Even though the Broncos didn’t manage to make it past the Colts in Sunday’s playoff game, up in the suites, the food was a major victory. We served ribs, beef tenderloin, poblano potato casserole, creamed spinach, crab cakes, heirloom tomato salad, mini Pavlovas with mint whipped cream and pickled peaches, and… this fan favorite– Caramel Apples.
It might surprise you to know that even in a professional kitchen, the interwebs are used as a resource for recipes. Contrary to what some might think, chefs don’t just walk around with an encyclopedic knowledge of every single recipe known to humanity in their brains, so when they’re looking at making 1,600 caramel apples, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they’d do exactly what you’d do– Google it.
The recipe comes straight from a source with which you are probably familiar– The Food Network! Although, I’ll point out that they got the recipe from a cookbook called “Retro Desserts” by Wayne Harley Brachman. I’m sharing it with you here because peoples, it’s f*cking delicious. This recipe will make 8 full sized apples, or 16-20 mini apples.
heavy bottomed sauce pan
8 – 20 (depending on the size of your apples) sticks – We used sturdy wooden picks. You just need something that can hold the weight of an apple laden with caramel and what ever else you dip it into.
additional baking pans if you’re dipping the apples into a second topping such as crushed nuts
8 regular sized apples, or 16-20 mini apples (We used mini Lady apples)
1 cup heavy cream, divided (3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wash and thoroughly dry off the apples. Insert the sticks into the stem end of each one.
Prepare your pans of additional toppings. Line your cookie sheet with the waxed paper.
Fit the candy thermometer onto your heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook 3/4 of the cream, the butter, the corn syrup, and the sugar over high heat, until the mixture reaches firm ball stage (246° F). The syrup should be golden in color. Pull the pot off of the heat and add the remaining 1/4 cup cream and the vanilla, whisking carefully. NOTE: the caramel is super hot, and it will bubble up when you add the cream so give it just a second to calm down before you get too close.
While the caramel is hot, dip each of your apples. If you’re using an additional topping, roll the apple in those immediately after dipping. Set the apples on the waxed paper to cool.
Some suggestions for additional toppings:
* chopped nuts
* crushed cookies
*crushed candy bars (like Butterfinger)
* mini chocolate chips
* toasted coconut
* crushed M&M’s
* toffee candy bits
These are a fairly easy treat to make, and if you can get your hands on mini apples, they’d be a cute dessert for everything from a birthday party to a baby shower. You could even wrap them once they’re cool and hand them out as a take home gift.