Candy apples are hard to resist — when you see one, you just have to have one. That’s because the hand-held dessert really only comes around once a year, and is considered such a delicacy because of its alluring qualities one could not imagine creating at home. That thick, glossy candy shell of the hard candy apples and the nutty, creamy caramel sheath you find on the caramel ones seem like a challenge to replicate in your own kitchen.
Despite their glamorous appearance, candy apples are fun and easy treats to make at home. The dessert originated in the early 20th century, born from the idea of candying fruits for preservation and over the years, the lollipop-like sweets have become a staple at fall fairs, Halloween parties, and specialty bakeries.
Whether you’ve tried making candy apples at home or not, we have some tips to help you perfect the process. To ensure the best products, of both the hard candy and caramel versions, we recruited a group of candy apple experts to help us master our craft.
Judy Toth, of Simply Impressive Cooking School, dresses her caramel apples up with a chocolate and white chocolate drizzle, and developed her recipe at home because she couldn’t stand how expensive they were at the store. We took the foundations of her recipe to develop one of our own. Pastry chef Ashton Warren of Restaurant Marc Forgione divulged a key secret to infusing fall flavors into hard candy apples — seasonal spices like cinnamon and cloves — and showed us a flavorful way of getting that vibrant and reddish-pink shine. Last but certainly not least is Isabelle Boucher of the blog Crumb, who helped us test and develop the recipes to make sure they were absolutely the best. By the end of the process, we all had that guilty, "I have to call my dentist feeling," but we were able to successfully create the sought-after apples right in the comfort of our own homes.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce