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How About Them Apples

February 26, 2011

I have a confession to make.  I have lived long on this earth.  I have traveled overseas.  I have birthed children.  I have a driver’s license.  I have jumped off of the 52nd Street bridge into the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–but I have never made Caramel Apples.  I made them for a fundraiser to support our sports program.  It was easy-it was more fun than jumping off of that bridge.

I am so glad I took the advice of friends.

Tip #1-Use Granny Smith apples.  Especially when apples are not really in season.  The tartness of the Granny Smith apples are a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the caramel.

Tip#2-Buy the small bagged Granny Smith apples.  If you use the really large beautiful individual apples-you will have too much apple for the caramel-and the apples will be so huge-you will be afraid to eat them.

Tip#3-Buy Bulk caramel.  I used Peter’s Caramel.  It was perfect.

Tip#4-Plan ahead.  I wanted to make several different kinds of caramel apples-turned candy apples by adding different toppings.  I made sure everything was set up and ready before I started dipping.

Tip#5-Make caramel apples dipped in chocolate in the winter.  After dipping the chocolate-you can set them outside to freeze instantly and the chocolate doesn’t slip off the caramel apple.  Trust me on this one.

My first thoughts of making caramel apples was unwrapping all of those little caramels that come in a bag.  A friend told me about Peter’s Caramel.  I found it at a local candy making store.  Cake’s and Candy of Kalamazoo.    I really wanted to spend a couple of hours in this store.  It had everything.  I even found bulk sprinkles-bags-and real caramel apple sticks.  I did not have to unwrap one single piece of caramel.

I watched a couple of You Tube videos on how to dip the apples.  One thing I took note of was the temperature of the caramel.  I found this very important.  I microwaved the caramel and then placed the container into a pan of boiling water.

One of the videos said to make sure the temperature stayed at 160 degrees to ensure the caramel was the perfect dipping consistency.  Not too thick-not too thin.  Then it was time to dip the apples.

I was amazed at how easy it was.  I dipped-then let the caramel ease off-then I gave them a few spins and took off some remaining caramel from the bottom and placed them on buttered-wax paper lined baking pans.

This is where the planning came in.  I knew I had to add some of the toppings as soon as the apples came out of the hot caramel.

 

 

I had several toppings.  Chopped peanuts-M & M’s-and Reese’s Pieces.

I am pretty sure these caramel apples were my favorite.  I didn’t taste one-but I was sure this one was the best.  They were beautiful.  I used mini M & M’s and just used my hands to mold them into the caramel.  It was easy and not even messy.

I also made plain caramel apples to be dipped into chocolate after then had set up overnight.  These were shinny and beautiful-but I knew the kids bidding on these apples would want more than just plain caramel.

I dipped these in melted white chocolate and rolled them in sprinkles.  I thought these would be beautiful for a kid table at a wedding.

I had some dipped in Milk Chocolate with mini white chocolate chips-and I had a few of the apples at the end of the pan that were not as pretty-I drizzled the last of the white chocolate and the milk chocolate over them.  You could never tell they were less than perfect.

I bagged all the apples and added colorful ribbon.

I made 33 apples in all.  Three of them had to stay home for my kids and my Hero.

This is where the apples found their home-on a theme table to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Can you guess the theme?

Here is another hint.  These amazing cupcakes were also part of our theme table.  They were so cute.

Another hint.  This is everything that was included with our table.

Last hint.  This was one of my favorite details on our table.  See the rice crispy treat base?  Then the Oreo cookie path-this little girl dropped her ice cream cone.  The cone is made of caramel and the ice cream is fondant.

It’s a Circus!  There were so many details on this table.  I was amazed at the creativity of those putting it together.  I added my caramel apples and watched them do their magic.  It was amazing-did I say that already-

The lion is made of caramel-the elephant is made of a Rice Krispy Treat and fondant.  There is a circus wagon in the back made of pretzels and graham crackers-filled with gummy bears.  The peanut gallery in the right corner is made of circus peanuts with pictures of various Church members.  There is a strong man with a pretzel and gum ball dumbbells.  One of the most amazing details was the clown on stilts.  He is made of Rice Krispy Treats and fondant.  Put together with lots of care.

This is another one of the tables for the action.  It is a Under the Sea  Adventure.  Can you believe these are cakes?!  They looked so real.  I love the cupcake lobster.

