Nothing gets me more in the Fall mood than the sticky texture and sweet flavor of Taffy Apples. There’s something about the caramel and apple combo that screams Autumn-time. I put Taffy Apples in the same category as changing leaves, chilly air, football, boots and hoodies. I remember as a kid having Taffy Apples with peanuts on them, cut up into slices. They bring a warm and comfy feeling for me, reminding me of my awesome childhood, and they’re delicious.
Over the years, I’ve tried different variations of the Taffy Apple and I’m happy to share those recipes with you today. Some of them might be crazy to you, but I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Try one, or… five!
So, you can do one of two things: buy your favorite caramel candy chews, heat them for two minutes in the microwave and use that as your base. Or make your own caramel. This is the best recipe I’ve found if you’d like to try the latter:
8 wooden chopsticks for handles
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (you can sub 1/4 2% milk if desired)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of water
- Remove wax residue from your apple in very hot water. It might be easier to boil water and use that to rinse the apples. Dry them thoroughly to remove any extra wax with paper towels. Make sure to remove all the wax or the caramel won’t stick.
- When the apples are completely cool, insert the chopsticks. Prepare your toppings now, as you’ll need to work very quickly later and won’t have time (see list below for some awesome toppings).
- Over medium-high heat, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk. Stir until smooth. Bring to a boil, but never stop stirring. Reduce heat to medium. If you have a candy thermometer, it should read 248 degrees fahrenheit (120 degrees celsius). If you don’t have the thermometer, it should take about 25 to 30 minutes to heat (time may vary depending on stove), stirring constantly to prevent burning. (To check to see if it’s ready: a teaspoon of the caramel should form a firm ball when dropped in a glass of cold water)
- Here are some notes to help: if the caramel is not sticking, it probably needs to be hotter. Once it starts to cool, it hardens and won’t stick. It’s useful to have a helper to assist in the transportation of the apples to some parchment paper, as you have to focus on dipping. Twirl the apples above the saucepan after dipping to remove excess caramel.
- Dip each apple into the hot caramel, working very quickly and coating the apple by twisting it in the caramel for a good 15-30 seconds. Now is the time to sprinkle your coating. Try the following toppings:
nuts, sprinkles, sea salt (lightly sprinkled), crushed Oreos, mini marshmallows, caramel popcorn, crushed Butterfinger bars or your favorite chocolate candy, crushed pretzels, white/dark/milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, toasted shredded coconut, crushed graham crackers, Fruity Pebbles!
It will probably take you a couple of times to get the right technique down, but that sure as hell beats shopping for Taffy Apples. This recipe is cheaper, tastier and down-right fun to make. You might have extra caramel left over, as well. I suggest pouring it in an 8 x 8 square pan, lined with parchment paper. Top it with semi-sweet chocolate chips, a bit of sea salt, crushed pecans and there you have it – some excellent “bark”!
Enjoy the taste of this recipe and enjoy making them even more. Have fun!