These apples would make a great project with age-appropriate children. They'd also make wonderful gifts for teachers, friends, neighbors, co-workers or as stocking stuffers.
I really liked using the caramel bits...no unwrapping to do! Since the caramel and chocolate set quickly, you'll want to get well organized before you start. The impressive presentation of this little project is so deceptive, as these apples are actually very easy to make and wrap...you'll love them!
Hope They Make It To Packaging!
Approximately 3-4 large or 5 medium apples
- About 3-4 large or 5 medium fresh apples (I used honeycrisp apples...red delicious would be good also.)
- Fruit Fresh produce protector (a powder typically used for canning and made by Ball) or lemon juice
- 1/ea. 11 oz. bag caramel bits
- 2 TB water
- 2 TB vegetable shortening (I used butter-flavored shortening.)
- 1/ea. 10 oz. bag dark chocolate morsels
- 1 c. coarsely chopped honey roasted peanuts (Let your food processor chop the nuts! Chopped toasted slivered almonds or chopped toasted pecans would be good also.)
- Wax paper
- Butter-flavored cooking spray
- 6" Cookie Sticks (Wilton has a package of 20/ea. white sticks.)
- 3 3/8" round cardboard discs (Wilton includes these silver-covered boards in their 8/set Favor Kit...or you can cut your own from cardboard and cover with foil if you like.)
- Approx. 21"x27" sheet of craft cello wrap for each apple (I cut from a roll of cello wrap.)
- Silver or gold twist bag ties for securing wrap around apples (I just used the short strips of ribbon included in the Wilton Favor Kit.)
- 22" strips of 1/4" wide florist or satin decorative ribbon (I used two/ea. strips of this ribbon per apple.)
Coating The Apples
- Line a baking pan with wax paper and spray with the cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place the chopped peanuts into a small bowl and set aside.
- Clean the apples and remove the stems and bottoms, along with any bad spots...sprinkle these areas with the Fruit Fresh or lemon juice.
- Insert the cookie sticks about 2" into the stem areas of the apples, twisting and pushing as necessary...taking care not to push too far. (You might want to cover part of the sticks with foil or a piece of paper towel as you coat the apples in order to keep the stems clean.)
- Pour the caramel bits into a medium-small saucepan. Add the water and stir constantly over medium-low heat until the bits are completely melted--about 3 minutes.
- One at a time, set the apples into the melted caramel and spoon the caramel over the apples, leaving about an inch of each apple exposed around the sticks. Allow the excess caramel to drip off the apples. Scrape the bottom of the apples and place into the prepared baking pan, keeping the apples separated. (If the caramel sets up before you finish coating the apples, simply add a tiny bit more of water and reheat over medium-low heat.) Refrigerate the apples for about 1 hour, then remove from the refrigerator and set aside.
- Line another baking pan with wax paper and spray with the cooking spray. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate morsels with the shortening in a medium-small saucepan over the lowest heat possible. When the morsels begin to melt, remove from the heat and stir. Return to the heat a few seconds at a time, stirring just until the morsels are melted. Once the morsels are completely melted, immediately remove from the heat.
- Liberally coat the apples with the chocolate in the same manner as with the caramel. (Work quickly with the chocolate and try to avoid reheating it, as it tends to overcook. If you have to melt the chocolate a little more, do it very quickly over the lowest possible heat and stir constantly.)
- Immediately, while the chocolate is still warm, coat the apples with the chopped peanuts: One at a time, hold the apples horizontally over the bowl of peanuts; and, while turning the apples, spoon the nuts over them, leaving about an inch of the chocolate coating exposed at the top of each apple. Place the apples into the new wax paper-lined baking pan and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour or until well set.
From Me To You!
Packaging The Apples
For each apple: Center a cardboard disc on a piece of the craft cello wrap. (I left the silver side of the disc down.) Bring the wrap up over the apple, covering all exposed sides of the apple and secure with a twist tie or short strip of ribbon. Tie one strip of the decorative ribbon around the secured area and tie another decorative strip of ribbon over that. Fan the cello wrap a little at the top of the apple. Keep the apples in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Your Very Own Hand Creation!