Prep time: About an hour
What you'll need to get started:
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Natural Sea Salt
6 medium sized apples (granny smith or red delicious)
Nonstick cooking spray, for parchment
Place a pot on medium heat for five minutes and let it get hot. In the pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir a few times before the sugar begins to boil to combine the ingredients. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and bring the syrup to a boil.
Cook until the syrup begins to turn an amber color, then swirl the syrup to even out the color. Continue to cook until the syrup is a deep amber and the thermometer reads between 375 and 380 degrees F, then remove from the heat. Carefully pour in the cream and gently whisk to combine. Stir in the butter, vanilla and a pinch of salt until smooth. Keep off the heat but keep the thermometer attached to the pan.
When the temperature of the caramel reads around 190 degrees F, dip an apple, using the stick as a handle and swirling to coat completely. Allow excess caramel to drip off the bottom and use a spatula to help remove any large amount of caramel, as it will pool around the apple when you set it down to cool on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining apples, gently heating the caramel on the stove top over low heat, stirring, if it gets too thick for dipping. Allow the caramel to set and cool completely before serving or wrapping apples, about 1 hour.
To add toppings, dip apples in mini chocolate candies, shredded coconut, crushed cookies or chopped nuts immediately after coating with caramel.