autumn sweets: salted honey caramel apples

This Halloween I wanted to make something special for our friends. We had a few scary movies planned but I wanted to make an autumn treat. When I saw 101 Cookbook‘s recipe for caramel apples, I was instantly won over. The ingredients were simple: honey, cream, salt, apples. The previous weekend, I picked up several kinds of apples at a local orchard and I had some local blueberry honey from a previous farm visit. Local heavy cream was easy to find and I figured adding in some imported french fleur de sel wouldn’t ruin my almost all-local sweets. I also decided to toast and roughly chop some almonds which not only would provide a nice crunch and counter balance the sweetness, but would also provide some traction to prevent the caramel from sticking to my baking sheet. The resulting apples were beautiful and delicious. I should note, that if you don’t like honey, don’t make these as as the honey flavour is definitely there, even with a mild-tasting honey.

For the apples, I used Granny Smith’s and Cox Orange Pippins which are both very crisp apples with a nice bit of tartness. I purchased the lollipop sticks at a local kitchen shop in Chinatown and got to work on the caramel. It was easy going and while I do have a candy thermometer, I really rely more on the old fashioned cold water test for figuring out which stage my caramel has reached. I can never get my candy thermometer to reach the “hard ball” stage but using my fingers to gauge a bit of caramel dropped in ice water never fails. For me it took about 30-35 minutes to reach caramel perfection. I was afraid that the caramel would slide off the apples, but luckily that didn’t happen!

After dipping the apples in the caramel, I had extra caramel leftover, so I spread some out on my silpat mat, adding in some roasted almonds and some fleur de sel and let cool in the refrigerator. Once it was cool and ready to cut, I sliced the caramel into squares and wrapped the golden nuggets in waxed paper.

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28 comments to “autumn sweets: salted honey caramel apples”

  1. 1
    VeggieGirl   November 2, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    STUNNING!!!

  2. 2
    Chocolate Shavings   November 2, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    That looks absolutely delicious! And its a great way to use those Fall apples!

  3. 3
    Manger La Ville   November 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I think that is a great way to use up caramel. I would have just stuck my fingers in and indulged. But caramels make such a nice gift and they are so addictive.

  4. 4
    Heather   November 2, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    mmmm! this caramel looks great!! i have been wanting to make salted caramel squares! yum!!

  5. 5
    hanne   November 2, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Cool, I just made caramel apples this week too! I read that recipe at 101 cookbooks, too, but since we were making ours for a bake sale, we decided to go with a Martha Stewart recipe instead. Now I have to try out the one you used! Those apples look great, and so do your caramels.

  6. 6
    Celine   November 2, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    might be too soon for me to ask for your hand in marriage, right?
    (right?)

  7. 7
    kickpleat   November 2, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    thanks veggiegirl!

    chocolate shavings, normally i like healthy with my apples, so it’s nice to be a bit decadent now and then!

    haha, manger! luckily, i don’t have that much of a sweet tooth, so handing out the caramels as gifts is the generous thing to do.

    heather, if you search my archives, i’ve got another salted caramel recipe too!

    thanks hanne :)

    celine, that’s mighty quick of you! let’s take it slow :)

  8. 8
    Julia @ crazyaboutbretzels   November 3, 2008 at 12:52 am

    those caramel squares are very cute!

  9. 9
    Zoe Francois   November 3, 2008 at 6:02 am

    The caramel squares are gorgeous! I need one! :)

  10. 10
    Jerry   November 3, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Yummy!

  11. 11
    Dawn   November 3, 2008 at 6:33 am

    gorgeous, simply gorgeous photos.
    always creative with the leftovers.

  12. 12
    Jesse   November 3, 2008 at 7:11 am

    So smart to use the extras to make caramel candies! The honey ones are my favorite – I might have to do the same for the holidays this year! Great idea.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   November 3, 2008 at 7:15 am

    thanks julia…cute & tasty!

    zoe, yes you do!

    agreed, jerry.

    thanks dawn, i do try :)

    thanks jessie, i'll definitely make more caramels like these for giving during the holidays. so easy and good!

  14. 14
    Cakespy   November 3, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I’d love one of those sweet nuggets! I am an absolute devotee to all things caramel, and I love the idea of honey caramel. And oh, those apples! They look awesome.

  15. 15
    notsocrafty.com   November 3, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Wow, these are making my mouth water.

  16. 16
    Bijoux   November 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve never made candy before. I wouldn’t even know where to start. How do you even use a candy thermometer? That being said I like the sound of the salted caramel as a dipping sauce for fruit. Did this solidify or remain sticky and gooey? Maybe one day I’ll roll up my sleeves and try this recipe but for now I’ll just drool.

  17. 17
    Aimée   November 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Superb party treat! I’d take one of these over a whole bag of nasty Halloween candy.

  18. 18
    Lori   November 3, 2008 at 9:37 am

    yum. I keep wanting to do up some caramel with salt. One of these days.

  19. 19
    Katina   November 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Aren’t these amazing? I used the caramel recipe from 101 cookbooks as well, a couple weeks ago.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   November 3, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    thanks cakespy! those apples and the caramels are amazing together :)

    well, start making them, notsocrafty! they’re well worth it.

    lori, caramels with salt are amazing! get on it :)

    bijoux, the candy thermometer just clips onto the pot. it’s easy! the caramel doesn’t remain sticky…but i’m sure if you didn’t cook it so long, it would be syrupy. it’s all about the ice water test!

    aimee, this beats generic halloween candy hands down!

    katina, these turned out so well! i love them :)

  21. 21
    Nicole   November 4, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I’ve been eyeing the caramel recipes at 101 Cookbooks for a long time! And now caramel apples! My favorite! Hope I get a chance to make some this year!

  22. 22
    lobstersquad   November 6, 2008 at 1:55 am

    that´s so beautiful! I´ve never had caramel apples, but they pop up a lot in disney cartoons, so it´s been a longtime fond wish. maybe I´ll try them, thanks!

  23. 23
    Teddy   November 11, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I just tried your recipe and it is great! however, when I put the extra caramel onto the wax paper to let it harden, the wax paper wouldn’t pull off. is there anything you would recommend?

  24. 24
    kickpleat   November 11, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    nicole, these are so worth it! yum.

    haha, lobstersquad! it’s my first time eating a caramel apple and they are good. seriously good.

    teddy, i put the extra caramel onto a silpat mat, which prevents sticking. next time oil or butter up the wax paper before you pour the caramel over it!

  25. 25
    Sophie P.   November 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Are you sure the temperature is correct: 350to 390 F? Seems about a hundred degrees higher than in should be.

    Looks great, though.

  26. 26
    kickpleat   November 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    sophie, good eye! i’ve corrected the typo…which is why i always use the cold water method ;)

  27. 27
    Mat Isaac   November 18, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    tempting! love it

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