The Caramel Apple: An Appetizing Alternative to Halloween Candy

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/the-caramel-apple-an-appetizing-alternative-to-halloween-candy.aspx

J.PattonDuring the month of October, it almost seems like we’re swimming in a sea of calorie-loaded candy. Sweets like Butterfingers, Snickers and Kit-Kat Bars line the store shelves in preparation for every kid’s favorite holiday

With all of this temptation hitting us from all sides, it’s nice to know we can make a mouth-watering snack that is somewhat healthy: the caramel apple.

In addition to getting the luscious flavor of the caramel, you also get a number of health benefits from the apple. The phytonutrients in apples have been shown to regulate blood sugar. Apples are a great source of fiber, and the fruit can also help you feel fuller longer.  

Another great thing about this recipe is it contains no white sugar and no corn syrup, so you can feel confident about what ingredients are going into these delicious desserts. So, without further ado, I give you the caramel apple.

10-19-11-caramel-apple
Caramel apples can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with health benefits.
Photo by ktylerconk/Courtesy
Flickr 

Caramel Apples 

MAKES 6 TO 8 CARAMEL APPLES

• 6 to 8 small apples, unwaxed, cold
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 cup honey
• Candy thermometer
• Lollipop sticks

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Push a lollipop stick deep into each apple in through the stem.

2. Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice water and set aside.

3. In a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan—just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture reaches about 255 to 260 degrees.

4. To stop the caramel from cooking, very, very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of cold water you prepared earlier—taking special care not to get any of the water in the caramel mixture. Stir until caramel begins to thicken. You want the caramel to be thin enough that it will easily coat your apples, but not so thin that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much, put the pot back over the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit.

5. Tilt your saucepan so all the caramel forms a pool on one side, and use your other hand to dunk and twirl each apple until it is thoroughly coated with caramel. Place each apple on the parchment lined baking sheets, and allow the caramel to cool and set.