How to Make Candy Apples Any Color
So, this morning I woke up and the first thing on my to-do list was Hot Pink and Orange Candy Apples. The only problem was… I had never made candy apples “from scratch” before. I’ve made blue candy apples using the mix from Sugarcraft (search: candy apple mix). And I’ve made regular red candy apples, using those little boxes/kits from the grocery store.
But that’s it. Well… my customer didn’t want red or blue … or any color that came in a kit/mix. She wanted pink and orange. So I had to do them from scratch. I had done my research a few weeks ago and two recipes stood out to me… one from Sweetopolita and one from Sweet Bake Shop. After reading through them a few times, I realized they were very similar!
I just needed to change the colors – I wanted solid hot pink and bright orange… and I didn’t have any special flavors to add – so I just used some vanilla extract!
Here’s how I made the bright colored candy apples! You could easily change the colors to whatever you wanted, or even make them swirly like Sweetopolita did! And you could exchange the vanilla for any flavoring oil you like… strawberry, cotton candy, bubble gum, watermelon, cinnamon (bet that would be good on an apple)… there are dozens of LorAnn flavors to choose from!
PS – my How to Make Purple (Grape) Candy Apples post is also super popular and they’re not totally from scratch (although they could be!)… … you can also make them blue (I linked to the candy apple mix I used here for these):
or light purple (from the recipe below)…
And even glittery, shiny and sparkly… you can find some details here about these glittery apples!
Please Note: This recipe makes the candy on the candy apples hard. That’s they way I’ve always eaten candy apples from the county fair and I’m convinced it’s the way they were meant to be… like hard candy. However, there are apparently some people (like my friend Amanda.. hehe) who prefer more of a caramel apple texture (sticky, soft, chewy), and if that’s what you like… you’ll want to adjust the recipe a bit! I think to make them softer, you would just want to bring the candy to 250° instead of 302°. I’m not sure you’ll be able to wrap them if you make them soft… I think they’d be super sticky… but I could be wrong!
*Update for 9/9/2013. Let me say again since some people keep missing this note… these are candy apples… as in hard candy apples. You know… hard candy – like Life Savers or Jaw Breakers. For my whole life, we’ve bought candy apples at the county fair and they’re hard … as in tooth-breaking, super-hard, gotta-lick-them-to-get-to-the-apple HARD. That’s the way they’re meant to be!! These are not caramel apples, soft or chewy or sticky. They are hard. I’m telling you this just in case anybody tries them then decides they want to send me a nasty email about how they’re hard and you can’t eat them … don’t bother. Yes, they’re hard, yes, you can eat them… and I already know 😉
****One more last note… ha! Many people have commented here and on the purple/grape candy apples about bubbles in the candy. I know they aren’t nearly as pretty when that happens and it’s happened to me ALOT (I just don’t pick those to take pics of). I’m not 100% sure what causes it but a reader left a tip telling me that if you let them drip off over the pan for about 10 seconds (holding the apple over the candy in the heat of the pot), then you don’t get bubbles and honestly, I’ve gotten a lot less of them when doing this! I’ve also read that adding a teaspoon of butter or oil to the mix may help and that the apples must be room temperature and completely clean (wax free) and dry before dipping them. Even the slightest moisture on the apples will cause bubbles to form in the candy. I do hope that helps. Did I miss any details? Do you have any questions about making candy apples? Please leave them in the comments! This post is linked up at Tasty Creations, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Two Cup Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Simply Sweet Saturdays, and Tuesday Confessional!
Here’s my printable version:
- 6-8 medium apples (washed, dried & stems removed)**
- 3 cups of white sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavoring)
- 2 Tbsp white food coloring (I recommend AmeriColor Bright White Soft Gel Paste or Lorann White Food Coloring)
- 1-2 tsp. of gel coloring (whichever color you want your apples to be! - I used Americolor Electric Pink and Americolor Orange) - the more color you use, the brighter the apples will be!)
- Candy Apple Sticks (or craft sticks or short dowels)
- ** I used rather large Granny Smith Apples. I love the tartness of the green apples, but I wish they had been smaller. They were hard to wrap and I wasn't able to dip as many as the recipe indicated!
- Cookie Sheet
- Non-stick Spray
- Heavy Duty Boiler or Sauce Pan
- Candy Thermometer
- Rubber Spatula
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and food coloring (both the white and color you want the apples to be) in a heavy boiler (sauce pan). Turn on medium to high heat and let the mixture come to a boil.
- Be sure to have a candy thermometer inserted into the mixture but not touching the bottom!
- Let the candy come to 302°F (hard crack stage). This will take about 20 minutes. There's no need to stir or disturb the mixture while it heats... just be patient!
- While that's going on... make sure your apples are ready (washed, dried, and on the sticks!), then spray a cookie sheet with non-stick butter spray. The "butter" flavor isn't necessary, but butter makes everything better, right? If you don't have butter, just use regular non-stick cooking spray.
- When the candy reaches 302°, immediately remove it from the heat and use a rubber spatula to stir in the vanilla (or other flavor). Stir it gently to get the flavor evenly incorporated.
- You'll want to work quickly because the candy will start to cool immediately. As soon as the flavor is evenly mixed in, begin dipping your apples.
- I like to tilt the pot to get them really well coated, then let the excess drip off for at least 10 seconds while spinning the apples. After they're dipped, I set them on the buttered cookie sheet to harden. Be careful!!! This sugar is HOT and it will hurt you if you touch it!!
- It will only take a couple of minutes and the candy will be hard and ready to eat! They keep well at room temperature for 2-3 days but do not refrigerate... they will get super sticky!
As mentioned, adapted from Sweetopolita, and Sweet Bake Shop.