Caramel apples are easy to make and they make great gifts. The recipients will love getting a gift that was home made with love. These apples are an easy family project, allowing everyone to be involved in the act of making gifts for others.
Homemade caramel apples are better tasting than the ones that you purchase at a store. They are often more crisp as well.
Making the Apples
Caramel apples are easily made when all of the ingredients are put out before you begin. Wax paper, laid out on a counter, will give the apples a place to harden. Bowls or plates with additions, such as crushed candies or nuts, will make things go faster. Apples with Popsicle sticks already inserted and placed near the stove is also helpful, and choosing the right apples is important. Try fresh picked Granny Smith or McIntosh apples.
The apples are dipped into the warmed caramel, rolled in candy or nuts, then placed onto the wax paper to harden. Small children should not do this as the hot caramel can seriously burn them if it gets on their skin.
Caramel apples can be given as gifts for different occasions. For instance, apples rolled in sprinkles of orange, black and brown are great for Halloween. Nuts that have been crushed would be a good choice for Thanksgiving apples. Crushed candy canes can be used for the Christmas season. And pastel sprinkles will work well at Easter.
Once hardened, caramel apples can be wrapped in different things. Aluminum foil is one option. Plastic wrap is another. More creative wrappings include colored tulle and fabric. The wrap should be cut into squares or circles. A decorative touch can be added to the wrap by using pinking shears.
Embellishments added to the wrapped apples give them a more creative look. Ribbon, twine or yarn should be used to tie the wrap closed. Labels can be created with the name of the recipient and stuck to the wrap. Glitter glued to the wrap would be interesting, or stickers can be added. Be creative with the embellishment, as this will add more charm to the overall effect.
How the caramel apples are presented is important. Unwrapped apples should be placed on a decorative tray. Gift bags can be made from paper lunch bags, the tops of which are folded over once, punched twice with a hole punch and tied closed with a ribbon. Wrapped candied apples are placed inside the gift bags before closing.
At Halloween, the wrapped apples do not need a gift bag. They are simply handed out to children as is.