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In honor of my favorite holiday being less than a week away, I decided to make candy apples for the first time. They are actually quite simple and quick to make.
First, twist the stems off of 6 medium-sized apples. Push sticks halfway into the apples. I used Wilton sticks leftover from the cakepops I made a couple weeks ago, but they weren’t quite as sturdy as I would’ve liked. Alton Brown used wooden chopsticks when he made candy apples on Good Eats on the Food Network. I love that show. You can put the sticks in the bottom of the apple (above, left) or in the top (above, right). It is totally up to you. I think the apples are easier to coat with the candy if the stick is in the bottom.
Mix 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 a cup of light corn syrup, 3/4 a cup of water, and red food coloring in a pan. I used 30 drops of red food coloring…maybe a little overkill, but I wanted to make sure they were a real vivid red color. Also add flavoring now if you are using it. I didn’t use any, in part because I didn’t want to go to the store, and in part because I wanted to see what the sugary mix tasted like plain. It tastes like nothing, and it smells kind of like fish. I definitely recommend using flavoring. I think a nice tart cherry flavor would be great. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. You can use a candy thermometer if you have one, and cook until the mixture reaches about 300 degrees.
After the 20 minutes, remove the pan from heat and start dipping the apples in one by one. I like to tilt the pan to make it a little easier to coat the tops of the apples. Work quickly, because the mixture will harden fast. Once it starts to harden, it is really difficult to turn the apples in the mixture and can cause the apple to fall off of the stick.
Place the apples on a piece of buttered parchment paper to dry. Then you can wrap them up in those pretty little cellophane bags and tie off with a cute bow. These are perfect as a little favor to give your guests after a Halloween party, or you could even give them out to trick-or-treaters as an alternative to store-bought candy if you have the patience to make a whole bunch of these at once.