Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Caramel Apples and Me

I was sitting here at my desk basking in the fact that I was featured on Alabama Bloggers today when I thought about caramel apples.  The thought was so vivid I could taste one and as I sat there enjoying my moment with the caramel apples I laughed out loud and my intern looked at me as if she thought I had lost my marbles.  What I am about to share with you I know you will not believe.  I cannot make caramel apples.  I don't mean....I don't like to, or I never have, I mean I CANNOT make the things, yet love them dearly.  When my son Eric was in first grade he volunteered me to make 36 apples for their Halloween Carnival.  I was new at the mom bit....not even 22 yet.  I thought to myself, "I can do hard can it be?"  Well...little did I know it would take an Act of Congress for me to master this one.  I went to the store, bought the stuff, came home and thought I would knock these puppies out while Eric was at school.  That was at 10:00 in the morning and six hours later, I was still scooping up caramel and trying to make it stay on the apples.  We did not have air-conditioning at the time and my face was blood red from trying to do this.  My MIL came by and could not understand why I was having such a difficult time.  She went back to town, bought some more caramels, came back and showed me how to do it.  Guess what....the caramel would not stay on those stinking apples.  Now I had 288 melted caramel pieces running all over my table, down my arms, on the floor....they were invading my house.  I finally got wise.  I had to have these stupid apples by 10 the following morning and it was now 10p.m.  I had been working on these things for 12 solid hours.  I loved caramel apples...but believe me I was fast losing interest in this "mom" project.  My son hugged me and told me it was ok if he did not have the treat he had promised.  Great!  Not only can I not make stupid caramel apples, I was a let down as a mom.  It was at that moment that I figured out how to remedy this situation.  I took plastic wrap and tore pieces big enough to wrap my apples in, put a huge wad of the nasty caramel stuff in the center, placed an apple on a stick in the middle of the mess, and pulled the plastic up....thus sealing the fate of the apple and the caramel.....and you know what?  They looked gorgeous!  I was so proud of myself....especially when I finally made it to bed after midnight with 36 caramel apples waiting to be delivered and a clean kitchen left behind.  The apples were a hit, sold for 50 cents a piece (50 cents?  If they had charged for labor those bad boys would have cost a months wages).  We called them surprise caramel apples....the surprise came when you took off the wrapper and the caramel fell in plops all over the school.  Needless to say....I never had to make caramel apples for my kids again!  Ever!  I have to interject at this point and tell you....I am not a big sweet cooker.  I cook what I like to cook well in the sweets department...but I am a cook....not a baker...I have a friend, Deborah, who bakes...and when I need something baked....I get it from her!  I learned early on in my children's lives....during LBD (life before Deborah)...that the grocery store pound cakes can be made to taste just like homemade if you take it home, wrap it in plastic wrap, and nuke it for about 2 minutes, let it cool slightly and serve it!  Sneaky huh?  Anyways, in honor of caramel apples whose lives have been spared because I hate making the things....I thought I would share the very EASY recipe I used to make them 35 years ago.  It does friends have all made them....using my recipe.....and the reason the caramel did not stick....the apples were polished.....and slick.  While I was digging out my caramel apple recipe...I found a recipe I have not tried...but thought I would share it with you anyways....enjoy my caramel apple stuff:  Happy Thursday to all....and don't forget to enter my still have til the 31st!

Caramel Apple JamIngredients:
• 6 cups dices, peeled apples
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 tsp butter
• 1 package powdered pectin
• 3 cups sugar
• 2 cups packed brown sugar
• 4 half pint jars
• large kettle
• In a large kettle, combine the apples, water and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until the apples are soft. Stir in the pectin and bring the heat up to a rolling boil. Stir constantly.
• Add the sugar and brown sugar and return to a rolling boil. If you would like to add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, now is the time to do it, but it is not required. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
• Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust the caps so they are on tightly. Submerge the jars in a boiling water bath for ten minutes. You will hear pops as the jars are sealed shut and the safety buttons suck in.

Caramel Apples:(The No Fail Kind).....Yeah right!
• 5 to 10 normal sized apples.
• 1 Tablespoon of water.
• 5 to 10 Popsicle sticks.
• 1/2 chopped peanuts.(optional)
• 50 caramels or just 1- 14 oz package of caramel.
•Once you have everything. You want to place the caramals and water into a microwave safe bowl.
•You will want to microwave on medium for 2 1/2 to 4 minutes stirring after one minute, or until caramels are melted completely.
•If you have to use the stove top , you will want to melt the caramels with water in a medium sized saucepan over a medium flame, don't stop stirring until the caramels are completely melted.
•Now go to your apples and insert the Popsicle sticks into each stem of the apples about 3/4 much into the apple.
•While holding on to the Popsicle stick dip your apples into the caramel until they are completely covered. Let each apple drip the extra caramel off so it doesn't make a mess over the bowl.
•You will want to set the apples the are dipped in caramel on a platter with wax paper that has been greased with butter. Now this will make sure the apples wont stick to your platter and sprinkle chopped peanuts on them if you would like.
•Once that is all done refrigerate for at least one or 1 1/2 hours until you want to serve them.


Mimi said...

Now they have that lovely caramel dip in the I'm craving some, lol!

Hugs & love,

Jacki said...

Yummo! I love caramel apples, but have never tried to make them. I'm not that brave!
I was telling my kids about how my grandma made candied apples. I loved them too. No one seems to make them any more....and what about old fashioned popcorn balls!
Halloween just isn't the same!

That corgi :) said...

loved reading this story! how sweet of your son to volunteer your candy making skills and then to comfort you when he saw they might come to fruition (mini pun there :)

I bet they were very interesting indeed and all in all tested good!

I am not talented as a baker, I was so very happy when schools my kids went to established policies that only store bought goodies could be brought in, oh what a happy day that was!


Anne said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Karen. I don't know if I will be able to make it to Roanoke for Christmas, but if I do, I will look you up in Rock Mills. I have some wonderful teenage memories of swimming in the falls and sleep-overs with my school chums from there. I think that I even went to a pot luck evening at the Methodist church there once.
Enjoy your time there. Best, Anne

Sharon said...

Yum! I do love caramel apples. I haven't made them since my kids were little and they now have kids of their own. Love the Treehouse pic!

Rachel said...

Sounds delicious!!! And very fall-like!