tavyheather Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 8:21pm
post #1 of

I was so excited to dip caramel apples with my boys...

I made the recipe everyone seems to use, with the brown sugar, caramel, and sweetened condensed milk. I followed the directions per this website: http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/trick-or-treat-top-tips-for-making-caramel-apples/ and even roughed-up the apples with sandpaper before hand. I heated the caramel to 230 deg. and let it cool to about 200.

I successfully dipped all 15 apples and they looked pretty good...for about an hour. I went back and all the apples had a thin layer of caramel on them and a giant glob of it around the bottom. It never hardened.

Tastes wonderful but I'm hoping to re-do them today...what did I do wrong?

Is there another recipe u recommend? I dont have any more sw. condensed milk but do have heavy cream and the other "usual" caramel ingredients...

34 replies
Apti Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 8:32pm
post #2 of

I've never made caramel apples, but I've heard that you have to put the apples in hot (not boiling) water to allow all the wax to come off BEFORE you put anything on the apple. Apples are shipped with a wax lacquer on them. Maybe that is what happened. The news articles that talked about this said to put 3 apples in a clear container with hot water or hot distilled water (no minerals like tap water), and then see how much gunk is in the water when they've soaked for about 15 minutes.

tavyheather Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 8:35pm
post #3 of

thanks icon_smile.gif I read that too but rubbed off a bunch of the skin when I sanded them..plus I washed them after that with a pesticide/wax remover...ah well I'll try boiling them anyway...I'm sure I'll need to to remove the caramel thats on there now anyway!

Apti Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:05am
post #4 of

bummer. I've never tried caramel apples, but now that I have all the ingredients for chocolate candy making, I was going to try making the fancy caramel applies like Mrs. Prindables and the caramel/chocolate pretzel sticks. Please let me know how they work out.

tavyheather Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:57am
post #5 of

I used this recipe: http://www.epicurean.com/featured/caramel-apples-recipe.html
I subbed one extra tB of maple syrup for the molasses...

the flavor was amazing (very reminiscent of rocky mtn choc factory caramel apples) but it was a bit hard..tho maybe the molasses would have helped with that

I did boil them for a couple seconds...but they were also sanded and washed...so not sure if it was the combo of sanding and boiling or just boiling that worked this time!

HTH! have fun and let me know how yours turn out!

ayerim979 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 4:14am
post #6 of

thanks for the recipe and Im glad it worked out for you this time. I have always wanted to make caramel apples but just never did, I might have to give it a go this time. They sound delish

Molly2 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 4:14am
post #7 of

I'm making some this weekend I'd like to know how they come out Good Luck !

Molly

tavyheather Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 4:42am
post #8 of

molly if u were talking to me I'm sorry i didn't make that clear...they turned out better...4 hours later the caramel is still on there, but there are some splotches from some small patches of caramel sliding. I love the flavor of this caramel...still dont think I have it down perfectly, tho icon_sad.gif

Molly2 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:03am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by tavyheather

molly if u were talking to me I'm sorry i didn't make that clear...they turned out better...4 hours later the caramel is still on there, but there are some splotches from some small patches of caramel sliding. I love the flavor of this caramel...still dont think I have it down perfectly, tho icon_sad.gif




I glad to know it did work thumbs_up.gif for you I'll have to try that recipe

Molly

Kiddiekakes Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:16am

I have heard that you have to wash the wax off of the apples first or the caramel and candy won't stick to it...

newmansmom2004 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I have heard that you have to wash the wax off of the apples first or the caramel and candy won't stick to it...




Yep - have to do this step. I purchased a block of Peter's caramel from an online store (there are several places that sell it) and it melted great, worked beautifully and tasted divine. I ended up with the most beautiful and festive caramel apples for a big Halloween party last year. No one could believe they weren't purchased from a gourmet food shop. If they only knew how easy it was! LOL! I don't have time to make them this year and I'm bummed. Maybe for Christmas. <sigh>

jjkarm Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 12:58am

I've also heard that after washing the wax off, you need to make sure the apples are chilled completely. They even suggested putting the apples in the freezer for a few minutes. This helps the caramel to set up more quickly so it doesn't run off the apple as it sets up.

