let the caramel cool, they turn out great. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case in my experience. The photo below shows all of my apple pops.
I decided to dip right away when the caramel melted to see the progression as the caramel cools. From right to left you can see that no matter how cool I let the caramel get, it still wouldn't stick. In fact, as it cools down, more of the thickened caramel sticks to the apple, but then still falls off--so you just end up with a bigger puddle of caramel! Now, I still scraped the caramel off the parchment paper and ate these myself, and they were delicious, but it's certainly not a viable idea.
Inside Out Caramel Apples
I noticed this Pin was popping up a lot on Facebook and couldn't help but be attracted to the simplicity of it. Let's face it-- caramel apples are messy and hard to eat! The idea here is to halve an apple, and use a melon baller to hollow it out so it essentially becomes an apple shell-- a cup to hold caramel, if you will. From there, you just need to add caramel, let it harden and then slice up the apples.
Looking into it, I realized that there are a number of ways to execute this one. I'm learning that is usually never a good sign! The methods range from simple, using melted caramel or caramel syrup, to very complex recipes. I went for just using some of my already melted caramel.
Whatever path you take, I can at least offer one truly helpful tip. Use a muffin tin to stabilize your apples. I didn't and things got messy.
I was concerned about the effect moisture would have on this execution, just like the first idea I tried. You can see in the photo above that the juice from the apple pooled around the edges of the caramel as it was hardening. When I went to slice them up, the caramel pretty much fell out of the apples. Unfortunately, this was another fail.
"Poison" Caramel Apples
This is the idea I was the most excited to try. These pitch black apples look just too good to be true. The best part is how simple these are! They only require one additional step: add black food coloring to your melted caramel. Viola! You're done.
Most recipes say to use gel food coloring and I'm sure that works fine. I used liquid food coloring that I got from the grocery store which was cheaper and didn't require an extra stop at the craft store. The food coloring doesn't affect the taste at all, and it's kind of a mind-bender to bite into this black apple and have it taste so delicious.
I hope you have fun trying out some of these ideas! If you have success on either of the ideas that I struggled with, let me know in the comment section below.