Health & Science
1:57 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Episode One - Apples

Eileen talks about all things apple in this week's episode of Slice of Life.

QUICK TIPS FOR CARAMEL OR CANDY APPLES

Ever have trouble unwrapping your caramels? Put them in the freezer for about half an hour and the plastic wrapping will easily peel off.

If caramel hardens during the dipping process, simply put it in the microwave and heat for a few seconds.

Have everyone autograph their apple sticks so that ownership of the biggest and gooiest apple is never in question.

Pull the dipped apple vertically out of the caramel or candy coating, letting the excess coating drip into the pan.

While the dipped apples chill, some caramel will pool around them on the baking sheet. When the coating is almost set, press the pooled caramel back over the apples, covering evenly.

You can drizzle melted white chocolate over the caramel before sprinkling with nuts, dried fruit and other candies only after the caramel is set and cold. Drizzling warm chocolate over warm caramel will cause both to fall off the apple.

SUPER SIMPLE CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

5 apples

50 caramel pieces

2 tablespoons water

candy bar pieces, nuts, chocolate chips etc. for decorating

5 popsicle sticks

Wash and dry apples thoroughly. Insert stick into stem end of each apple.

In a sauce pan combine the unwrapped caramels and 2 tablespoons of water and heat, over medium low flame, stirring until caramels are melted and smooth.

Dip the apples into melted caramel, spooning caramel over apples to coat. Allow excess caramel to drip off, scraping bottom if necessary, and decorate as desired. Place on greased waxed paper; let stand about 15 min. or until caramel sets. Makes 5.

CARAMEL DIPPED APPLES FROM BON APPITET (dairy)

This recipe is a classic and requires a candy thermometer

1 1-pound box dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

12 chopsticks
12 medium Granny Smith apples
Assorted decorations (such as chopped nuts, dried apricots and dried cranberries, toffee bits, mini M&M’s and candy sprinkles)
Melted dark, milk and/or white chocolates

Whipping cream (if necessary)

Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan (about 3 inches deep). Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes.

Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with clean wooden spatula and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl (do not scrape pan). Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel; cool, without stirring, to 200, about 20 minutes.

While caramel cools, line 2 baking sheets with foil; butter foil. Push 1 chopstick into stem end of each apple. Set up decorations and melted chocolates. Holding chopstick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. Place coated apple on prepared foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.

Chill apples on sheets until caramel is partially set, about 15 minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple; return to foil. Repeat with remaining apples. Firmly press decorations into caramel; return each apple to foil. Or dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, and then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week. 12 servings

Extra tip: 
Many apples are coated in wax before being sold. The wax must be removed in order for the caramel to adhere properly. If your apples look very shiny or have a waxy coating, before dipping them in the caramel, skewer each with a chopstick, briefly dip it into very hot (almost boiling) water, and wipe it clean with a paper towel. If necessary, repeat until the wax is removed (but be careful to dip for only a second or two to avoid "cooking" the apple).

From Bon Appétit, October 1999

SNICKERS CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

The tart granny smith apples are perfect with the sweet salty chocolate candy.

6 granny smith apples

2 bags soft caramels, unwrapped

1 (11 ounce) bag Dove Promises milk chocolate candies, unwrapped

1 (13 ounce) bag Snickers miniature candy bars, unwrapped

2 tablespoons water

6 wooden craft sticks

Wash apples and dry thoroughly. Stick the wooden sticks into the bottom of each apple. Combine the caramels and water in a large glass container (approximately large enough to hold 4 cups) for 1-2 minutes in the microwave. Stir occasionally until smooth. Layer the bottom of a large cookie sheet with waxed paper. Dip each apple in caramel mixture and ensure it is thoroughly coated, rolling it in the mixture. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate for 10 minutes or until set.

Chop snickers up into medium to small bits, and spread out on waxed paper.

Place milk chocolates in the microwave for about 15 seconds to melt.

Stir until smooth. Dip apples into the chocolate (may dip half or the whole apple).

Roll apple in the snickers bits. Refrigerate until firm.*Can substitute M&M's, peanuts, coconut, mini chocolate chips etc. for the snickers. Serves 6

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HOT CINNAMON CANDY COVERED APPLES (pareve)

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

6 apples

2 cups water

2 cups white sugar

2 cups light corn syrup

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon cinnamon oil

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and sprinkle it with confectioners' sugar.

