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Caramel apples or taffy apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. Generally, they are called caramel apples when only caramel is applied and taffy apples for when there are further ingredients such as peanuts applied.
|Alternative names||Taffy apples|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Apples, caramel, sometimes nuts|
For high-volume production of caramel apples, a sheet of caramel can be wrapped around the apple, followed by heating the apple to melt the caramel evenly onto it. This creates a harder caramel that is easier to transport but more difficult to eat. Caramel apple production at home usually involves melting pre-purchased caramel candies for dipping or making a homemade caramel from ingredients like corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Homemade caramel generally results in a softer, creamier coating.
In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to decorate caramel apples for holidays like Halloween. Methods used to do this include applying sugar or salt to softened caramel, dipping cooled, hardened apples in white or milk chocolate, or painting designs onto finished caramel apples with white chocolate colored with food coloring.
Classically, the preferred apples for use in caramel apples are tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or Fuji apples. Softer, grainy-textured apples can also be used, but are not preferred.
In addition to caramel apples, manufacturers and consumers have started to coat apples in chocolate syrup, peanut butter, etc. and adding toppings such as crushed peanuts, pretzels, mini M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, coconut flakes, and mini chocolate chips. Candy apple shops and candy apple bars have started to pop up in bigger cities, at weddings and parties to allow people to enjoy the apple with the dipping sauces and toppings they prefer.
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- Carter, Noelle (26 October 2017). "This Halloween, make your own caramel and candy apples". Los Angeles Times.