Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days of Halloween: Mini Caramel Apples

I love caramel apples. There. I said it. 

But if I have one criticism, it's that caramel apples are too big. It's impossible to eat an entire apple. I know! You're saying, "Are you mad, woman? You'll kill us all!"

But it's true. Dig deep inside yourself and you'll find it is. They're just too big! You get halfway through a caramel apple and you're brain is shutting down from all the sugar. But have no fear! I have a way for you to enjoy caramel apples this fall without going into a diabetic coma. 

Mini Caramel Apples

Shopping List
Three large Red Delicious apples
1 tub of Caramel Apple Dip 
Kosher Salt 
Chocolate Sprinkles
Crushed nuts (of your choice) 
Mini Cupcake Liners

Melon Baller (Mine has a small & bigger size. I used the bigger) 
Cookie sheet or Cooling Rack 
Dinner Plate
Microwave Safe Bowl
Spoon or Butter Knife (for stirring) 

Start by washing your apples well. Then take your melon baller and start making small balls of apples. You want a small piece of skin left on the top of your ball. 

After making a ball, place it in a mini muffin/cupcake liner. I set a bunch of liners up ahead of time, so as I balled each apple, I could just place them right in the liner. Don't worry about working too quickly, as it's okay if the apples brown a little. It won't affect the taste. I made a few mistakes during the balling process, so I didn't get as many balls as I could have, but all told, I made forty apple balls. That's quite a few!

Now, you can choose whatever topping you want, but I went with salted caramel, chocolate sprinkles and chopped peanuts. Microwave your caramel dip in your microwave safe bowl according to directions on the tub. I think I microwaved mine for 3 minutes total, but be careful. Caramel is mostly sugar and will burn quickly. And once it's burned, it's best to just throw it away and start over, so watch your caramel like a sugar-hawk!

Stick a toothpick through the top (the skin side) of each apple. Make sure it's stuck in there well, but not poking through the bottom of your apple ball. You could also use pretzel sticks or tree twigs if you're feeling extra adventurous! Dip the apple-ball  in the warm caramel until it covers the entire apple piece, but shows some apple skin through the top. Don't worry too much about if the caramel seems thick. The apple-to-caramel ratio is much better on these mini apples, so no one is going to complain about a little extra caramel!
Sprinkle your toppings on your apple ball. My favorite was the salted caramel and the deluxe (salt, sprinkles AND nuts), but get creative. Try some crushed up Oreos, Nerds or your favorite nut! Once dipped and sprinkled, put apple balls back in their liners. You can either put them on a fancy plate or keep them on the cookie sheet/cooling rack. I put mine on a plate so I wouldn't have to plate them up later. I'm all about easy! Pop your apples in the fridge until you're ready to serve!

 And you're done! Mini caramel apples are that easy! These are a big crowd pleaser for your Halloween party or fall celebration and they look much fancier and labor intensive than they actually are. They are simple enough for kiddos to help with and, boy, are they tasty! The night I served them I didn't have a single apple left over at the end of the night! The true mark of any good dessert!

What toppings would you put on your mini caramel apples? 

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