Celebrate the Halloween Season with Candied Apples
Chef John Kinsella, Culinary Educator, Cincinnati State Community College
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA (August, 2003) — Candied Apples are festive and sweet treats that look just as good as they taste. Featuring a shiny, red candy coating, Candied Apples provide a decorative touch to any holiday dessert tray and make excellent gifts when wrapped in cellophane and topped with a bow. Now, it’s easy to create Candied Apples as well as other delicious candy treats at home. The experts at Good Cook, a leading kitchenware brand, provide all the tools and techniques to get started.
Step 1: Create a Simple Sugar Syrup
Combine 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a small saucepan. The cream of tartar prevents sticking and creates a creamier texture.
Bring the syrup to a boil over high heat. For best results, sugar syrups should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface. Stir the mixture occasionally, using a wooden spoon. For a festive look add a few drops of red food coloring to the candy mixture and stir until the color is even.
Once the candy mixture comes to an even boil, it will need to reach the proper consistency for candy coating. The most accurate way to test the stage of a hot candy mixture is to use a candy thermometer, which features temperature gauges that indicate the six stages in candy making, which include:
Thread Stage: (230 – 233 degrees F) When a teaspoon is dipped into the hot mixture, then removed, the candy falls off the spoon in a 2-inch long, fine, thin thread.
Soft-ball Stage: (234 – 240 degrees F) When a ball of candy is dropped into cold water and then taken back out, the candy immediately flattens and runs over your finger.
Firm-ball Stage: (244 – 248 degrees F) Candy mixture is firm enough to hold its shape but quickly flattens out.
Hard-ball Stage: (250 – 266 degrees F) Candy mixture can be deformed by pressure, but does not flatten out until pressed.
Soft-crack Stage: (270 – 290 degrees F) Candy mixture separates into hard, but pliable and elastic threads.
Hard-crack Stage: (295 – 310 degrees F) Candy mixture separates into hard, brittle threads that snap easily.
For Candied Apples, the sugar syrup should reach a temperature of 300 degrees F, which is known as the “Hard Crack” stage, producing a hard, delicate coating. However, it may be easier for some cooks to work with the “Hard-ball” stage, at 250 degrees, which produces a coating similar to caramel apples. Both are effective and depend on the cook’s preference.
Step 2: Prepare & Skewer Apples
While the candy mixture is coming to a boil, wash and dry one dozen medium apples. Remove the stems from each apple and spear with a 4-inch candy apple skewer. The skewer should be placed in the center of each apple, approximately 2 inches deep. Set apples aside.
Step 3: Dip & Coat Apples
Once the mixture reaches this stage, immediately dip each apple into the candy and coat evenly. Place each candied apple on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, which will prevent the apples from sticking and simplify clean up. Let the apples cool completely before serving or wrapping for gift giving.
All of the items used in this recipe can be found at supermarkets nationwide under the Good Cook brand, making it easy to purchase all the ingredients and tools needed at once – an excellent time saver during the busy holiday season!
For shoppers’ convenience, the items are listed below:
Good Cook Nonstick Saucepan
Good Cook Wooden Spoon
Good Cook Candy Apple Skewer
Good Cook Candy Thermometer
Good Cook Parchment Paper
Bradshaw International, headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, markets a wide assortment of kitchen tools, gadgets, bakeware, cookware, food storage and tabletop products. Marketed under the Good Cook™ brand name, Bradshaw maintains the number one market share for kitchenware in grocery stores, currently distributing in more than 35,000 retail store outlets in North America, New Zealand and Australia. For more information about Good Cook, its products and to find Good Cook retailers, consumers may visit goodcook.com or call 800-421-6290.