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Homemade Caramel Apples

Active Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes plus chilling
Makes: 8 apples

8 medium Gala, Granny Smith or Jonathan apples
8 sturdy wooden ice pop sticks, craft sticks or chopsticks

Optional Toppings
2 cups of your favorite toppings such as candy corn, chopped banana chips, chopped dark chocolate, chopped macadamia nuts, chopped mixed nuts, crushed pretzels, mini candy-coated chocolates, cinnamon candies, toasted coconut or chopped mini peanut butter cups

1/2 cup Schnucks unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 cups packed Schnucks light brown sugar
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Schnucks light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Schnucks pure vanilla extract

1. Line large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Remove stems from apples. To remove wax coating from apples, rinse apples with hot water; with clean kitchen towel, rub off wax. Push sticks into apples through stem end. In pie plate(s) or wide, shallow dish(es), place toppings of choice, if using.

2. To prepare Caramel: in heavy 4-quart saucepan, with candy thermometer attached, melt butter over low heat. Stir in sugar, condensed milk, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium-low heat or very low boil 15 to 20 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 240° to 245°F (120°C) (about soft-ball stage), stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Continue stirring to cool caramel to about 200°F.

3. Dip up to stem and swirl each apple into caramel until evenly coated, allowing excess to drip into saucepan. Roll bottom and halfway up sides of apples in topping(s), if using, pressing lightly so topping(s) adhere(s). Place on prepared baking pan; let stand 10 minutes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. To serve, allow apples to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Each caramel apple: about 687 calories, 15 g total fat (10 g saturated), 47 mg cholesterol, 253 mg sodium, 139 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 111 g sugars, 5 g protein

Cook’s Wisdom

If using chocolate or candy-coated chocolates for toppings, freeze 15 minutes before using.