8 red apples, room temperature
8 lollipop sticks
¼ cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup white corn syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Dipping items such as: granola, toasted coconut, Reese’s Pieces (or M&M’s), salted peanuts, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushed pretzels
1. Wash and dry the apples well. Insert the lollipop sticks into the top of each apple, but be sure that it doesn’t poke through to the bottom. Place the apples on a parchment-lined baking tray. Have all your dipping items ready before making the caramel.
2. Place the water in the bottom of a medium saucepot and add the sugar and corn syrup and have the butter, vanilla and salt on hand. Bring the sugar up to a full boil over high heat without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pot with water and boiling until the sugar turns a light amber colour. Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the butter (be careful for the steam that will emanate). Once the mixture stops bubbling and the butter is completely whisked in, whisk in the vanilla and salt.
3. Dip an apple into the caramel (do take care, as it will still be very hot) and spin it slowly to let any drips run off and for the caramel to set a little. Dip the apples into the items of your choice, or simply leave plain. Place the apple back on the baking tray to set and repeat with the other apples. If the caramel in the pot sets as you are dipping, warm it over low heat, stirring gently until melted again.