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Making your own caramel might seem daunting, but it is actually remarkably easy — you just need sugar and patience. And when the reward is gorgeous tart-sweet, just-chewy-enough caramel apples, it’s worth being patient.
1. You will need: 6 small-to-medium-size apples (tennis ball-ish), sticks for dipping (we used chopsticks cut to size), sugar, salt, cream and your toppings of choice. A tablespoon of corn syrup (not pictured) helps the caramel stay soft.
2. Water helps the sugar cook more evenly. As you heat it, it’ll bubble rapidly. Never walk away from caramel! It can go from perfect to burned in a second.
3. Don’t stir it while it’s cooking; just swirl the pan every so often. Not essential step, but a standard procedure for chefs: use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash some of the sugar down the sides of the pot. It’ll help get any little brown pieces off the sides.
4. Once it’s amber, take it off the heat.
5. Add cream immediately (along with the pinch of salt). It’ll darken when the cream goes in.
6. It will bubble up a lot as you whisk it. Let it rest for a few minutes.
7. Working quickly, swirl each apple in the caramel by tilting the pot. Hold them over the pot to allow the excess caramel to drip off , with the stick tilted down. Holding it this way keeps the caramel from sliding off the bottom of the apple onto your hand (the caramel is extremely hot). Then either roll in or place on toppings. GET THE RECIPE
Be careful with the caramel. As delicious as it is, you definitely don’t want hot caramel touching your skin.