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Homemade Real Caramel Apples

Caramel apple making for most families involves unwrapping store-bought caramels, melting them down, and dipping popscicle-sticked apples into the mixture.  While this is a perfectly reasonable way to make caramel apples (I grew up making them this way), I’ve never quite figured out why I don’t really like caramel apples.  At least, I’d never figured it out until I spent an afternoon making fresh caramel for the teeny apples our family had picked from a local orchard.  The smooth, warmth of homemade caramel made a perfect combination with the flavor of just-picked apples.  So, that’s what I’d been missing, I realized!  The classic, beloved flavor of caramel apples is truly divine when made with real caramel.  This basic recipe, plus a few apples from your neck of the woods is sure to become a favorite snack in your house, too!

Perfect Caramel Apples 
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-12 green apples
In a large saucepan, whisk together cream, corn syrup, butter, and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a soft-ball stage (you’ll allow it to boil for about 5-8 minutes to get it to that point.  To check if the caramel has cooked soft-ball stage, drop a small spoonful of caramel into a cup full of ice water.  When the caramel forms a soft, felxible ball, it’s ready.)   Stir in the vanilla then remove the caramel from the stove and allow to cool slighty.  Press popscicle sticks into the center of each apple.  Dip the apples into the warm caramel, then transfer to parchment paper and allow to cool.

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