Candy apples have been a favorite of mine since childhood, and they make a nice novelty dessert for adults, too.
Cleo Coyle writes two
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For this recipe, I experimented with a combination of ingredients until I was happy with the end product, which is why there is no corn syrup in this recipe. Instead, I used honey and cinnamon sticks, which brings a more sophisticated flavor to the candy coating.
Whether you eat your apples with spirits or without, I wish you a very...Happy Halloween Season!
~ Cleo Coyle, author of
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Candy Apples with Honey
(No corn syrup!)
Makes about 8 small or 6 medium (to large) apples
* Wax paper or parchment paper
* Non-stick cooking spray;
* Non-stick medium size saucepan
* Wooden spoon or silicone spatula (one for high-heat cooking)
* Wooden skewers or Popsicle/Craft Sticks or Chopsticks
* (Optional) A candy thermometer; it's optional because I often make these without a thermometer; so if you don’t have one, just follow my tips for knowing when the candy is done cooking.
ground or powdered, it will cloud the mixture)
Be sure to choose apples without any wax coating (farmer's market or organic apples are your best bet). If you do have wax coating on your apples, you will need to remove the wax by dipping the apples very briefly in boiling water, dry the surfaces well, and chill them in the refrigerator (to prevent mushiness) before using in this recipe. Otherwise, the wax will cause the candy coating to slide off in a heartbreaking manner.
Step 1 - Prep the apples: Cover a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and generously coat the paper with nonstick spray or you can brush it with oil. This is a must to prevent the apples from sticking to the paper. Remove stems from the apples and insert skewers, Popsicle sticks, or chopsticks as shown.
As mentioned above, if your apples are natural or organic, you're all set. But if they have WAX coating their skins, you MUST REMOVE THE WAX or the candy coating will not stick. To remove wax, dip the apples very briefly in boiling water, dry completely, and chill in the refrigerator (to prevent mushiness) before continuing with the recipe.
Testing candy for doneness (no candy thermometer?): To check without a thermometer, dip a spoon into the mixture and drop some of the liquid candy into a glass of ice cold water. Does it harden up quickly into a crunchy, brittle substance? If it does, you’re ready to make candy apples. If not, keep cooking but check frequently to prevent burning.
Testing candy for doneness (with a candy thermometer): If you're using a candy thermometer, look for a temperature from 280 to 300 degrees F. Don’t go much beyond that or you’ll risk burning the candy.
Candy-Making Temperatures Grid: For a handy grid of of temperatures attached to each stage of candy making, see the PDF version of this recipe. To download the document, click here.
As the candy in the pot cools, it will thicken and become more difficult to work with so don't let the candy sit around. Be sure to dip all of your apples relatively quickly after the candy is finished cooking. If the liquid candy does begin to thicken up on your, then turn the heat on again under the pan and warm the mixture until it loosens up.
Spiked Candy Apples
To make an even more grown-up version, you can spike the candy apples with cinnamon schnapps. Here's how I do it. Follow the recipe exactly as you would above with these changes.