Saturday, besides being All Hallow's Eve, is also National Caramel Apple Day!
Instead of waiting until then, when you are busy with last minute costume tweaking, and dashing out for that extra bag of candy to replace the one that you devoured "just one little piece" at a time, until lo and behold, your hand gets stuck in the empty plastic bag, looking for just one more taste. (Don't ask me how I know this to happen. There are gremlins, or at least one, in my house too!), I'm going to share the most delicious recipe with you now, so you have time to get your ingredients and settle in for an evening of gooey, delicious fun! And it will help you forget about eating any more of that hand-out candy!
When my kids were little we made these every Autumn. My neighbor would also make a batch of the caramel, pouring it into jellyroll cake pans, wait for it to set up (you don't refrigerate it!), and then cut it into squares, wrapping each individually in waxed paper, to hand out as treats. She made hundreds of pieces, and never had any left over. She also made another batch to tuck pieces into her annual cookie and candy boxes that she passed out to friends and neighbors.
For years now, during the Yuletide baking season, I make another batch, but this time cutting it in half. I place small mounds of pecans on lightly buttered foil, spoon the hot caramel over them, and after it is set, I spoon melted chocolate that has just a bit of melted shortening blended in, to help it firmly set up, to make homemade turtles! They are SO good!!
Here is this very versatile recipe!
1 lb. Butter (don't substitute)
4 Cups Sugar
2 Cups White Karo Syrup
2 Cans Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Teasp. Vanilla
Crushed Nuts are optional
Wash apples and secure sticks in stem end. Place on a large foil lined jelly roll pan. (that anti-stick foil is great for this!)
Using a heavy 8 quart saucepan, mix the butter, sugar, syrup and sweetened condensed milk together.
Cook over medium heat to 240 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. Stir constantly because it scorches very easily. (this is the only tricky part. It will turn a beautiful golden brown color, which is what it is supposed to do, but if you let it scorch, even if you get the scorch pieces out, the whole batch will have a slight burned taste to it. A deep pan and a long handled wooden spoon work great!)
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Dip apples into caramel, spinning to coat. Using a buttered knife, clean away dripping caramel back into pot and either set the apple on the foil, or roll in crushed nuts or other toppings of your choice. Place finished apple on foil to set up.
This caramel is best not refrigerated. Depending upon the size of your apples,this recipe can make 15 or more caramel apples.
I do hope that you'll try these. They are so much better than caramel apples made with those little squares wrapped in cellophane!
Wishing everyone a beautiful pre-Halloween night!
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