Remove stems from apples and rinse them thoroughly. Spear each apple through the bottom with a rounded wooden craft stick. Dry thoroughly and set aside.

In a large saucepan bring water, sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high. Continue to boil, stirring so as not to burn, until mixture reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove from heat, and while stirring, add food coloring and cinnamon oil. Working quickly, dip each apple into the candy mixture, coating well. Place apples on prepared cookie sheet to cool. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes 6 apples


OLD FASHIONED RED CANDY APPLES (pareve)

8 medium sized apples
8 wooden sticks 
3 cups white sugar 
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)

Wash and dry the apples. Remove any stems or leaves and insert a wooden stick into the end of each apple. Set apples aside. Heat and stir sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the syrup reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until a little syrup dropped into cold water separates into breakable threads. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and food coloring, if using. Dip one apple completely in the syrup and swirl it around a little with the stick to coat. Hold the apple above the saucepan to drain off excess. Place apple, with the stick facing up, on a well greased pan. Repeat with remaining apples. If syrup thickens or cools too much, simply reheat briefly before proceeding. Let cool completely before serving.

Variations: After coating each apple, quickly dip the end or press and swirl apples in shredded coconut, colored M&M's, chopped nuts, granola or colored sprinkles.

From www.chefscorner.com

BURNT SUGAR CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

1 cup butter 
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup 
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 
2 teaspoons vanilla 
8-10 wooden sticks 
8-10 medium tart apples 

Wash and dry the apples, removing any stems. Insert a wooden stick into the end of each apple. Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 30 to 40 minutes, or until syrup reaches 248 degrees (firm ball stage) on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Dip each apple into the caramel mixture, swirling to coat. Set apples on wax paper to cool completely before serving.

MICROWAVE ALMOND CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

6 apples
6 wooden sticks
1 (14 oz) package of wrapped caramels
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup chopped toasted almonds
 

Wash and dry apples and remove stems. Insert a wooden stick into the end of each apple and set aside. Place unwrapped caramels, milk and almond extract in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring once. Place the chopped almonds in a shallow bowl.

Swirl each apple in caramel mixture, swirl to remove excess caramel, dip the bottom of the apple in the chopped almond and then place it on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let cool and set.

BLACK AND WHITE CARAMEL APPLES (dairy)

5 apples

14 oz caramels (about 50 pieces)

2 tablespoons milk

10 oz white chocolate

4 oz. bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, melted

1 cup chopped and toasted pecans or hazelnuts

Rinse and dry apples. Insert a craft or popsicle stick halfway into the stem end of each apple. Line a baking sheet with plain parchment paper or wax paper that has been generously coated with butter. In a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine caramels and milk. Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Holding the stick, dip each apple one at a time into the caramel about three-quarters of the way. Swirl to coat evenly. Hold stem side up and use a knife to scrape excess caramel off the bottom of apple back into bowl. Place apples on the parchment paper or buttered waxed paper and refrigerate until caramel is firm, about 5 minutes. Return pan of water to a boil; remove from heat. Place 10 ounces white chocolate in another bowl and set over pan. Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the bottom half of each apple in the white chocolate, turning to coat evenly. Hold stem side up and use a knife to scrape excess white chocolate off bottom of apple and back into bowl. Place each coated apple on the parchment paper or buttered waxed paper and refrigerate until chocolate is slightly set, about 10 minutes. Using a fork, drizzle 4 ounces melted bittersweet or semisweet chocolate on all sides. Place the nuts on a plate. Roll bottom third of each apple in nuts to coat. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes.  Makes 5 apples.

CARAMEL AND THREE CHOCOLATE APPLES (dairy)

6 large red apples 
6 (6-inch) small wooden dowels 
2 cups caramel sauce, warm 
2 cups melted milk chocolate, warm 
2 cups melted white chocolate, warm 
2 cups melted semisweet chocolate, warm 
2 cups pecan pieces, toasted

Wash and pat dry each apple. Place each skewer down the center of each apple. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Dip each apple in the caramel sauce, coating completely. Place on the baking sheet and refrigerate until firm. Dip each caramel apple for a second time in the melted milk chocolate, coating completely. Place on the baking sheet and refrigerate until firm. Dip each apple a third time in the white chocolate, coating completely. Place on the baking sheet and refrigerate until firm. Dip each apple for a final time in the white chocolate, coating completely. Place on the baking sheet and sprinkle each apple with the pecans. Refrigerate until firm and serve. Makes 6

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