Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Candy Apples

When I was a kid, Halloween was my absolute favorite holiday. I was obsessed with scary stories, ghosts, witches and anything to do with the paranormal. As a result, I also hoarded everything with a Halloween theme - videotaped Halloween specials of my favorite shows, Winnie-the-Pooh Halloween VHS tapes and Halloween storybooks. Kind of morbid for a child, but I guess you could say I was bored by real life and fascinated by the idea of magic.
In some of my favorite books and movies, the characters celebrated Halloween by making and eating candy apples. 

Bright red, beautiful and tempting. Plus, this recipe packs some extra fall flavor by using cloves to spice up the glaze!
To make some of these for yourself (or your Halloween guests), grab these ingredients:

6 apples (try to mix and match whichever flavors you like best)
6 wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
red food coloring

Start by washing your apples and removing all the stems and stickers. Be sure to dry them!

Next, poke your skewers into the tops of the apples.

Combine your water, sugar and corn syrup into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the mixture heat on medium for awhile, until it reaches around 300 degrees. A good way to check if your mixture is hot enough is to drop a bit of it into a bowl of water and seeing if it hardens and crackles.
Then, mix in your sweetened condensed milk.  You should have a frothy, bubbly mixture like this:

Finally, add your cloves and food coloring. Grabbing your apples by the skewer, dip and roll them in the candy coating, then place them on a baking sheet to dry.

On a side note - don't save cleanup for later when making this recipe! The sugar coating hardens really quickly, so your best way to an easy cleanup is to scrape out whatever sugary residue is leftover in the saucepan, then run it under steaming hot water. Once it dries, it's very difficult to remove!

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