Chocolate Turtle Caramel Apples
What does fall taste like? Candy apples, of course!
We've all enjoyed caramel apples at fairs, but chocolate turtle caramel apples? When my daughter came home from a friend's house bearing this interesting packaged autumn treat, we all took special note. We weren't sure if they looked like they'd be good or not-so-good, but when we were in the mood for a little sweet snack later that night, we all discovered this really was a better caramel apple.
Just one bite confirmed it — they were absolutely, unequivocally divine. The peanutty, slightly salty, chocolaty crunch accented by the fresh just-tart-enough cold apple was definitely a winner. And it was all held together with the chewy caramel, of course. Not too sweet, not too tart. Just great eating on a stick.
Although my favorite way to break into one is by slicing it into quarters with a paring knife, kids will probably want to explore the messier side of things, biting right into it. And that's fine if their chompers are up for it, but caramel is one of the cautionary eats on our orthodontist's list of foods to avoid, so keep that in mind if you have a child with braces.
After taking a closer look at how our packaged apples were made, we decided to melt our own caramels, put some fresh apples on sticks and try dipping them in a mini-chocolate chip and peanut mixture. My daughter and I had a great time, and the entire process only took about 10 minutes.
Chocolate Turtle Caramel Apples
While standard recipes for making caramel apples say to use five apples, we used small apples and wanted to use up all the remaining melted caramel, so we were fortunate to be able to make 7 in our batch. Depending upon how heavily you coat the apples (and their size), your results may vary.
What You'll Need
7 small apples, washed and stems removed
7 popsicle sticks
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup crushed peanuts
1 14-oz. pkg. caramels (about 50), wrappers removed
1 tablespoon water
What You'll Do
Push popsicle sticks into stem end of apple and set aside. Place the chocolate chips and peanuts into a large shallow bowl (about 8- or 9-cup capacity), and set aside. Place a large sheet of wax paper onto a large baking sheet. This is where the dipped apples will rest and cool.
Now, place the unwrapped caramel candies into deep bowl (one with a 3-cup capacity works perfectly). Add the water and microwave on high for one minute. Check if the caramels are melted and stir well if they are. If not, microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove and stir well for about 2 minutes, until mixture is creamy and all lumps are melted. (Be careful. The bowl may be hot to the touch on the outside).
Dip one apple into the melted caramel, swirling to coat as much as desired. Lift out of caramel, let drip briefly and then press gently into the chocolate chip/peanut mixture, pressing only once per side so that the crunchies can embed in the caramel, but not swirling so that the mixture pulls the caramel off the sides.
Place the finished apple on the wax paper and repeat the dipping process with all remaining apples, using as much of the caramel as possible. Let the apples cool at room temperature, place them in the refrigerator for an hour, or dig in and try one immediately. In about an hour, wrap each apple in a piece of plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
TIP: If you have any of the crunchy topping left over, it can be used on top of yogurt, with other apples and peanut butter, or even tossed into a batch of cookies.
Christine Gable is a freelance writer and mother of two.