Red Candy Apples


I have to admit I like the idea of candy apples much more than the apples themselves; the caramel variety is almost impossible to get a grip on, the caramel slipping across the smooth apple skin as you plow it with your teeth. And I’m never quite sure how to approach the hard red candy kind; there is no way to be delicate when sweet shards are shattering all over your face, sticking to your cheeks. That said, I can’t let Halloween go by without making them.

While we’re being honest, I may as well admit that I don’t generally make the caramel kind because those little square caramels and I have a history; namely I was completely and all-encompassingly addicted to them a few years back. It was right after W was born, when people kept saying to me “you’re breastfeeding – you can eat whatever you want and you’ll totally lose weight!” Bollocks. I of course wanted to believe this and so put it to the test, downing my own weight in caramels daily. Their little wrappers were everywhere, even though I grabbed them and stuck them in my pockets anytime I went from room to room. I got panicky whenever my stash ran low. When I got a batch that were on the hard side, I carried them in my pockets until they softened up. Two months and 25 pounds later (I’m not even exaggerating) I had to quit cold turkey.

Even if I made the caramel from scratch, which is easy enough, I don’t trust myself not to overdo the taste testing – I have been known to singe my tongue licking out the pot. (Yes, using a spatula.) Besides, I love the look of red candy apples. I can admire them, and let the kids go bonkers for them, and not feel like I’m missing out on actually eating them.

Apples that come pre-bagged tend to be smaller than those you pick from the display; the smaller ones are a better choice for candy apples. Make sure they are well washed and dried before you begin.


Red Candy Apples

Recipe link


October 25, 2009

  • Makes: Makes about a dozen.


about a dozen small apples

2 cups sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

several drops red food colouring


1lollipop sticks, wooden popsicle sticks or small bamboo skewers

2Wash and dry your apples; insert lollipop sticks, wooden popsicle sticks or small bamboo skewers into the stem end and set aside; line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

3Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar (this is important - it will prevent crystallization, just stop stirring once the mixture comes to a boil). Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until the mixture reaches 300F.

4Immediately dip the apples by holding them by the stick and submerging them completely in the candy; tilt the pan as you need to in order to coat them well. If you would like to add candies or other toppings, sprinkle them over the apples (or dip their bottoms into a shallow bowl before the candy sets), then set them stick-up on the lined baking sheet. Set aside to harden and cool.

5Once completely cooled, wrap each candy apple in cellophane.

Makes: Makes about a dozen.

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34 comments on “Red Candy Apples

  1. Cheryl
    October 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

    I saw this on a craft blog I subscribe too. Lovely company in all!
    Off to make my caramel apples on BT. Post up later.
    Happy trick or treating!

  2. Lori @ Culinary Covers
    October 26, 2009 at 7:04 am

    So cool! I’m with you on the whole apple thing- they always *look* appealing, but the idea of trying to eat the messy treat is tough to grasp! I made caramel apples the other day and ended up cutting them up to eat them.

    That spongy toffee looks so cool- have never seen that before!

  3. Barbara Bakes
    October 26, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I definitely need to try the Sponge Toffee. It reminds me of the See’s toffee chocolates that I love.

  4. Carrie @ Deliciously Organic
    October 26, 2009 at 7:44 am

    What a great post! The sponge toffee looks very fun!

  5. Erica B.
    October 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I’m not one to turn down sweets (my scale can attest) but I’ll pass on candied apples, and well I can think of better vehicles for caramel too. We are probably passing on Halloween altogether this year. ‘A’ has been sick with what might be H1N1 or a sinus infection since friday. ‘C’, ‘J’ and I woke up coughing this morning. Something tells me we’re trick or treating at home this year.

    Ok I’m off to Trick or Eat :)

  6. Manon from Ontario
    October 26, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Julie I LOVE YOU!

    Thank you soo much for the candy apple recipe. I’ve been looking for a homemade recipe for a while, and boom I read your blog and voila, you give me this gift!
    With my apple orchard, this will come in handy.

    Thanks a million Julie girl :)


  7. erin
    October 26, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Julie – thank you for this cool looking sponge toffee recipe – another thing I didn’t know you could make at home! I will definitely be trying it this weekend.

  8. Rhonda Steed
    October 26, 2009 at 9:37 am

    oh i’ll totally be trying that candied apple recipe! thanks!!!

