Thursday, December 16, 2010

Caramel Apples

I made the teachers' gifts yesterday afternoon and evening with the help of my elves: Cora, Afton and Kirkham. The caramel apples were so easy to make and turned out fabulous, I think.

For the project I purchased 21 granny smith apples, 4.5 pounds of caramels, a package of 8" candy sticks, a package of cellophane goody bags, white stringed hand tags and 3 spools of cute ribbon.  I wanted top quality apples of a very specific size and shape so I had to pay $1.50/lb--3 times more than I am usually willing to pay!  The total cost of the apples was $13.96.  The caramels were $2.50/lb for a total of $11.25. The candy sticks were $2.50 for a package of 25.  I picked up goody bags, hang tags and ribbon at Dollar Tree for a total of $5.37. My total out of pocket expenses for the project came to $33.08.

From my pantry I pulled white paper cupcake liners, 2 cups of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon. I also had some Christmas stickers in my craft supply, left over from last year, that were begging to be used.  They decorated my simple hang tags.  I used about 50 cents worth of cupcake liners,  36 cents of sugar, 3 cents for cinnamon and I think the stickers cost me $3 but I only used half the pack so, $1.50 for stickers.  These, the sunk costs (items already purchased that would have just gone to waste-technically speaking-if I had not used them; IE: previously incurred costs that cannot be recovered), came to $2.39.

Total project cost was $35.47.  I made 21 wrapped and tagged caramel apples for a total cost per apple of $1.69 each.  What a great deal, a lot of fun AND had enough caramel left over to make 7 more apples (thank goodness I still had 50 cent/lb apples left over from last week) for the family to enjoy.  They didn't get wrapped.

To make caramel apples

  1. Prep your apples by removing stems and stickers, washing and drying the apple and refrigerating for at least 2 hours.
  2. In a heavy pan or double boiler slowly melt down 1 lb unwrapped store bought soft caramels and 2 T of water for every 5-6 apples you would like to dip. Stir constantly!
  3. While the caramels are melting down put desired stick into tops of apples pushing clear through to the bottom of the apple.  If you are using candy sticks it may be helpful to pre-pierce the apple with a skewer--a pilot hole--and then place the candy stick.  If you and the kids are going to enjoy the apples right away consider using a dinner knife instead of a stick.  It is easier for kids and adults to hold onto and gives you more control as you dip the apple into the hot caramel.
  4. Carefully dip the apple into the hot caramel.  You may need to tip the pot to get a big enough puddle to rotate your apple through. Let the apple hang over the pot for a few seconds to drip off the extra caramel. You may want to scrape the long drips off with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. OPTIONAL: immediately roll your apple into a prepared cinnamon sugar combination to coat, tastes like apple pie.  Or dip in peanuts, chocolate, sprinkles or whatever else you think might be tasty.
  6. Place dipped and cooling caramel apple into a lightly sprayed cupcake paper and place on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator to cool thoroughly. It is best to keep the apples refrigerated until you are ready to enjoy them.  This is because if the caramel warms up it may start to slide off the apple. OH NO! 


  1. Am I totally missing it in there? Where is the caramel? That couldn't have been lying around as well, could it? At least I don't usually have a lb. of caramel that the kids haven't gotten into.

    Those look fabulous. I really need to try them next year.

  2. Oh my goodness, how embarrassing! I think I may need to hire an editor after a blunder like that. I did leave out the caramel but have now added it to the list and totals. It cost me 54 cents more to put caramel on the apples. :)

    Thanks Maleen!

  3. That's 54 cents more PER apple. Still a great deal, I think.

  4. Hey Dani - I'm sure you researched and found the best deal possible for the caramel. Where?

  5. Yes, I did research caramel. Last week when I purchased it caramel was on sale at Safeway. I bought the Safeway brand and it came in 8 oz bags, 4/$5.

    Because caramel is not usually advertised and I didn't want to have to drive around to a bunch of stores I used the online shopping feature that most stores have now to look up the current prices. Sometimes this doesn't work out because the online prices aren't always the same as the in store prices but it worked this time.


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