10.20.2011

Dear Caramel Apples: You are dead to me.



This story is to share my humiliation with the world over my big failure in the kitchen last weekend (lest it thinks I am all good ideas and smooth successes - 'cause that's just not true!).

Making Caramel Apples seems easy.

Seems.

Remember a few years ago I made GIANT sized ones for CC's baby shower as favors, carefully making the caramel from scratch in huge quantities, dipping the caramel apples in dark chocolate and rolling them in nuts too? They were heavenly. (Were we friends yet back then?) And though I documented every detail of that process, I've been trying to recreate that success ever since.  See how I even wrote the process out on graph paper? That's because it was a science to me and I sorta think I'm a scientist. Sometimes.



I've tried - Lord knows! - to make my own caramel probably three other times since then, and all attempts have resulted in caramel that's either too thin and slides right off the apples (not boiled long enough), or too thick, which won't cover properly at all, and yields like 3 total because it's so gummy (boiled too much). It's so frustrating, and makes me want to break the candy thermometer over my knee.

So I decided to cheat this year by doing the melty version. See how many store bought caramels I
opened? Three bags. ANNOYING. All the while, I'm totally romanticizing the making your own process. Was it really all that bad?? 'Cause taking off all those wrappers is no cup of tea either.


We even picked our own apples this year. I purposefully chose smallish ones, so the caramel would cover lots of them (and I could eat more than one a day). Look, aren't they so pretty already?

BEFORE.



AFTER.


They look like delicious treats, right?

Wrong. Disaster. Crappy sucky disaster that wasted my good hand-picked apples.

Problem #1. Wax paper stuck to all the bottoms. I had to rip them off. Why didn't I just put them directly on the dang tray?! So I took a knife and sawed off the bottoms of a few, which were then dipped in chocolate to hide the apple disfiguration. But I didn't have much chocolate.


Problem #2. Re-melting caramels makes the substance as edible as if I were to wrap an apple with a piece of leather. No kidding. Since I've made caramel before, I know how heat sensitive it is, and heating that sugary delight past it's point of caramely goodness leads to leathery disaster. Even if we just cut slices off the sides of the apples to avoid the paper bottoms, which we did, none of us could eat the caramel, it was so tough! It was the same consistency as Abba-Zabba. Like it wants to pull out my teeth if I'm not careful. So basically, what I had to show for my time was this:


Problem #3. Wiener dogs who get up in the middle of the night, sneak into the kitchen, and tug on the tablecloth with their teeth until all the apples come crashing down to the floor so he can eat one. Caramel stickiness everywhere.

In summary, Caramel Apples, you are dead to me.

$8 for a giant, beautiful one at the candy store suddenly doesn't sound so ridiculous.

Photobucket

8 comments:

  1. hilarious! oh my heck, this was ME last year.
    what a rotten disappointment it was. sorry for your fail...but you make me feel much better;)

    and i may have just purchased caramel apples at the candy shop down the block. gotta keep mama sane!

    enjoy your evening ladies! xo

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  2. this looks terrible. i hate when stuff doesn't turn out. that's why i usually don't try anything too involved. so i give you a pat-on-the-back for giving it a good try!

    not to discourage you, but joel's aunt makes thee best caramel apples. i have no idea how, but they are heavenly. she makes them every halloween. i'm hosting our family's halloween this year so i'll make sure to get lots of pretty pics of them :) or maybe i'll save one for ya?

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  3. i love this! once upon a time i decided i wanted to do homemade caramel apples for our november wedding. did a trial run..not so successful. the caramel wouldn't stay on the apples, they got stuck to the wax paper and the caramel didn't even taste good. we did cookie favors instead. ;) thanks for sharing your misadventures.

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  4. OH WOW OH WOW. And I just put "make caramel apples with the kids and their friends" on our fall bucket list. Ooooph. I will do a little research on the difficulty of melting different kinds of caramel, but thank you for opening my eyes to the difficulty. I get sucked in by the beautiful pictures on Pinterest that give no explanation of how to make them or description of how hard it was. Peeling wrappers off thousands of tiny caramels?? With a two and four year old?? Sensitive to heat? Ya. Thanks for the heads up!!!!

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  5. Haha!! Poor you (sorry for laughing). So good to know your human (like us all). I have never ever tried making these before... but not sure now if I ever will!! ;)

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  6. I suddenly have the urge to conquer the dreaded caramel apple...like it needs to be redeemed or something! HA!! Maybe I'll give it a go next week and post about how it turns out!!!! : )

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  7. LOL. Oh man. I'm sorry.

    This is why I totally CHEAT and use those pre-made wrap thingies. Makes it so easy. Too easy. But whatever if the result is the same in the end right? And then I add my own fun with m&m's and then I feel a little more like Pioneer Woman :)

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  8. Girl, I feel your pain. I too have had a mishap like this! So disappointing. But, they sure look good!!! Last year my husband bought those caramel wrapper things. I thought it was cheating, but it was fast and there was no frustration! So we're going with that! :)

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