How to make the Perfect Caramel Apples!
I can't wait to share a fun, frugal, fall party idea with you! Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has made caramel apples the first weekend of October. Seriously, EVERY year! If you were away at college you got a care package with all the fixings!
Even now that we all have families, those of us close enough still gather to make caramel apples together. It's one tradition that has continued on for some 30+ years.
Here are a few tips to help you pull off your own Caramel Apple Party!
Choose a nice crisp apple. Some of my favorites are Fuji, Cameo, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp and Pink Lady apples. First, wash the apples well. Then towel dry, remove stems and let air dry to make sure they are totally free from any moisture.
One of the reasons this is such a great and frugal party is that apples are so reasonably priced in the fall when they are at their peak. In my area you can easily find apples under .99 lb and sometimes closer to .69 lb.
Next, put the sticks in the apples. I used these sticks from Amazon. At $4.61 for 100 sticks they are a great value. You can also use flat popsicle sticks.
Then put the apples in the fridge. The caramel will adhere to the apple better and you won't have as much caramel puddling at the bottom.
For the next part, I like to use my triple slow cooker. We always like melted chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to drizzle on the apples. Putting the chocolate and caramel in the slow cooker on warm keeps them from getting hard while everyone dips their own apples. (Be careful with the white chocolate. It can seize up if it continues to cook. You may want to turn that slow cooker off when the white chocolate is melted.)
As I write this, Sam's Club has this Bella 2.5 qt triple slow cooker for $39.98 That is almost 40% off the price at Amazon. You can also currently find one at JCPENNEY.com for $49.99 with code SPRINGER (exp. 10/12). And, while I haven't tried it, I imagine a fondue pot would work very well too. Or, melt them on the stovetop in a glass bowl over a low boiling water. The Triple Slow Cooker is perfect for parties though.
I have made my own caramel for apple dipping but to be honest, I prefer the ease and convenience of store bought caramels. Just follow the directions for melting on the back of the package. This package says it makes 5 apples but I usually get 3-4 apples per bag of caramels.
First, I roll/dip my apple. If the caramel isn't deep enough I will take a spoon and spoon caramel over the top of the apple Next, let the excess caramel drip off the bottom. Finally, using a spoon, I take off most of the caramel off the bottom of the apple.
Another reason why this can be a great frugal party for a group is that you can ask everyone to bring a topping to share and then set up a Caramel Apple Bar. It's fun to see what everyone brings and how they decorate their apples.
Some of our favorite toppings are: M&M's, Reese's Pieces, crushed Oreos, coconut, candy corn, nuts, crushed Butterfingers, sprinkles and cinnamon/sugar.
Normally, I would have squares of parchment paper cut for guests to put their caramel apples on but when I was at Michael's last week I came across these awesome Wilton Caramel Apple Treat Cups for $3.99 (Amazon $5.37). I thought they were a fun addition but totally optional.
Now all you need are some friends or family and a free printable invitation. We can't help you find some friends but we do have a super cute free invitation!
Emily at The Benson Street created the perfect caramel apple party invitation and it's a free printable on her blog. Check it out.
It's always fun to visit and catch up while we eat our caramel apples and the kids play. Low stress and easy on the budget, the best kind of party!