Caramel, Chocolate and Candy Apples
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 6 small apples, washed and dried, stems removed *see Cook's Note
- 2 (9.5-ounce) bags soft caramel candies, unwrapped (recommended: Kraft Classic Caramels)
- 1/4 cup pulp-free orange juice
- 1 (4-ounce) bar 53 percent cocoa dark chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (recommended: Nestle Chocolatier)
- Assorted small candies, chopped nuts and sprinkles
- Special equipment: 6 craft or thick wooden sticks
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with vegetable oil cooking spray. Insert the craft sticks halfway into the stem-ends of the apples.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, over low heat, combine the caramel candies and orange juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the candies have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for 2 minutes. Dip the apples in the caramel until coated and put them on the parchment paper until firm, about 2 hours.
Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and set it over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Using a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over the caramel. Put the apples back on the parchment paper for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with small candies, chopped nuts or sprinkles and allow the chocolate to harden, at room temperature, for about 3 to 4 hours.
*Cook's Note: Some apples have a wax coating that will prevent the caramel from sticking. To remove the wax coating, dip the apples for 4 seconds in 6 cups of boiling water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar. Dry thoroughly before using.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis