|Red Candy Apples - ButterYum|
Since most of the children in our neighborhood have grown too old to trick-or-treat we haven't handed any candy out for the past 4 or 5 years, but the Hubs always reminds me to buy a bag of his favorite peanut butter cups, "just in case". So while I was out getting said peanut butter cups, he called to tell me 3 trick-or-treaters had just knocked on our door. Not knowing where I stash the emergency treats, he explained the situation to the parents and told them the only thing he had to offer were homemade candy apples. They happily accepted - crisis averted.
Anyway, this recipe tastes exactly like the candy apples I ate at street fairs when I was a child. They're pretty easy to make, but you definitely need a candy thermometer to ensure the sugar reaches the proper temperature. Items that are helpful, but not completely necessary are: a silicone sheet pan liner or parchment, and a 1-quart copper sugar pan (or similarly sized heavy-bottom sauce pan).
Red Candy Apples
makes 8-10 apples
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
8-10 apples, washed and stems removed
8-10 popsicle sticks
1/2 cup red hot candies (aka cinnamon imperials)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
15 drops red gel paste food coloring
Prepare apples by washing, drying, and removing their stems. Push popsicle sticks about an inch into the stem end of the apples.
Over medium-high heat, combine red hots, corn syrup, water, sugar, and food coloring in copper sugar pan. (or similar heavy-bottom sauce pan) Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and red hots dissolve. Stop stirring, place candy thermometer in the pan, and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 302F (150C). Turn off heat and remove candy thermometer from the pan; allow syrup to stop bubbling, about 2 minutes. Tilt the pan so the hot syrup pools to one side and carefully dip the apples, one at a time, turning to coat completely. Allow excess sugar syrup to drip back into the pan before placing the coated apples on a Silpat liner or parchment paper to harden (about 5 minutes). Cool completely before serving. Best eaten within 24 hours.