As soon as the air begins to crisp up, my husband, Taylor, gets giddy. He wants to do nothing but pick pumpkins, eat soup, and caramelize apples. I love autumn, too. It's everything family, cozy, earthy, and delicious.
I'm always looking for great ideas to add to our list of traditions. So, here's my proposal for today's forum. If I share our favorite caramel apple recipe (a la my sister, Kathryn), will you share your favorite autumn tradition? Deal?
Gourmet Caramel Apples
*15 large apples (we love Granny Smith. you decide!) washed, stemmed, and dried
*Homemade caramel (see recipe below)
*Melted chocolate and/or white chocolate
*Assorted toppings (chopped nuts (toasted pecans are delish), coconut, toffee bits, mini m&ms, finely chopped candy bars, etc.)
*Candy apple sticks
Insert stick into apple. Dip into caramel to coat. Let excess drip off. Roll immediately in desired toppings. Place apple on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Place in the freezer for a few minutes to set caramel. Next drizzle chocolate over the apple. (I like to pipe it out with a fine pastry tip.) Let it set in the freezer again. Drizzle another kind of chocolate. Let it set. The apple will keep a few days out of the refrigerator and up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Wrap finished apples in cellophane or in large favor bags and tie with ribbon.
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. light corn syrup
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Combine ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture reaches 238 degrees. Let it cool slightly before dipping apples.