This is a Gum Ball Machine Cake.

I thought this would be a great idea for a birthday party.

This is an African Safari.  Look at the waterfall!  The rocks are all made of milk chocolate.  The class that wins this table gets to keep all the toys too.  So creative and detailed.

I didn’t get a picture of the completed table.  This was a Winter Wonderland.  The snowmen are made of donuts and thin mint cookies and peanut butter cups.

This table was a picnic lunch complete with Ants!

My picture does not do this table justice.  There is a huge lunch bag on the table that I could not get in the picture.  It had a little window in the back showing all the candy and goodies inside.  The sandwich is made of cake and the the peanut butter and jelly is marshmallow cream with marshmallows!  The grapes are made of Rice Krispy Treats tinted purple-

 

I wished I had gotten pictures of all the tables.  So many talented people in one Church-with great big giving hearts.  That is the best part.  I could never create a table on my own.  I added what I could and when everyone works together-great things get done!

The night began with a fun Wrestling Meet.  The boys were all excited and I snapped a few pictures of them.  –honestly–I found more interesting things to divert my attention.  Obviously, I did not have a child on the floor.

Somehow-my camera kept wandering to her?

And to him–french fry and all!

But this is really the reason we all come together on this night–the food!

This is a raspberry cream croissant.  Delicious!

After all of the final matches and trophies handed out–it was time for the auction!

This was our win for the night–I had wanted a piece of Mrs. Trout’s Peanut Butter Pie sold during the Wrestling Matches-but they ran out!  We bid aggressively and won-only to give this pie to the 7-9 grade class who was also bidding on the pie.  We realized that this pie was way too much for us and we would have to have about 50 people to our house to help us eat it–we decided we didn’t need the 25,000 calories this pie held.  I placed my Diet Coke can next to the pie to show just how large it was.  Again Amazing!

Then my camera began to wander again.

 

And again–look–she knows sign language (I Love You)  So sweet.

The last of the food was auctioned off-and I did not win the tamales–and the night was over.  Fun was had by all and our table went for a really great price.  The best of all was the time and money given to give these boys a chance to compete and to build strength both inside and out=a successful night!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2011 11:35 pm

    I think the cakes and desserts just get better and better each year. Your caramel apples looked great. Funny you said that about the one drizzled with white chocolate…I immediately thought it was beautiful when I looked at that picture, then I read your explanation. The clear bags and colorful ribbon just added that creative touch!

  2. February 27, 2011 12:09 am

    Wrestle-O-Rama was one of my favorite nights during college! I loved looking at everyone’s creations 🙂 Your caramel apples look so good–especially the M&M one!

  3. February 27, 2011 12:49 am

    I really enjoyed reading this and seeing all your pictures! Makes me want to make carmel apples now, how fun!! ; )

  4. Michelle Kelso permalink
    February 28, 2011 4:12 pm

    Wow…My tummy is growling now!!! I was really hoping to see a full pic of the winter wonderland! My mom was explaining…it sounded really cool 🙂 Your caramel apples looked delish!!! And…funny you commented but I was thinking of doing them at my wedding…whenever that may be haha! 🙂 Looked like a fun night…and oh, who are all the little kids?! I don’t know anyone anymore!!! 😦 Well I was able to tell one little girl looks SO MUCH like a Marquez…am I right? All the others…I was having a hard time guessing! Miss you!
    ~Michelle

    • February 28, 2011 9:35 pm

      Let’s see–Shrock-McDonald-Mitchell-and you can put their names to the pictures:). Miss you too Michelle!

  5. Michelle Kelso permalink
    February 28, 2011 4:13 pm

    Oh…and I was gonna say hello to Mrs. E and see if she would share!!! =) Love that pic 🙂

  6. February 28, 2011 6:51 pm

    Yes, I was wondering too…is Mrs. E. really going to eat ALL of that? Can I share, too? It looked so good! These pics are great! Classic! Your apples are AMAZING! I have never been able to do better than “barely acceptable” caramel apples. I think I’ll take your suggestions. Thanks for the embedded tutorial.

    • February 28, 2011 9:36 pm

      I ate one too! They were amazing–croissants with whipped cream and fresh raspberries! We justified it because it had fresh fruit:)

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