Learning how to make candy apples can be a fun activity for a fall day. Candy apples are similar to caramel apples, yet they have a taste that is different enough to be noticed. Some people prefer one over the other, while others enjoy both. Candy apples are great for Halloween parties and treats.

Candy Apples (25542)

Selecting the perfect apples for the task can depend on the eater's sweet tooth. Many people enjoy a candy apple made with a tart apple, while others enjoy a sweeter apple. The apple should be firm. For tarter apples, use Granny Smith, Jonathan and Lady varieties. For a sweeter taste use McIntosh, Fuji or Golden Delicious varieties. The size should be small to medium for best tasting results and easier coating. Avoid buying wax coated apples when possible. Try washing the wax off with hot water and lemon juice. The wax will make it more difficult to coat with candy. So the apples remain firm, store them in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Once it's time to make the candy apples, wash the apples, remove the stems and insert either a wooden skewer or popsicle stick into the center. If the apples have not already been, check them for bad or soft spots. Only use firm apples for candy apples.

Candy apple coating ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • Red food coloring (optional)

Directions for making candy apples:

Put all of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan. If using food coloring, add about 10 drops or so.

  1. Heat over medium to high heat.
  2. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. After the sugar dissolves, bring it to a boil but avoid stirring it once it begins to boil. To keep crystals from forming, use a pastry brush to brush the sides of the saucepan with warm water.
  4. Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches 290 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Then remove it from the heat.

*If a candy thermometer is not available, cook the mixture for about 30 minutes or until the mixture hardens when a bit is dropped into cold water.

Dipping the apples:

  1. It is important to start dipping the apples before the sugar mixture begins to harden.
  2. Dip the apples, one at a time, completely into the mixture. If it is not deep enough, use a spoon to pour the mixture over the remaining part of the apple.
  3. After dipping, roll the candied apple in nuts or candies if desired. This is not necessary.
  4. Place the dipped candied apples on wax paper on a cookie sheet.
  5. Place them in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

Brown sugar can be used instead of white. However, the cooking has to be done at a slower pace. If food coloring is not used, brown corn syrup can be used. Spices can or red hots can be used to flavor the candy. Gummy bears, candy corn or Reese's Pieces can be used to give the apples a festive look for Halloween and fall events. Serve them on a platter with popcorn balls for good old fashioned treats fit for little goblins and ghost. Once anyone learns how to make candy apples, the possibilities of combinations and toppings are limitless.