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Homemade Caramel Apples

My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE Caramel.. Caramel apples, caramel popcorn, hot caramel drizzled over ice cream,  heck they eat it by the spoonful.   I personally would pick hot fudge on a sundae any day over caramel, But caramel apples was the request so here it is.

shot of Holiday caramel apples

Most of my kids like the apples covered in nuts.. If you have a nut allergy or just don’t like nuts you can keep them plain or coat in chocolate chips, toasted coconut, crushed pretzels, chocolate m&m’s, slivered almonds, dried fruit or even kosher salt for a more sophisticated caramel apple.  My son requested his “without nuts & sprinkles”

caramel apples upclose

These make a great holiday gift.  Just place in a cello bag and tie a bow around the top.

Homemade Caramel Apples


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 Popsicle or craft sticks or chopsticks
  • 8 medium tart apples, washed and dried
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped


  1. In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup and milk. Keep whisking until the sugar has melted and mixture comes to a boil. Lightly boil and keep whisking until it comes to a soft ball stage or desired consistency.
  2. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
  3. Insert Popsicle/Craft sticks into apples. Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat. Dip bottom of apples into peanuts. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and Refrigerate for 2 hrs.

You can use a craft sticks, lollipop sticks, popsicle sticks or Chopsticks work great as well and I always have those in a kitchen drawer from leftover Chinese takeout.

Here is a BIG tip for making the toppings stick to the caramel – Quickly after you dip the apples into the toppings, place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and placed in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

shot of Gold Ribbon Caramel apples

Store leftover caramel in the refrigerator.  Use on apples, pour over popcorn, top your ice cream or just eat it be the spoon.

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