I don’t know about you, but here in Northern Virginia Autumn is arriving. The fall winds are coming in, the humidity is dissipating and the orchards are starting to bear one of our favorite fruits: apples.
If you’ve never picked your own apples, we highly recommend it! Apples are the perfect picking fruit for tiny hands – they’re resilient (difficult to bruise), still edible to eat if picked too early (a common occurrence with miniature pickers) and they are extremely long lasting. We’ve been known to pick multiple bushels to store in our pantry and extra fridge so that we can make dehydrated apple rings, applesauce, apple pie cupcakes, and our most recent invention – caramel apples - for months on end. If you’re looking for a sweet treat to make this fall, this candy apple recipe is the perfect place to start.
With 5 simple ingredients (plus a few skewers) and a little bit of time, you’ll be able to make a recipe into a memory with your little one in ear to ear grins. An excellent surprise after school snack (we recommend serving it with nitrate-free salami or a protein and fat of some kind) this will get your kids running home and school friends excited to share a snack. And you can feel good knowing that the caramel is sweetened with only nature occurring unprocessed sweeteners to give it a rich flavor, perfectly complimentary to fresh, crisp apples.
Despite it’s utter simplicity, this recipe is decadent enough to use as a Halloween party treat or any Autumn potluck. You’ll impress people with how good real food can be – while ensuring your little one(s) is able to participate in eating dessert! Just make sure you have them help to make the treat, dipping and rolling is one of a child’s best skills – I promise!
½ C honey
½ C maple syrup
½ tsp baking soda
- Warm a large sauce pan over medium heat, add honey and maple syrup to hot pan
- ♥ Once bubbles begin to form, turn heat to medium low having little hands stir (to prevent burning) for 10 minutes
- Mixture will bubble and potentially expand over edge of pot, if that happens remove from heat and stir, return to heat once bubbles subside
- ♥ Once sauce has thickened and the color darkened (about 10 minutes), remove from heat to add baking soda
- ♥ Whisk in baking soda thoroughly and return to medium heat for 2-3 minutes, whisk constantly until sauce has become a thick, rich bubbly sauce that does not deflate when moved off of heat
- ♥ Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally – sauce will reincorporate to a thick caramel consistency
- Store in an airtight container for several months, serve and use warm (microwave or stove top)
1 C Caramel Sauce (see above)
2 C chopped pecans
6 medium apples
6 bamboo skewers
- ♥ Set-up a dipping station: 1 bowl of warmed (not too hot!) Caramel Sauce, 1 bowl of chopped pecans, and skewered apples
- ♥ Gently roll skewered apple in caramel sauce (least messy if you roll on the top surface, rather than try to immerse it entirely)
- Let caramelized apple sit for 2-3 minutes, to allow caramel to somewhat harden (otherwise nuts will slide down apples’ sides)
- ♥ Roll caramelized apples into nuts
- Allow apples to harden by storing in the refrigerator – or enjoy warm if you can’t wait!
Note: Steps which include a heart symbol (♥) are perfect for little hands to provide assistance as your sous chef!