Monday, October 27, 2008
Twig or Treat: A Twist on Caramel Apples
Candymaking has always intimidated me, and sure enough, my first caramel attempt was a complete failure which leaves me with one main piece of advice. USE THE KRAFT CUBES. Don't waste your time with Concord Foods Caramel Apple Kit, which requires you to add milk and lots of sugar, then cook on the stove to a precise 243 degrees. The amount of time I wasted on this was so frustrating that I'm not going to further infuriate myself by spending any more time describing it or the sticky mess it made in the kitchen. Trust me: just get the cubes. (Despite the irritating assertion that this project is "so Martha Stewart," this would not have happened to Martha. She would have made the caramel from scratch ad it would have turned out perfectly.)
Here's the complete ingredient list:
10 medium-sized apples
2 packages (two 14 oz.packs) of Kraft caramel cubes
10 approximately pencil-sized twigs
10 fall leaves (to be collected immediately before serving)
10 gummy worms or centipedes
1/4 c. chocolate covered sunflower seeds
1) Collect the twigs and apples, wash well, and allow to dry. (If you have time, it's good to do this a day before so that the twigs dry out and the apples are dry, providing a good surface for the caramel to cling to.)
2) Stick a twig into the center, through the core of each apple, about 3" deep.
3) Heat the caramels in the microwave as directed on package. Stir until smooth.
4) Dip the apples into the caramel, turning the apple, and scraping the bottom, to make as smooth a surface as possible. Set the apples on a large plate lined with wax paper.
5) While the apples are still sticky, decorate with the gummy worms and sunflower seeds. You can also use chopped nuts here if you like. Use extra caramel as glue if necessary to adhere the creatures to the apple.
6) Refridgerate until ready to serve. Immediately before serving, garnish with the fresh leaves. Stick leaf-bearing twigs into a few apples if you like, for extra color and impact. (Recipe was tripled in the photo below.)
It has nothing to do with caramel apples, but here's the other thing we did on Saturday: curled 500 yards of green curling ribbon for the Pumpkinheads. More on that coming up!