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!