How About Them Apples
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!