I know, enough with the honey caramel, but I just couldn’t resist one more time. Caramel apples are one of my favorites and Daughter asked me to send some caramel for her and friends after seeing the earlier recipes, so I made another batch. This time it is not a sauce but a full caramel that you can use to dip the apples or form into squares to eat or give as candies for gifts.
When making caramel, the temperature you cook it to determines whether it is a thin (220) or thick sauce (240) or a soft (260)or hard (300) candy. A candy thermometer is a must, but you can get one pretty much anywhere that has kitchen equipment, including most grocery stores for just a few dollars.
The Ingredients are very simple:
1 cup honey
1 cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 apples (place them in the refrigerator the night before so they will be well chilled – it will help the caramel harden quickly so it will stick better)
Chopped Nuts (any kind you like – I used toasted macadamia)
Chocolate (I always use Ghirardelli Candy Making and Dipping Chocolate – this time I used the white)
6 craft sticks
If you don’t want to make your own caramel, you can always use ones from the store (of course it’s not nearly as good as these).
Wash the apples well to get off any wax or dirt. Put the sticks in each apple.
Make the Caramel
Use a pan much larger than you would think, the caramel bubbles up so use a big pan. Add the cream to the pan and over medium heat bring almost to a boil. Add the honey and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the temperature reaches 255-260 (if you plan on using them as candies I would go to 260-265 so they will be a little firmer). Fill the sink with ice water and as soon as it reaches the proper temperature, immediately put the pan in the cold water being sure not to get any water in the pan. Stir the caramel for a minute or two until it thickens but not so long that it is firm (if you try an apple and the caramel drips off, let it cool a little longer). Take the pan out of the water and dip the apples, placing them on buttered wax paper. If you have room in the fridge or outside if it is cooler (that isn’t really an option yet here – still way to hot) to set the caramel.
Once the caramel has hardened enough to lift them off the paper, dip in the chopped nuts, chocolate, coconut, chocolate chips, etc. pressing them gently into the caramel. If you prefer you can dip them in the add-ons immediately, but I think they look better if you let them firm up a little first, then you can press them in so it sticks better.