I'm jumping on the grateful train for the month of November!
Here we go!
Starting slightly shallow...
Day 1: I'm thankful for yummy caramel apples!
Our Best Bites has the most sugary, gooey, delicious recipe.
Homemade Caramel for Apple Dipping
Recipe from Bon Appétit, slightly adapted by ourbestbites.com and slightly copycatted by me...
1 pound dark brown sugar (about 2 cups packed brown sugar)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt (I left this out)
12 medium sized apples (I did 3 large, 9 medium, and still had over 2 cups of caramel left)
popsicle sticks or chopsticks or forks and tongue depressors
Optional: melted chocolate in zip-top bags
Wash and dry apples; place sticks in cores and put on a baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill.
Attach a clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. (Or use your husband's milk steaming thermometer for lattes and hope it doesn't ruin it!) Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F (or 220 degrees because that's all the higher it goes...augh!), stirring constantly but slowly with clean spatula and occasionally scraping down sides of pan, about 12 minutes.
Holding stick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. (We like them dipped all the way to the top so a little caramel pools around the top!) Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. (should have done this step...a lot of our caramel pooled around the bottom)
If needed, gently scrape the bottom of the apple to remove excess caramel. Place coated apple on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool a bit on foil).
Drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week or wrap in cellophane bags for gift giving.
(Our Best Bites has some great tips on topping that can be added to these caramel apples, too!)
I had some extra help from this little guy. Asthma was kicking his tail, so he stayed home from school. He loved drizzling the melted chocolate over the top. This is the only picture I got of the finished products. They disappear quickly!
We bagged up three of the apples in pretty Halloween sacks and delivered them to our teachers after school. It was a perfect little gift!