Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Homemade Sparkle Candy Apples

Homemade Sparkle Candy Apples

It's about that time again...no not just back to school time...CANDY APPLE TIME...Okay, okay I know, I'll calm down. But we all look forward to certain things. Me, I love the fall! The crisp air and the even crispier apples. The joy of picking and that first juicy bite, you are sure to have it remind you of your childhood. It's those nostalgic treats that bring us back to those treasured times in our lives.

Whether it's fall or the summertime, we enjoy certain treats. These treats could be homemade or bought, we still are nostalgic in it's enjoyment. Candied apples are the most nostalgic for me. I can remember any carnival or amusement park always choosing a big candy apple. To this very day I still choose these big candy apples as my treat and still feel the same way I did back when I was little. The excitement of the purchase, the smell as you unwrap, and the first sticky and difficult bite trying to break threw the candy shell. Before you know it, the apple is gone and you are pining for another one already. These apples are usually purchased premade from carnivals, fall events, or store bought. They come in many flavors, colors, and quality varies. I have got the occasional bad apple and I'm always disappointed when that happens.

This recipe shows you how to not only make but enjoy the process that is Candy Apple making. These candy apples are turning up the glitzy factor but including an extra beautiful candy shell. Candy apples can be fun and enjoyable while making them but also can be different than the rest. It's extra nice because it's an art, you can make them with your favorite apples and any of your favorite flavors and/or colors. These apples are different but so easy to master. A great treat for adults and kids alike because it's one of those treats we grew up enjoying over and over again. This recipe shows you how to make a perfect candy apple every time. Serve these at parties and event or just a special dessert on the weekend. Theme them with holidays or parties and enjoy year round.

Homemade Sparkle Candy Apples

Yields: 12 to 15 Candy Apples

Ingredients
Candy Apple Base

12 to 15 regular sized organic green (granny smith) apples (crisp & holds up to the heat)
3 cups organic raw sugar
1/2 cup organic light corn syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vegan food coloring (any color you like)

(Sparkle Spray Below)


Equipment Needed

Candy thermometer

24 Popsicle sticks or thick pointed candy apple sticks

Directions

Wash and thoroughly dry the organic apples.

*You want to use organic apples, because not only are wax on apples not vegan but the wax on the apples prevents the candy coating from adhering to the outside. Organic or fresh picked apples work best in the situation. 

For this recipe I use granny smith (green apples), you want to use a crispy thick skinned apple. The candy coating can blister other apples and make for a mushy outcome. Once washed and dried, insert the lollipop sticks or Popsicle sticks so that they are firmly positioned in the apples. Set the apples aside. Prepare your cookie sheet, by lining them with wax paper and liberally greasing them. You do not want the apples to stick to the sheet after coated.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300 Degrees F (the hard crack stage).

*If you want to test your candy when it gets to this point, drop a couple a drops of the candy into a glass of cold water, you will instantly see the candy form into hard candy strings and it will be ready for dunking.
When the candy reaches 300 degrees (this will take time), remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the food coloring and extract (it may splash, so stand back). You may have to add more than the designated 1/2 teaspoon, depending on the quality and strength of your food coloring. I used a vegan gel food color.

One by one, carefully and quickly dip the apples into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan. Transfer the coated apples to the prepared cookie sheet and allow them to cool until the candy has fully hardened.

Sparkle Spray

Ingredients

1 to 2 containers luster dust or pixie dust, .25 ounce (found at most craft stores and cake decorating sections, in many colors)

I/2 cup vodka

1 Food-grade paint air brush or spray bottle

Directions

Whisk 1/2 cup vodka into the luster or pixie dust. If the mixtures seems too thin or pale, add 1/4 teaspoons of pixie or luster dust. Keep adding the glitter dust in 1/4 teaspoon increments and whisking until the mixture has the consistency of ink or watery paint. Add this mixture into a spray bottle or air brush and use on candy apples. Spray each hardened apple liberally and allow to dry.

Once the candy apples are hardened and the sparkle "paint" is dry (at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours), remove from tray, wrap, and decorate as desired. Not only will these be delish but they will almost be too beautiful to eat...almost! Enjoy!

-Amy