  9. Megan
    October 26, 2009 at 10:44 am

    The toffee looks amazing, and sort of spooky in context.

  10. Pam
    October 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Candy Apples! They always remind me of Halloween, well, that and amusement parks. Your discription of the carmel addiction was very funny to read (probubly because if it wern’t for the annoying wrappers, I myself would have joined the carmel addicts anonymous) If you have trouble fighting the evil temptaions of carmel, might I suggest fudge apples? It might be worth looking into and they are my personal favorite.

  11. Brooke
    October 26, 2009 at 12:40 pm


    This post is utterly delightful. Ever since you told me you’d be posting on Sponge Toffee, I’ve been DYING to know what it is. Whoever thunk up that recipe is PURE genius! I’m totally making it this weekend with my kids.

    Yummaroo! Thanks so much for being part of Trick-Or-Eat!

  12. Elaine
    October 26, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Oof, that sponge toffee looks like something I have to force myself NOT to make, otherwise the easiness + tastiness of the thing would have me totally at its mercy.

  13. Veggie Wedgie
    October 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I love sponge toffee! I call it honeycomb candy. It’s so much fun and so easy to make it!

  14. Cary
    October 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    The sponge toffee: how long will it keep in an airtite container? I’d love to include it in my christmas goodie boxes for everyone at work, but I’d have to work a little ahead as there are probably 60 to make!

  15. The Duo Dishes
    October 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    The sponge toffee looks so fun! Almost like honeycomb.

  16. Kevin
    October 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Those candy apples look so good! It has been far too long since I last had one.

  17. Alli
    October 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I used to love making sponge toffee too it was so much fun to watch it bubble. Great idea for the Blog to Blog Halloween visiting!

  18. jenny
    October 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    i just tried to make the sponge toffee (i also call it honeycomb candy, like veggie wedgie), and it tasted like burnt baking soda! i double, triple, bazillion-le checked the recipe, and i swear i can measure! did yours turn out poorly?

  19. JulieVR
    October 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Mine turned out great – it’s in the photo! I’ve made it a ton of times – I wonder what happened?

  20. Hanna
    October 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    could you make the toffee with honey? I never have corn syrup around anymore.

  21. Manon from Ontario
    October 26, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Jenny, you must remove the toffee from the heat before adding the baking powder. It happened to me in the past.

    Thanks again Julie :)

  22. Cakelaw
    October 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Love your sponge toffee!

  23. Daniel
    October 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Just tried the sponge toffee. Man, it’s good! Like you say like a Crunchie or Violet Crumble.

    Mine didn’t turn out with those big, fluffy holes like your pic shows, though. I wonder if I stirred too much or something. I used a wisk — maybe that was the issue. Anyhow, it’s still pretty dang good!


  24. JulieVR
    October 26, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    The whisk may have deflated them a little – I always use a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon! Glad you liked it!

  25. Vivian
    October 26, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    What a brilliant idea to take a theme, link and post and by so doing introduce us to (in my case) 6 new and fascinating blogposts! I’m loving it. Sure does compensate for the lack of trick-or-treating in my neighbourhood. Love all the recipes and kudos to the graphic designer who so creatively linked all of the blogs via great illustrations (my former field). Well done all ’round! I look forward to more such endeavours. Might I just add that, as a confirmed foodie, I would like every post to incorporate that aspect? Although the craft doll was topnotch, it was kind of left hanging amidst all the recipes and such. Just some “creative”(?)input. Not complaining, just my opinion.

  26. robyn
    October 26, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Keep in mind that depending on where you live, the toffee may not turn out like the picture….here in Vancouver it doesn’t “fluff” up as much! But it’s still tasty!

  27. Amanda
    October 27, 2009 at 5:39 am

    I’m loving this, so fun :)

  28. Angie
    October 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I love that sponge toffee, I have never heard of it or seen it before, great information and recipe! I love caramel apples too, great for Halloween!

  29. Cyndi
    October 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Sponge Toffee! Egads! You’ve really brought back some great memories!

  30. malia
    October 28, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I’ve discovered that the tiny ‘lady apples’ make wonderful caramel apples. They are about 5 bites. I use the little sticks, and adults love them. I’m going to make them with your recipe, right now.

  31. Debbie
    October 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Such a fun idea that you guys have shared with us. I will be back to visit your blog more often now that I have discovered it. Thanks again.

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