Apti Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 6:34am
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansmom2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

I have heard that you have to wash the wax off of the apples first or the caramel and candy won't stick to it...



Yep - have to do this step. I purchased a block of Peter's caramel from an online store (there are several places that sell it) and it melted great, worked beautifully and tasted divine. I ended up with the most beautiful and festive caramel apples for a big Halloween party last year. No one could believe they weren't purchased from a gourmet food shop. If they only knew how easy it was! LOL! I don't have time to make them this year and I'm bummed. Maybe for Christmas. <sigh>




Newmansmom, Please tell us your method of making your apples last year. I've heard that Peter's caramel is the best tasting caramel out there.
Thanks.

Andrea0730 Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 5:23pm

I actually make about 10 dozen caramel apples per week, so I am a master at caramel apples by now icon_wink.gif There are a few things that would cause the sliding

First, though, don't boil your apples (it changes the apple texture) or chill them. Apples should be at room temperature when you dip them!

Sanding the skins should be plenty sufficient to get the wax off. I usually just take a Brillo pad with dish soap to wash and scrub them at once.

If the caramel is too thin (either from too much liquid, not enough carmelizing for homemade caramel, or heating it too hot for pre-made caramel) the caramel will slide.

If there is ANY water left on the apple whatsoever, including any water that may have condensed on the top of the caramel from water boiling to heat it, it will slide

You may also have just put too much caramel on the apple.

So here are a few more tips if it still happens:

Dip the apple then scrape off the bottom 1/3 (or slightly less, depending on the texture of your caramel). Let the top 2/3 slide just slightly to cover the bottom.

If it is really thin, dip the apple, scrape it, then hold it upside-down for about 30 seconds to a minute while it starts to set up. Then place it straight in the fridge for about an hour or two while it finishes hardening.

Also, make sure the room you are keeping the apples in is not too hot. Caramel will soften again and slide if the room gets too hot, especially if it is not completely set yet.

Sorry, this is a really long response, but hopefully it helped! Feel free to ask any more questions you may have.

Apti Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 7:01pm

Andrea0730, 10 dozen a week?! Is that a full time job?

I want to ask all sorts of questions. I'd love to be able to make pretzel sticks and caramel apples with caramel and chocolate like Mrs. Prindables or Rocky Mountain. I've just started making candy melt candies after taking two basic candy classes. I have a lot of molds, but neither class talked about caramel, darn it! I'd also like to be able to make giant turtles with pecans, caramel and chocolate--my dad loves them.

I'm a hobby baker, so I don't need huge quanities of anything. Is Peter's caramel a good idea? A 5 lb. loaf runs about $20-$30 depending on shipping. How to you get the caramel onto the pretzel sticks. Would you then chill the sticks before dipping into chocolate? How do you get the caramel onto the apple? Heat it then dip the apple? What temperature for the caramel?

Is there any way you could do a step-by-step pictorial on making caramel apples? I do much better learning from pictures or videos that written explanations. Thanks!

scp1127 Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 7:58pm

Andrea, thanks for all of the great info. I have my ingredients, but will wait to make them around Thanksgiving. If I get my apples from an orchard near me, will I have to scrub them? They have a store there, but I can't imagine that they would wax their apples.

feliciangel Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 8:23pm

are you making sure there completely dry? I make these for Christmas and the first year I made them this happened to me. then I went hunting for tips. first was washing the wax off, second was making sure there completely dry...good to know about the sand paper I'm gonna have to try that thumbs_up.gif

tavyheather Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 10:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by feliciangel

are you making sure there completely dry? I make these for Christmas and the first year I made them this happened to me. then I went hunting for tips. first was washing the wax off, second was making sure there completely dry...good to know about the sand paper I'm gonna have to try that thumbs_up.gif




I think so! ???? maybe?? lol I'm going to make sure next time...I tht I did but maybe I was just too excited! icon_biggrin.gif

Andrea0730 Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 11:09pm

Apti,

not full-time, just a fun side job! icon_smile.gif

Peter's is good. It will do the job for all of the things you are talking about. I like to use Midway's Finest caramel dip because it is easier to work with, but both are good.

