Caramel Apples: A Guest Post for Spunky Coconut

When Kelly at Spunky Coconut announced her pregnancy, the gluten-free blogosphere all had a moment of squee! As you can imagine (since we’ve had 3 of our own newborns), we’ve got a soft spot for soft skinned, tiny toed, bald, ity bity humans. To give their family time to bond, I’m super honored to be able to provide this guest post, among other awesome posters and gals we admire like Life As a Plate and Gluten Free Easily.

I don’t know about you, but here in Northern Virginia Autumn has arrived. The humidity has dissipated, leaves are changing colors and the fall winds are blowing them off the trees. Finally the orchards are starting to bear one of our favorite fruits: apples.

If you’ve never picked your own apples, we highly recommend it! Apples are the perfect picking fruit for tiny hands – they’re resilient (difficult to bruise), still edible to eat if picked too early (a common occurrence with miniature pickers) and they are extremely long lasting. We’ve been known to pick multiple bushels to store (they stay fresh a long time if chilled) so that we can make apple rings, applesauce, apple pie cupcakes, and our most recent invention – caramel apples – for months on end. If you’re looking for a sweet treat to make this fall, this candy apple recipe is the perfect place to start.

With 5 simple ingredients (plus a few skewers) and a little bit of time, you’ll be able to make a recipe into a memory with your little one in ear to ear grins. An excellent Halloween treat or even a quick and easy surprise after school snack (we recommend serving it with nitrate-free salami or a protein and fat of some kind) this will get your kids running home and school friends excited to share a snack. The caramel has 3 ingredients and stays fresh for months in a chilled air-tight container.

Despite it’s utter simplicity, this recipe is decadent enough to use as a Halloween party treat or any Autumn potluck. And you can feel good knowing that it’s sweetened with only nature occurring unprocessed and unrefined sweeteners to give it a bright and rich flavor, perfectly complimentary to fresh, crisp apples. You’ll impress people with how good real food can be – while ensuring your little one(s) is able to participate in eating dessert! Just make sure you have them help to make the treat, dipping and rolling is one of a child’s best skills – I promise!

Please note, this sauce is a recipe from our upcoming book Eat Like a Dinosaur and is wonderful for use in candy centers, drizzled on ice cream or for a fruit dip. A little goes a long way, but it’s perfect to make and save in your fridge!


Caramel Sauce

Ingredients
½ C honey
½ C maple syrup
½ tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Warm large sauce pan over medium heat, add honey and maple syrup to warm pan – mixture should gently bubble but if it begins to immediately boil and brown is has burnt and you should start over
  2. ♥ Once gentle bubbles begin to form, turn heat to medium low have little hands continuously stir (to prevent burning)
  3. Mixture will bubble and potentially expand over edge of pot, if that happens remove from heat and stir, return to heat once bubbles subside
  4. ♥ Once sauce has thickened and the color darkened (about 10 minutes), remove from heat to add baking soda
  5. Whisk in baking soda thoroughly and continue to stir as it starts to expand and bubble, return to medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Whisk constantly until sauce has become a thick, rich bubbly sauce that does not reduce when moved off of heat
  6. ♥ Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally – sauce will reincorporate to a thick caramel consistency
  7. Serve and use warmed (heat in microwave or on stove top)
  8. Store in an airtight container for several months in refrigerator

Caramel Apples

Ingredients
1 C Caramel Sauce (see above)
2 C chopped pecans
6 medium apples
6 bamboo skewers

Instructions

  1. ♥ Set-up a dipping station: 1 bowl of warmed (not too hot!) Caramel Sauce, 1 bowl of chopped pecans, and skewered apples
  2. ♥ Gently roll skewered apple in caramel sauce (least messy if you roll on the top surface, rather than try to immerse it entirely)
  3. Let caramelized apple sit for 2-3 minutes, to allow caramel to somewhat harden (otherwise nuts will slide down apples’ sides)
  4. ♥ Roll caramelized apples into nuts (may need to repeat depending on how hot your caramel is and how small your nuts are chopped)
  5. Allow apples to harden by storing in the refrigerator – or enjoy warm if you can’t wait!

Note: Steps which include a heart symbol () are perfect for little hands to provide assistance as your sous chef!

About Stacy

Stacy Toth has written 371 post in this blog.

Stacy is the matriarch of the Paleo Parents family. After beginning a paleo diet and founding PaleoParents.com in 2010, she lost 135 pounds and found health and happiness for the whole family. The following three years have been a progressive journey with a mission to educate people about nourishing their bodies by eating real foods. Stacy can be found on all forms of social media as @PaleoParents as well as the top-rated The Paleo View Podcast and her two cookbooks, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.

