Honey Caramel Apples and Honey Caramel Popcorn

I have a fun Fall treat for you today! I am going to share how to make your own caramel using all whole foods ingredients, with no refined sweeteners! This recipe can also double as the caramel in caramel popcorn, which is pretty awesome. I like to make a double batch of the caramel, cover 7 medium-sized apples(because there are 7 of us in this house!), and use the leftover caramel to pour over a batch of air-popped popcorn(I made popcorn using 1/2 c unpopped kernels).

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This recipe is mostly made from whipping cream and honey, and then there’s a tiny bit of salt and vanilla. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you should, so try and pick one up at your local grocery store. They are usually only a couple of bucks and they are super helpful and bring me peace of mind, so that I’m not wondering, ‘Did that boil long enough, will it be thick enough?’ or ‘did it get too hot? did I ruin it?’

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Combine your cream, honey and sea salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. This mixture rises quite a bit when it’s boiling so make sure it’s a large saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil (reduce heat slightly if splattering). Stir and scrape sides of pan down occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees, hard ball stage (could take about half hour).

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 If you decide to double this recipe, you’ll need a bigger pan, like a soup pot. If you don’t use a bigger pan, you will regret it when you spend half hour or more, cleaning the top of your new, pretty glass top oven when the honey and cream boil over the sides and then burn on the surface…not that that’s ever happened to me before ;).

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While the caramel is cooking, prepare the apples. Wash, dry and skewer them with popsicle sticks or bamboo skewers.  I sometimes will make mini apples using a melon baller, the kids enjoy eating the caramel apple off a stick, but a normal sized apple is just way too big for them(it even feels big for me!). I only do that with one of my apples, because it’s more work, but I’ll usually take a large caramel dipped apple and slice it into 8 slices which also makes it easier to eat.

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Place in fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. When caramel has reached 260 degrees remove from heat. Add vanilla and let stand a couple minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start to thicken. Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one until well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared baking sheet.

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Once the caramel is dry you can eat up! When I slice my apples, I cut it down the middle and then put the apple side down on my cutting board, and then cut through the caramel first and then the apple. If you cut it the other way, going through the apple first, the caramel tends to come off.

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You can wrap the apples up in parchment or wax paper, and store them in the fridge or give them as a gift! We took one apple out of the fridge each night this week after dinner, cut it into 8 slices, and each had a slice after dinner. Once sliced, I like to have them eaten right away so the apple doesn’t turn brown. 2015-10-20 15.15.11

Notice that the caramel on the mini apples doesn’t look as lovely as on the big apples, but the kids loved them.

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You can use any leftover caramel to pour over popcorn. If the caramel has thickened, warm it up again before pouring it over the popcorn and then stir it immediately to coat everything before it thickens and sticks together.

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THE RECIPE:

Honey Caramel Apples– from our best bites

1 c heavy cream
1 c honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 large apples, refrigerated for at least an hour (or you can make mini caramel apples using a melon baller)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine cream, honey and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil (reduce heat slightly if splattering). Stir and scrape sides of pan down occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees, hard ball stage (could take about half hour). While caramel is cooking, prepare apples. Wash, dry and skewer them with popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. Place in fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. When caramel has reached 260 degrees remove from heat. Add vanilla and let stand a couple minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start to thicken. Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one until well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared baking sheet. Can refrigerate for a few minutes to set the caramel if needed, though you’ll want to take them out a few minutes before eating to allow the caramel to soften some. Can use extra caramel(warmed up) to pour over popcorn for a sweet treat.

*Can slice apples before eating for convenience

*if it takes longer than a few minutes to dip your apples (for instance if you’re doing a bunch of mini apples), and the caramel gets a little thick and hard to work with,  warm your caramel on the stove again for a minute or so, until it thins out a bit.

*Can store in fridge. Take out at least 5 minutes before serving to allow caramel to soften.

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2 Comments

Filed under Desserts

2 responses to “Honey Caramel Apples and Honey Caramel Popcorn

  1. Pingback: Healthy Halloween Ideas | Real Foods Mom

  2. Pingback: Carmelitos | Real Foods Mom

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