Sometimes I contemplate writing just about apples, or just about caramel and leaving behind all my heart to just make a good looking 'professional' post. Nope, can't do it. I'm the kind of girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am the gal who feels a twinge of heartache for the last apple left on the tree.
Such is life. Breathe in, breathe out, smile. We win some, we lose some. We are given what we need, when we need it. I slow down every day and feel the magic of something... wether it is the milkweed seeds blowing in the wind or just celebrating the ability to move by throwing the football with my son. Celebrating life feels good....even on a bad day.
Sometimes it takes a fiery argument and a long walk for me to come to my senses. Even that can be a celebration. Little victories, small gains, remembering that sometimes it is okay to be wrong, even though we don't like to admit it. We are wild creatures, aren't we? Big hearts, lovers with tempers, friends who drift away, mothers and fathers, friends who are close, irate neighbors, bad drivers, gentle teachers, big hearts, timid, speak too loud, hear my voice, unkind, jealous, anxious, kind, cooperative, crazy full of love people.
The caramel apple was on my "confectionary to-do list" (yes... I do have one). I was tired of biting into apples that are bland, dry, and covered with a caramel so hard, it will pull your teeth out and send you to the dentist. My husband hates the caramel apples that taste like plastic. Plastic covered apples... hmmmm maybe he's on to something. I digress. I/we hate bad apples and plastic-like caramel apples. They are no fun for anyone. You end up throwing them into the compost pile. Even the racoons rejects them. This is my attempt to right the wrong of bad caramel apples.
Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples
1 cup organic non salted butter
1 cup organic dark brown sugar
1 cup organic light brown sugar
1 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
3" of vanilla bean, scored down the middle
20 - medium sized GOOD apples... I used honey-crisp
sticks for apples
Place parchment paper on large baking sheet. Butter parchment paper. Place sticks into majority of apples.** In large sauce pan (heavy bottomed) put all your ingredients....everything, and turn on medium. Let this come to a boil and stir frequently. Let caramel reach 243 degrees. Pull off burner and let cool slightly. Begin dipping apples. Rotate/twirl caramel around the apple a bit, you will have some wrist action here. Place on parchment paper. Let cool completely. Share with neighborhood children, and adults alike.
*Bubbles will form in the caramel, do not fret, they will disappear.
*Caramel will probably sit at 228 degrees or so, until the water is finally out of the mixture, then start watching your thermometer. You don't want your caramel to burn.
*Parchment works better than wax paper.
*Apples are best eaten the day of.
*Apple size will vary, possibly varying how many caramel apples are made. Leave a few apples without sticks, you don't want to ruin a perfectly good apple with a stick when you find out there is no caramel left.
*Save yourself some heartache, use a tasty apple. There is life beyond a granny-smith. Not sure she feels the same.
*Kids enjoy making this, watch out that caramel smarts! Ouch, sugar burns are no fun.
*If you have four year old kids in your neighborhood, they will come knocking at your door asking for seconds! Indulge them!
Loads of caramel apple kisses, and yes, sometimes I am wrong - hoping that if I keep saying it, it will get easier? xoxo - megan