I will make a pictorial as soon as possible, but I will give you some general ideas to get started.

The best way to melt your caramel is in a double-boiler because it doesn't ever have contact with the heat so it is much easier to control and you don't risk burning it. If you use the caramel loaf, put it in a clean #10 can or something like that, then put that in a larger pot of water with a little rack or something so the bottom of the can doesn't touch the pot. Fill the water about 3/4 up the side of the can. Turn the heat to about medium. You will want to heat the caramel to about 170-180. If you are using a loaf, it will be easiest to cut it in small chunks to melt faster. All of the prep is why the Caramel Dip is easier than the loaf. They cost about the same, depending on where you get it.

Once you have the caramel melted, you can dip whatever you need. Hold one end of the pretzel stick and dip it in. Let it drip, scrape off any excess, and you are done! Let the caramel cool completely before you do anything else with it (at least an hour). You don't need to chill the pretzel first, although you may want to chill it after the caramel is on to help it set up faster. It doesn't make it as glossy, though, but if you are covering it with chocolate it doesn't matter.

Then you do the same type of thing to the apple. Punch the stick in after it is washed and dried, then just hold the stick and dip it and scrape.

for turtles, you can just spoon the caramel on.

Hopefully that helps for now, and I will try to get some pictures or a video up soon.

tavyheather Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 11:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea0730

I actually make about 10 dozen caramel apples per week, so I am a master at caramel apples by now icon_wink.gif There are a few things that would cause the sliding

First, though, don't boil your apples (it changes the apple texture) or chill them. Apples should be at room temperature when you dip them!

Sanding the skins should be plenty sufficient to get the wax off. I usually just take a Brillo pad with dish soap to wash and scrub them at once.

If the caramel is too thin (either from too much liquid, not enough carmelizing for homemade caramel, or heating it too hot for pre-made caramel) the caramel will slide.

If there is ANY water left on the apple whatsoever, including any water that may have condensed on the top of the caramel from water boiling to heat it, it will slide

You may also have just put too much caramel on the apple.

So here are a few more tips if it still happens:

Dip the apple then scrape off the bottom 1/3 (or slightly less, depending on the texture of your caramel). Let the top 2/3 slide just slightly to cover the bottom.

If it is really thin, dip the apple, scrape it, then hold it upside-down for about 30 seconds to a minute while it starts to set up. Then place it straight in the fridge for about an hour or two while it finishes hardening.

Also, make sure the room you are keeping the apples in is not too hot. Caramel will soften again and slide if the room gets too hot, especially if it is not completely set yet.

Sorry, this is a really long response, but hopefully it helped! Feel free to ask any more questions you may have.




omg I never saw this!! TY for the detailed and thorough response!!!

Andrea0730 Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 11:25pm

scp1127, you shouldn't have to scrub them for wax, but I usually do anyway to make sure I get all the pesticide off. If I have to wash/rinse them anyway, I might as well do the full job and make SURE there aren't any problems. The same is true for organic apples, btw.

Apti Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 12:18am

Andrea0730, You are a wonderful woman. I immediately did a search for the Midway Caramel Dip and found two places that sell it as an individual can instead of a case. Yippee! After I ask you a few MORE questions, I'll order my can.

Will I have to use all the caramel dip once the can is opened, or can I store it to use later? Here's a link to a picture of the type of pecan turtles I want to make:
http://www.chocolate.com/products/handmade-giant-turtles/

When I make the turtles, will the caramel stay in place and not spread around or do I have to completely encase them in chocolate? Once you make the turtles or pretzels, how quickly do you have to consume them? Could they be frozen and thawed later?

