Taffy Apples & Striped Paper Straws

Did you know that this caramel apple loving gal [yup, talking about me!] has never made her own caramel apples? Of course not, why would you know that. You know what else, I really don’t call them caramel apples, and instead I refer to them as taffy apples. According to Wikipedia, when the apples are coated with caramel only, they’re called caramel apples, but when nuts or other yummy extras are included, then they are called taffy apples. Is that true? I have no idea… But either way they’re still taffy apples to me y’all. Hey, I’m sure I’m not the only one! So if you don’t mind, I’m going to refer to caramel apples as taffy apples in this post since that is what I call them. Does it really matter? Not to me… I say it’s all good!

In my previous post I shared my family apple picking field trip. I did tell you that I would be sure to share with you the goodies I make out of the apples we picked. Well, I’ve decided to take my first jab at making some yummy gooey taffy apples!

About a week prior to going apple picking, I was thinking about taffy apples and how cute it would be to use striped paper straws instead of the traditional wooden stick. If you’ve seen some of my cake pop posts, you would know how much I’m into paper straws. They are so much fun and can make anything prettier. Don’t ya think? Well, I think taffy apples included, but there was one problem with that idea: I wasn’t exactly sure how I would go about it because I didn’t think paper straws would hold up an apple very well. I decided I would call on to good old Google to seek ideas and to see if anyone has done it yet. Well, before I could get to Google, Martha already had an answer for me! Martha to the rescue! I sure do love that Martha. As I was standing in the check out line at Whole Foods, I was browsing Martha’s Living magazine (October issue), and wouldn’t you know it… she had taffy apples with paper straws!! How awesome is that!?! And she so kindly shared how she did it. So here I am to share with you the secret of making paper straws work… in case you didn’t already know it. ;)

This is all you need: wooden sticks and striped paper straws. How is easy is that! I did first try out the traditional wooden sticks used for taffy apples but they were too wide for the straws, so I used skewers instead.

As for the recipe, I decided to try the melting premade caramel method rather making my own… next time I do want to take a jab at making my own. For now, I just followed this straightforward recipe I found at Allrecipes.com. The only difference is that I did use a higher quality caramel that I actually already had on hand from a previous treat I had made. The higher quality caramel provides a much thicker consistency so I did have to use more milk than the recipe called for… I just eyeballed it.

First things first, if you are using long skewers like I did, you will need to trim them down (I used kitchen scissors). I made mine longer than the traditional stick size. Then trim down the straw too but make it a tad bit longer than the skewer to avoid risking the skewer sticking out on top. After washing your apples and thoroughly drying them, first insert the skewer, then insert the straw directly over the skewer pushing it gently as far down it will allow you to go to secure it. Don’t force it in or you will bend your straw. You know your straw is secure if it doesn’t easily come out if you gave it a slight tug.

Go ahead and test it out by holding up your apple from the straw side… it should feel secure.

Proceed with making your taffy apples… making the caramel and dipping the apples. When dipping the apples, I found it helpful to roll them in the carmel as I dipped. Also, just a good tip that I read from a few of the recipe reviewers, it’s helpful to place the apples in the freezer before dipping them. Chilled apples help the caramel set faster. I think knowing this tip did help make the dipping process go smoothly.

After dipping my apples in caramel, I then rolled them in peanuts, Heath bits, and crushed Oreos.

I do love the thicker caramel… it makes the apples look more gourmet. :D I also do love that they don’t look perfect and that they look homemade… gives them a rustic look. Don’t ya think? 

It wasn’t as messy as I expected to make taffy apples. Also, I expected it to be a bit frustrating, but they weren’t at all. They were fairly easy peasy to make! And let me tell you, they were amazing! The girls and I devoured them… we just loved that caramel! In case you are interested, the caramel was from King Arthur Flour. It comes in an 18 oz and a 5 pounder.

Of course, let’s not forget about the straws. I’m so loving them!! I really don’t think I would have thought of inserting wooden sticks first as the support for the straws. Thanks Martha!

So which one are you: caramel apples or taffy apples? Do you have any caramel/taffy apple making tips or stories? I would love to hear them!