  • LeAnn Purdy

    Sounds good!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Simple and fun but impressive on the eye – paleo(ish) trickery at it’s best :)

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  • Christine

    really yummy, made this tonight.  I found your website through the spunky coconut post.  We didn’t want to wait for the the sauce to ‘turn to carmel’ it is slightly warm but looks like cream colored whipped cream.  Did I cook it too long?  If we wait longer will it reincorporate and look more like carmel? 

    Still really yummy although drippy. 

    Thanks for the festive paleo recipe. 

    Love your site too. :-)

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      That sounds right, it turns a light colored bubbly froth and then as it sits it reincorporates.  As long as it’s not dark and sludgy you should be good!

      Welcome, thanks for stopping in!

      • Christine

        Thanks.  We will continue to be patient and enjoy it frothy too. :-)

        • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

          Christine, I’m assuming the caramel’s cooled by now – hopefully it worked out for you!

          • Christine

            Nope, still not a caramel consistency.  It is still light tan and fluffly.  I wonder if I whisked it too much?

          • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

            Well, that’s strange.  I am unsure what may have gone wrong. If you’re not too turned off by it, I’d be curious as to the results are if you try it again. Let us know! My apologies for the disappointing non-caramel caramel!

          • Christine

            I cooked it a little longer and it is a darker color and more sticky but still a bit frothy.  It is good, my kids especially LOVE it.  I will give it another try and let you know how a new batch goes.  Thanks for all of your suggestions.

          • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

            Thanks for your insight! It really helps to see how people are testing our stuff.

          • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

            Upon further reflection, we’re thinking maybe it didn’t cook long enough.  Even just adding the batch you did make back into a warm pan and letting it cook down a few more minutes might help it come together.

  • SarahJ

    Genius! Looks good! I can use the caramel sauce in so many recipes; thanks!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Here’s a tiny secret: I invented the caramel sauce for the book so that I could candy some spiced nuts!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1463046581 Connie Spencer

    Here is mine https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2448138410497&set=a.2150323405308.124733.1463046581&type=1&theater

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1463046581 Connie Spencer

    So yummy!  Here is a picture of mine.  We used the slicer to split one apple 4 ways since it is so much more sugar than we normally eat.  But we wanted to try it before Halloween. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2448138410497&set=a.2150323405308.124733.1463046581&type=1&theater

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      That looks great! Both Stacy and I said your sauce looks better than ours does!

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  • lrlt2000

    This is maybe the 2nd or 3rd recipe I’ve tried of yours. I definitely overcooked it! It’s staying frothy and is dark tan-orange!!! Also, when I dip an apple and it cools, it becomes like hard candy :) I would recommend suggesting a candy thermometer! I may try it again with one, and not get over “thread”? What temp would you recommend?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ann.e.wilson10 Ann Wilson

    Oops… I accidently put the baking soda in with the maple syrup and honey. Not sure the sauce is going to turn out. I am bummed… think I just wasted a 1/2 cup of maple syrup and local honey. Major bummer!

  • Ashley

    I can’t get the print friendly or email buttons above to work. Adding a Pin button would be awesome, too!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.c.salas.7 Jessica Childers Salas

    Just in case anyone tries to make this and cooks it too long (like I did), you can thin it out (even if it is hard) by adding a little butter and coconut milk. I did this and let it cook on low for a long time, stirring constantly. Now, it is the perfect caramel sauce to top our pumpkin bread pudding. I also made a delicious caramel coffee with it!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Awesome, thanks!

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  • Kate

    While cooling, my caramel has turned into a sticky toffee. Any idea where I may have gone wrong??
    I was cooking the samoa brownie…even with a sticky toffee topping, its delicious!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Kate, it sounds like it may have reduced too much! Try cooking it for a shorter time, perhaps?

  • Jestina Marrie Inman

    Does this caramel harden up quite a bit so that it could be used to make inside out apple slices?? I am looking to cut an apple into quarters, scoop some of the insides out with a melon baller and then put caramel in the center so I can use it as a finger dessert at my baby boys 2nd birthday party. With that being said it has to harden enough not run out of the apple.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      It’s a sauce consistency when warm and then cools to coat without dripping. If you want it harder, cook it a little longer.

      • Jestina Marrie Inman

        Thank you so much!! I will give it a try for sure. :)

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