Is this your year to host a candy apple party for Halloween? Kids and adults alike will love the opportunity to customize caramel and/or red candy apples.
First send out the invites, then start to gather the ingredients.
You prepare trays of candy- and or caramel-coated apples, and guests do a quick re-dip and add their toppings. We’ll provide the caramel- and candy-coating recipes in a separate article.
CANDY APPLE & CARAMEL APPLE TOPPINGS
Select toppings that are small in size or crushed. Big pieces of candy or nut halves can fall off, especially on smaller apple (recommended—see the next section). That’s why we excluded Gummies, Goobers, Raisinets and Teddy Grahams.
Mini chocolate chips or full size (how about a mix of
butterscotch, peanut butter, mint, dark, milk and/or white
At a candy apple party, every guest can customize an apple (at least one!). Photo with regular and chocolate caramel apples courtesy RedbookMag.com.
Mini Reese’s Pieces
Oreo bits or crushed graham crackers
Shredded coconut, plain or toasted
2 slow cookers, chafing dishes, or other warmers for the two coatings
Bowls and spoons for the toppings
Individual bowls or plates for apple-coating
Ice pop sticks for the apples
You do the messy part in advance: dip the apples in their first coat: dark, milk or white chocolate or caramel. Photo courtesy BridalGuide.com.
WHAT APPLES SHOULD YOU USE?
Choose varieties that are crisp but not singularly sweet (e.g. Delicious). The tartness or acidity of the right variety is a counterpoint to the sweet coating and toppings.
You also want small apples over large ones. Big apples look more impressive, but smaller ones (typically sold pre-bagged) give you a better ratio of apple to topping. And, you can have more than one!
For red candy coating: Baldwin, Crispin, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonathan, Stayman, SweeTango; secondarily, Braeburn, Gala, Fuji.
For caramel apples: The tart Granny Smith is the best variety for caramel apples; the tartness works well with the caramel. But any of the red candy apple types will work if you’re not seeking that nuance.
TIP: Many supermarket apples have a wax coating that can inhibit the coating from sticking to the apple. If you can’t buy your apples from a farmers market or orchard, remove the wax coating by swirling the apples in a pot of boiling water and wiping them dry with paper towels.
Set the slow cookers, trays of coated apples and bowls of toppings and other materials on a table or sideboard, ideally on a craft paper covering or tablecloth.
When the guests are ready to create their apples, let them re-dip and add their toppings. Individual bowls for each person help prevent the toppings from spilling on the table.
What to serve at your candy apple party? Apple-themed drinks:
Apple Beer or Ale
Apple Spice Tea
Apple Seltzer (like Polar)
Hot Mulled Wine or Mulled Cider
Sparkling Cider Punch