TOP: Roll a caramel apple in M&Ms (photo Amy’s Apples). Center: Turn the apple into a chick with yellow sprinkles (photo Amy’s Apples). Bottom: You can make a hard candy coating like the red Halloween apples, switching the red food color for pastels. Photo courtesy Rose Bakes.
Candy apples have a strong association with Halloween. But the treat, which adds a good-for-you apple to the candy components, can be embellished for any occasion.
It’s the first full day of spring and a week from Easter, so what are you waiting for?
Join confectioners across the nation who make seasonal apples, typically caramel or caramel coated with chocolate. White chocolate can be used as is or tinted in Easter and spring colors.
You can also use a milk or dark chocolate coat, but some decorations look better against white. However, if you’re totally covering the apple with coconut or M&Ms, the color of chocolate underneath doesn’t matter matter.
You can also make a hard candy apple coating like the red Halloween apples, but with pastel spring colors instead of red. Here’s how.
You can use any candy apple, caramel apple or chocolate apple recipe.
The apples of choice are sweet-tart varieties: Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith.
If you’re using chocolate, you can melt baking chips; but if your palate is sensitive to the difference, spring for Lindt bars or other well-priced “premium” brands.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Click the links to take a look at different approaches to decorating Easter apples. Most are very easy to make; adding bunny ears does take some technique.
Popular decorations include:
Colored chocolate shavings or baking chips.
Himalayan pink sea salt. For a sweet and salty apple you can use 100% pink sea salt or blended with pink sparkling sugar), lavender sparkling sugar, etc.
Mini candy Easter eggs or jelly beans, placed around the stick end of the apple. First add with other decorations like sprinkles or green tinted coconut.
Pastel candy pearls.
Pastel sprinkles and confetti. Wilton has a nice Easter mix.
Pink or mixed color sparkling sugar (a.k.a. decorator sugar and sanding sugar).
Something exotic, like pink bunny sprinkles, or an actual marshmallow Peep sitting atop the decorated apple (the stick is pushed through it).
CANDY APPLES HISTORY
The practice of coating fruit in sugar syrup dates back to ancient times. In addition to tasting good, honey and sugar were used as preserving agents to keep fruit from rotting.
According to FoodTimeline.org, food historians generally agree that caramel apples (toffee apples) probably date to the late 19th century. Both toffee and caramel can be traced to the early decades of the 18th century. Inexpensive toffee and caramels became available by the end of the 19th century. Culinary evidence confirms soft, chewy caramel coatings from that time.
Red cinnamon-accented candy apples came later. And, while long associated with Halloween, they were originally Christmas fare, not a Halloween confection.
According to articles in the Newark Evening News in 1948 and 1964, the red candy apple was invented in 1908 by William W. Kolb, a local confectioner.