Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the Earth, seeking the successive autumns. -George Eliot
The first fall-fresh apples have started appearing on the shelves of farmers’ markets and grocery stores and what could be a better treat? Healthy, fresh, and delicious with tons of types and flavors, fresh apple recipes mark the beginning of autumn and autumn-themed recipes. One of our favorites? The caramel apple! Not to be confused with candy apples, caramel apples were first sold commercially in the US in the 1950s; this handheld dessert adds the sweetness of caramel to the crispness of the apple to create a scrmptious treat remniscent of fall fairs and carnivals. But this delicious treat need not be enjoyed only on the ferris wheel - with the recipe below, you can create a whole batch from your very own kitchen. And if you’re not invested in the apples themselves but love the flavor, we’ve got a recipe for you, too. Check them out below!
The Best (Homemade!) Caramel Apples
What you’ll need:
- - 2C Sugar
- - 1/4C Light Corn Syrup
- - 1/2C Water
- - 1/2C Heavy Cream
- - 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- - 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- - Pinch of Salt
- - 6 Apples with popsicle sticks inserted in stem end
- - First, mix sugar, corn syrup, and water in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring; cook the mixture while swirling the pan until a candy thermometer reads 320 degrees fahrenheit (the mixture should now be light amber-colored). This should take about 8-10 minutes but may vary based on your stove.
- - Next, remove from heat and whisk in the cream, butter, vanilla and salt. Return to low heat and whisk until smooth.
- - Once smooth, remove from heat and let the caramel cool until thick (enough to coat a spoon...or an apple!). Holding the apples by the popsicle stick, dip each one into the caramel until covered and let the excess caramel drip back into the pan.
- - If you’d like to add nuts, sprinkles, or other toppings, roll the apple with still-warm caramel in the topping; if not, place apple (stick-side up) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
- - Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the Food Network.
Voila! The perfect, homemade, caramel apples. With a candy thermometer and just a little time, you’ll wow your friends and family with these desserts that look like they took way more time than they do and can be enjoyed anywhere, from the dining room to the backyard. Of course, if you’re looking for a different take on this dessert, there are options for you too:
Caramel Apple-Inspired Recipes
Bourbon Caramel Apples
These Bourbon-Spiked Caramel Apples with Smoked Sea Salt are an adult-friendly take on the classic caramel apple. Still sticky-sweet and delicious, this version adds a kick of bourbon in the caramel, along with the zing of the smoked sea salt (though of course, you can use regular sea salt if you don’t have smoked). All told, if you’re planning a fancy, spooky party for the adults in the neighborhood, these are definitely the way to go.
Salted Caramel Apple Donuts
If you’re looking for a caramel apple-inspired recipe that you can enjoy for breakfast OR dessert, look no further than these Freshly Baked Salted Caramel Apple Donuts. Bake an extra big batch so you don’t have to choose!
Chef John’s Caramel Apple Pie
The only dessert more ‘fall’ than caramel apples is apple pie - but why stop there? A guy named Chef John posted a recipe for a caramel apple pie that combines two classics to create a dessert to die for. Good from now till Thanksgiving.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
What fall dessert list would be complete without an autumn-themed cupcake?? Well, the Caramel Apple Cupcakes in this recipe take the cake (pun intended) - they’re melt-in-your-mouth good with just the right amount of spice. Garnish with apple slices, caramel drops, or just plain ole caramel sauce.
Caramel Apple Cookie Cups
For a great way to incorporate caramel apples into cookies, try these Caramel Apple Cookie Cups. The cookie adds texture while the caramel keeps it super sweet and delicious. You can use any type of apples; serve while still warm, or refrigerate for less mess.
Caramel Apple Martini
For the adults, we found the perfect, simple recipe for a caramel apple in a cup! This Caramel Apple Martini is sweet, strong, and the perfect drink for an autumn party. Garnish with an apple slice dipped in caramel for the perfect party drink!