Caramel apples are a fun fall treat that also make a fun Halloween food craft for children. Making homemade caramel to the dip the apples in will give the apple a fresh caramel taste and is easy to make with few ingredients. Children will enjoy dipping the apples and can add decorations to create a special treat. Choose apples such as the Granny Smith, as these have a harder consistency for better results.
Wash eight apples with water and let them dry while making the caramel dipping sauce. Stick a Popsicle or candy stick into the core of each apple to a depth of at least 2 inches.
Line a cookie sheet with a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Spray the surface of the paper with cooking oil to prevent the caramel apples from sticking.
Mix the corn syrup, brown sugar, heavy cream and salt in a large saucepan. Heat the ingredients over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 270 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Continue to stir the mixture while simmering to prevent it from burning onto the bottom of the saucepan.
Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. Let the caramel mixture cool until the caramel thickens, approximately six to eight minutes.
Dip each apple into the caramel mixture by holding the stick and gently swirling the apple to place an even cover on all sides. Place the caramel apple onto the lined and greased cookie sheet so the stick up facing upward. Let the apples cook completely before eating.