Candy Apples, Caramel Apples, Chef Melissa Pelkey-Hass, Chef Shawn Smallwood, desserts, Eating Clean One Day At A Time, Halloween Candy, Halloween Desserts, Halloween Treats, Spooky Holiday Dishes, sweets, The Divine Chef M
It’s almost midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil.
The clock has begun to chime.
The wind is blowing and there is a chill in the air.
…and we have the most frightening of all Halloween foods.
WHAT? Oh yes, and wait until you see these. Fair warning though, these apples are graphic and may not be suited for the young or faint of heart.
I was fortunate to team with Chef Shawn Smallwood to create several versions of one of the greatest and most loved Halloween and State Fair treats. Enter candy and caramel apples.
According to Wikipedia, American William W. Kolb is credited for the creation of the candy apple. Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly. Soon candied apples were being sold along the Jersey Shore, at the circus and in candy shops across the country, according to the Newark News in 1948.
For Halloween, Chef Shawn and I set out to bring into existence the most decadent, gory, beautiful and scary candy and caramel apples ever created. Chef Shawn took the caramel and I took the candy.
Chef Shawn Creates Decadent Caramel Apples
I prepared my apples by washing them in a one part vinegar to two parts water solution to remove dirt and wax. I hand dried them and let them dry about another 30 minutes.
The caramel recipe I used is corn syrup free. It is 2 cups packed brown sugar, two sticks of butter, 1 cup of honey, 1 14oz can of condensed milk, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Bring everything but vanilla to a boil until a candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Prepare apples for dipping by placing sticks in the center. Don’t use cardboard ones they will dissolve. Dip your apple, allow excess to drop off, and allow to cool over night on parchment or silicon mat before decorating otherwise everything will fall off. I used melted tempered chocolate to glue my decorations in place.
Chef Melissa Creates Luscious Red Wine and White Chocolate Dipped Apples
Red Wine Candy Apples ~ As seen at Epicurious.com
- 8 small McIntosh apples, stemmed, washed well, and dried
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
NEEDED: 8 wooden ice-pop sticks; a candy thermometer.
Insert a wooden stick halfway into each apple at stem end. Line a tray with wax paper and lightly grease paper.
Boil wine in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 2 1/2-to 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until dark amber. Add reduced wine (mixture will bubble up and steam) and swirl pan. Add cream and simmer, stirring, until incorporated, then continue to simmer until thermometer registers 238°F. Remove from heat and cool to 200°F.
Holding apples by the sticks, dip them in candy/caramel and swirl to coat, letting excess drip off, then hold apples up (stick end down) for about 15 seconds to allow the apples to set. Put candy apples, stick side up, on greased wax paper and let stand until they firm up, about 30 minutes.
*For white chocolate apples, melt white chocolate candy melts (I use Ghiradelli) in a double boiler. Swirl apples in melted chocolate, place on parchment and allow to set. Decorate as desired.*
Here’s where it gets scary! You’ve been WARNED…MWUHAHAHAHA!
…but we do have to end on a light note 😉
A VERY special thank you to the amazingly talented Chef Shawn Smallwood for working with me on this fabulous post. Check out Shawn’s page on Facebook, Eating Clean One Day At A Time, for inventive, creative and delicious recipes!
Shawn Smallwood is an aspiring chef, and pastry chef. Chef Smallwood began his career in 2002 as a food service specialist in the US Army. He has a deep passion for culinary arts, but also loves the fine attention to detail that is required for baking and patisserie. Chef Smallwood was honorably discharged from the US Army in 2014 after 12 years of service with 4 combat deployment tours . Chef Smallwood is a student at Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas, Texas pursuing his associates degree in patisserie and baking. After Chef Smallwood graduates he will pursue a degree in culinary arts, and then a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.
Life is too short to eat ugly food. From our caramel and candy apples to yours, Happy Halloween y’all!!