Well, first of all, I am completely humbled by the amount of people who read and commented on this post last week. It was a hard post to write because it was me, sharing my heart, and that is way more difficult for me to do than sharing something that I made. So, thanks for reading it and sharing it. I hope and pray that you were challenged just as much as I was by typing it! I hope to do more "heart" posts in the future. . . I want to get out of my comfort zone a little bit more.
So, funny story. My mom and I often share things. We pass stamps and crafting supplies between the two of us and sometimes we even borrow kitchen gadgets. Several months ago, I had borrowed her candy thermometer to make these, and we just sort of forgot about it. . . until Saturday, when she needed it. The problem with that, was we don't even live in the same town, and she had just been here the day before. So, Sunday after church, we ran said thermometer down so my mom could try out this caramel recipe that she needed to try out before she made a very large batch of it. I honestly think, that she tricked me into it, because I ended up helping her with it. It was fun. There was a point we almost quit, but we kept going. And, man, we are so glad we kept stirring and not worrying about the caramel. It turned out amazing! I have a few in the fridge and I might have to have a snack after I finish this blog post. These were so amazing, that I took pictures of our hard work and decided to share them with you!
The caramel was so amazing, we couldn't stop eating it. Ethan absolutely loved it! He even shared with one of the recess aids at school, who apparently thought it was amazing (but that story came from the mouth of my almost 7 year old, so who knows what really was said). Now, part of the success of this recipe was in the comments on the allrecipes.com post. I am sure, if you have made, or attempted to make, caramel apples you may have ran into a sticky situation when your caramel just falls off of your apple. Then, you just have this nice apple sitting in a pile of caramel. Not quite a pretty sight. There is one step that really MUST be done in order for this to be a success. It has to be done, even if you are just melting caramel candies down and dipping your apples in them. Many people do not know that when you buy apples at the store, they are actually coated in wax to help keep them fresh and bright. . . so you want to buy them! This waxy coat is what causes the caramel to stick.
Heat up your large pot half full with water. Let it come to a nice boil and keep it there. Make sure all the sticky is off of your apples. Some of it will fall off in the boiling water, but it's easier if you just get a head start and take the sticker off. Stick a popsicle stick in the top, by the stem, going down through the core of the apple. Then, holding on to your apple by the stick, roll in into the water for about 45-60 seconds. Once it dries, you will notice it's not so pretty. But the wax will be off and your caramel will stick beautifully to your apples. Once they are dry, you can start dipping them in the caramel. . . whatever recipe you choose. But seriously this one I am about to share is really delicious!
8-12 large apples (I reccomend granny smith, but we did red delicious and they were great).
8 -12 popsicle sticks
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
Stir the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk together in a saucepan of medium high heat. Bring it to a boil, then reduce your heat down to medium (do this, or you will burn your caramel and you might just cry. . . trust me!).
Cook and stir until theremometer reaches 248 degrees. It will take about 30 minutes and you might need a friend. We found that the theremometer staying put would cause it to start burning so, one of us held the thermometer while the other stirred. Don't take long rests because this also could cause burning. Caramel is a fragile thing, but with patience it's beautiful and tastey!
Once the thermometer reads 248 degrees (or firm ball stage, because you can actually form a ball and it stays!), add the vanilla and stir in.
Next, start dipping those apples into the caramel, Cool on a piece of parchment paper and try to wait patiently for it to harden.