Candied apples get a scary twist with the simple addition of food coloring, which makes them look like the poison apples of fairy tale fame! Slice the apples into 8 candy-coated wedges to serve, which can also be easier on the teeth!
Remove any stems from the apples by twisting them off or snipping with kitchen shears. Place the apples on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Firmly press treat sticks into the center of the stem end of each apple.
In a medium pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and food coloring. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring. Once it simmers, stir in the vanilla extract, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer. Use a pastry brush dipped in cool water to brush around the sides of the pot so they are totally clean and free of any sugar granules.
Continue to boil the sugar over medium heat until it reaches 300 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes until it reaches 275 degrees F.
Dip 1 apple into the hot sugar syrup, holding onto the treat stick, and dipping so that at least 3/4 of the apple is coated. Lift the apple out of the syrup, allowing the excess to drip back into the pot, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet stick-side up.
Repeat with the remaining apples, tilting the apple and/or the pot, as needed, as you use up more of the syrup. If the syrup gets too thick, it can be gently reheated over medium-low heat. Don’t stir, just gently swirl the pot over the heat until it becomes fluid again.
Let the apples cool completely, about 3 hours, before serving. Slice each apple into 8 wedges to make them easier on the teeth!