I love Halloween, mostly because I LOVE candy, but this year I’m sitting out on the festivities because of a big exam on Monday. But I couldn’t just ignore the holiday here on the blog – so I quickly made these Vampire Caramel Apples to offer some inspiration to all of you for the weekend. I pinned these vampire pumpkins a few weeks ago on Pinterest, and ever since I’ve been brainstorming how I could incorporate this idea into an edible treat. Since caramel apples are a quintessential autumn treat (and one of my faves), carving out mouths and sticking in some mini-marshmallow teeth made the most sense. Since you all know I have an intimate relationship with teeth, I love the final result and their cute but maybe slightly scary dentition.
This was my second time making homemade caramel apples, and I really liked the recipe for the caramel that I used this time around. Some tips I’ve picked up from other bloggers about dipping apples: 1) Make sure you scrub and dry your apples really well to remove any film left on the apples from the store that might prevent the caramel from sticking, 2) Place apples on a Silpat mat or greased wax-paper-lined pan after dipping so the caramel doesn’t stick to the paper, 3) And a final tip that I forgot to follow – use a knife to remove any excess caramel that pools around the bottom shortly after dipping them for a cleaner look (do as I say, not as I do). This caramel was perfect for apples – not so sticky that you can’t get it off your teeth and not so firm that it breaks your teeth biting into one, all good things in the eyes of this dental student.
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the winner of a brand new Blue Willow KitchenAid Mixer!! THANK YOU so much for everyone who entered (over 600 of you!), wished me a happy blogoversary, and shared their love for the blog. I’ve used a random number generator to choose the winning entry, drumroll please……
Keep your eyes open for an email from me and enjoy your new mixer!!
As a consultation prize to the rest of you, here is a great recipe for homemade caramel apples:
Vampire Caramel Apples
Recipe adapted from Sugar Bean Bakers
6 washed and dried apples (preferably red so you can make some red “lips” show through)
6 popsicle or lollipop sticks
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
7 oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of can)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Handful mini marshmallows
Prepare a Silpat-lined or greased wax paper-lined cookie sheet and insert sticks into each cleaned apple.
Melt butter in a saucepan until it browns. Stir constantly to avoid bits of brown butter forming.
Add corn syrup, condensed milk, and sugars and mix over medium heat. While stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to boil until a candy thermometer reaches 235-340 degrees (aka the soft ball stage).
Once the caramel is at the soft ball stage, remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and allow caramel to sit for 5 minutes.
Submerge apples in caramel and swirl upon removal to let excess caramel drip off. Invert onto prepared cookie sheet and use a knife to remove any excess caramel that pools on the bottoms.
Let the apples set for about an hour and set any extra caramel aside.
With a sharp knife, cut out a wedge of apple to make the “mouth”. Use the edge of the knife to push back the caramel a little along the edge to make “lips”.
Use scissors to cut mini marshmallows in half for the central teeth and into triangles for the fangs.
Use leftover caramel to help secure the marshmallow teeth to the mouth.