  1. September 28, 2012  9:10 am by ColleenB. Reply

    Oh, my they look awesome; but noticed that you only have 4 taffy apples there.
    You didn't make any for the rest of us? :{ :}
    My grandkids like sprinkles on theirs
    Have a fun and enjoyable weekend and enjoy them yummy look'n apples

  2. September 28, 2012  9:11 am by ColleenB. Reply

    Oh, love the straw idea by the way

  3. September 28, 2012  9:22 am by manal Reply

    LOVE! The straws are so cute and the apples look so yummy! Now I can't wait to have a taffy apple :)

  4. September 28, 2012  9:37 am by Leila Reply

    They look so good, but can you believe I've never had a caramel candy apple before? I think it might be because i think they are too messy to eat... I'm the girl with a napkin to my mouth after every bite lol.

  5. September 28, 2012  1:05 pm by Maha Reply

    Maysem good job! They look delicious! I love taffy apples! I bought some the other day for the kids- after seeing how easy it is maybe I will attempt to make them.

  6. September 28, 2012  1:08 pm by Amy of while wearing heels Reply

    The straws look GREAT. I never would have thought of using them and had I thought to use them, I never would have thought to use a wooden stick to provide extra support. AND, I can't believe you made your own taffy apples. I hope your family realizes how lucky they are to have you :)

  7. September 28, 2012  7:27 pm by emily Reply

    yum!!!! I just pinned this and posted it to my facebook page becuase it looks so great! I came over from tt & J where you were linked up by me :o) I also host a Tuesday link party (Tastefule Tuesdays) and I would love for you to join sometime. It opens at 8:30 om central time.

  8. September 28, 2012  10:27 pm by Karen @ Folk Haven Reply

    Oh, how my mouth is watering right now! These look so delicious... And the paper straw idea is so cute! As Eli gets older I find myself getting bummed as I keep encountering things like this that are such treasured memories from my childhood but that his dairy allergy won't allow. I wonder if caramel can be made with goat's milk? I sense a Google search coming as soon as I post this!

    • September 29, 2012  11:39 am by Karen @ Folk Haven Reply

      OK so I looked into it and Goat's milk is used to make a kind of caramel called "cajeta" in Spanish. I'm so excited to do this with Eli now. I think this year we'll just make some to dip apple pieces in as his little mouth is still too small to bite into a whole apple which gives me a year or two to figure out how to get it the right consistency to coat a proper taffy apple! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. September 29, 2012  12:39 am by sahara Reply

    um, those look super delicious....wheres mine?

  10. October 1, 2012  10:23 am by Rita Reply

    Love the idea of the paper straws! I make chocolate "caramel" apples every year, so I am excited to try them with the straws! Thanks for sharing.

  11. October 1, 2012  10:31 am by Crystelle Reply

    LOVE caramel apples....
    YUM YUM! I look forward to trying your recipe this year......

  12. October 1, 2012  11:41 am by Heidi Reply

    Yum, and I love the straws! My weekly linky party--One Creative Weekend--has gone spooky this week in honor of my thirteenth party. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll visit "One Creative Weekend" on OneCreativeMommy.com (open every Fri-Wed) and link up this idea and anything else you’d like to share. (You can include non-Halloween posts as well, but feel free to link up as many Halloween-themed posts as you like.) There are two categories—one for Halloween and one for everything else.

  13. October 2, 2012  10:33 pm by Mackenzie Reply

    The Iron Chef Mom Team would love to invite you to join us this week with this fabulous apple recipe and any others you might want to enter into the contest!
    The Iron Chef Mom Team :)

  14. October 3, 2012  12:28 pm by Jessica Reply

    Where are mine? Love your cute blog!

    I wanted to invite you to Wonderful Food Wednesday at At Home Take 2... love it if you could link up 2-3 recipes. Hope to see you there.

    Jessica @ At Home Take 2... Check out our Wonderful Food Wednesday

  15. October 5, 2012  2:45 pm by Kimberly Sneed Reply

    Thanks for linking up at Create & Inspire last week. Tonight we're featuring YOU! Can't wait to see what you have to link up this week! xo, Kimberly

  16. Pingback : Create & Inspire Linky Party 10/5 » Little Inspiration

  17. Pingback : Create & Inspire Party | 10/5

  18. Pingback : Easy Ideas for Halloween - Home Stories A to Z


  20. September 13, 2013  9:27 am by kmtcapecod Reply

    LOVE THIS IDEA... especially since I sell straws at bellabargains.etsy.com. I just featured you on my blog today. Please come visit... http://bellabargains.wordpress.com/ Thanks for a great posting. Happy Friday!

  21. Pingback : The Inspiration Board: link party spotlight ~70~ | homework: creative inspiration for home and life

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