Did you know how to do caramel apples before you started your fun side job, or did you learn after you started?

scp1127 Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 12:42am

Andrea, have you ever used Daffy Apple Caramel? I bought it to use in my business. The taste is good and the texture is good a room temp so you don't pull your teeth out, but I haven't used it yet. I called my orchard and they DO wax their apples that are inside the store, but also sell unwaxed ones in bins. They suggested the unwaxed ones for the caramel apples.

Andrea0730 Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 2:18am

scp1127 - Good to know! Yet another reason why I just always scrub the apples. The difference is that the wax ones keep longer on the shelf (before you scrub it off, obviously). So if there is no difference in the quality, make it easy and buy the un-waxed ones! I have never used Daffy personally, but I have heard it is good.

Apti - Nope, it is shelf stable so you don't have to use the whole thing at once. I just put an airtight lid on it and put it back on the shelf. Those turtles look amazing! I forgot to tell you, you don't want to melt the caramel all the way for turtles. Just heat it enough to make it soft and pliable, then you can drop it with a spoon and shape it the way you want. Make sure to let it cool all the way before you put the chocolate on or the chocolate will slide! Also, you may want to thin the caramel a little with corn syrup, evaporated milk, or sweetened condensed milk (depending on your taste preference) if you like a very soft caramel for the center. I would consume them within a few days so it doesn't make the nuts or pretzels soggy. You may be able to freeze them, depending on what kind of chocolate you use. It is always best to eat them right away, though, as most things change texture and taste slightly when frozen and thawed. I didn't know how to do them before I started my business. I just figured it out. When you are doing that many at a time you have to figure it out quickly or you waste a whole lot of inventory! Plus I have seen about every problem there is by now, so I have dealt with just about everything!
For the Midway's Finest, check to see if there are any concession stores that sell it by you so you don't have to pay shipping. It is a Gold Medal product

jackmo Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 3:01am

hi. this may soud strange, but it works! boil a large pot of water on the stove. dip the apples in and and empty the pot of water out, quickly. then take a towel and wipe them off. you will noticed the specks of wax as you wipe them off. them\ dip them,. i got it off the internet and it works for me.

tavyheather Posted 12 Nov 2010 , 11:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmo

hi. this may soud strange, but it works! boil a large pot of water on the stove. dip the apples in and and empty the pot of water out, quickly. then take a towel and wipe them off. you will noticed the specks of wax as you wipe them off. them\ dip them,. i got it off the internet and it works for me.




thanks! some PP already mentioned this and I did try this, but it still slid icon_sad.gif Ah well! practice practice!

chelleb1974 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 9:57pm

This might be a stupid question, but bear with me icon_smile.gif


I was thinking of doing Caramel Apple Bites for Thanksgiving. I thought I could just cut up the apple and dip the pieces. After reading through this thread, I'm not sure that will actually work. What are your suggestions?

Thank you!
~Chelle

Andrea0730 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 11:29pm

chelle - that should work fine if you put a little stick in each one and then either leave it in or pull it out before it cools, depending on the look you want. Actually, though, the most common way I have seen them done where I am from is to cut them up and arrange each apple in its own ring (hope that makes sense) and then drizzle the caramel on top with a dollop of whipped cream in the middle.

chelleb1974 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 11:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea0730

chelle - that should work fine if you put a little stick in each one and then either leave it in or pull it out before it cools, depending on the look you want. Actually, though, the most common way I have seen them done where I am from is to cut them up and arrange each apple in its own ring (hope that makes sense) and then drizzle the caramel on top with a dollop of whipped cream in the middle.




Yes, it does make sense. Thank you! The look I'm thinking of is caramel apple 'lollypops' for lack of a better description, lol.

After reading other posts, wasn't sure if the moistness of the cut apples would allow the caramel to adhere to it.

Sounds like it might, so I'm gonna give it a try icon_smile.gif

~Chelle

Andrea0730 Posted 20 Nov 2010 , 1:16am

Pat them as dry as possible, let them sit out for at least 15 minutes until they turn a little discolored, pat again, then give it a try. It still may slide a bit, but that is your best shot. Sounds really cute!

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