Caramel apples are already pretty awesome, but what can make them even more awesome is covering them in an explosion of rainbow cereal marshmallows! After buying 2.5lbs of these marshmallows, I've been trying to come up with ideas on how to use them. This is a really easy and tasty way to use up quite a few. Also, the marshmallows on the vanilla candy coating kind of makes them look like they are floating in milk!
Remember, if you are looking for something healthy to eat, you really shouldn't be looking at anything I'm making ;)
Step 1: Ingredients
I'm going to talk about making just 1 apple, but you can easily increase all the ingredients to make more.
Ingredients and Supplies:
- Granny Smith Apple - this type of apple is used most often for caramel apples because the tartness is meant to go well with the sweet coating
- about 2.2oz of Caramel - you can make your own caramel or if you use one of these common storebought options shown above, they come in packs of 11oz and the packaging suggests that 1 bag will cover 5 apples. Increase or decrease this if you have an extra large apple or a small one.
- about 1tsp of Water for the caramel if you are using one of the packaged options
- a few Marshmallows - (optional) this is to help the caramel stick to the apple - if you don't already have them, I don't think it's necessary to buy them to do 1 or 2 apples, but it wouldn't hurt if you were doing a bunch
- 2oz Vanilla Candy Coating - you can use something else if you want (such as white chocolate chips or even milk chocolate), I find this melts very well
- about 3/4c - 1c (or 1.4oz) Cereal Marshmallows - this is a rough estimate, you probably won't be able to cover it with more than 1 cups worth though based on what I used and the coverage I got
- Popsicle Stick* - you need something to stick into the apple that is sturdy, popsicle sticks work well and are inexpensive but you can also get actual apple sticks if you want
- Parchment Paper
There aren't necessarily any special utensils used for making these except for what's mentioned. You'll mostly need bowls, plates, spoons, knives, normal things. The only thing I want to recommend is any bowls you used be small (if you are only making 1 or 2 apples) and be nice and curved (not like a ramekin). This will make it easier to roll and coat your apples.
*If you are making these for a party, you could wood burn or in some way decorate the sticks.
Step 2: Tests
Just want to give you a look at my test apples.
- After coating the apple in caramel, I coated the apple in melted marshmallow and then stuck the cereal marshmallows to that. This was tasty but the melted marshmallow stays sticky so it's not practical.
- Next, I tried to mix melted marshmallow with melted white chocolate. This made a super hard mess that was too hard to eat and certainly too hard to coat the apple or stick cereal marshmallows to.
- Lastly, we come to the one I make here. Caramel + Vanilla Candy Coating + Cereal Marshmallows. Success!
Step 3: Apple Prep
There are some things you can do to make the caramel coating stick better to the apple. I got many suggestions from Adventures of a DIY Mom.
One of the most important things seems to be removing the wax coating. To do so, you can soak them in really hot water (which didn't work for me, it just made the wax stand out so the apples were white). The other method is using boiling water and this seemed to work, but you can't put the apples in the water for more than I would say 10 seconds. If you leave them in too long, you start to cook the apple as you can see in the second image. So, don't do that. They would still be useable, but a little mushy around the outside.
If you use the boiling water method, get the water boiling and then carefully put your apple in. Kind of roll it around for a few seconds, again no more than 10 seconds, and then carefully pull them out with tongs and use a rough towel to rub all the wax off you can. Even if you don't' get all the wax off, any amount should help you.
When your apple is ready, remove the stem and stab your popsicle sticks in. I would say to get them about halfway in the apple to get a good hold. You don't want it falling off as the apple will get heavier with each layer you add to it.
If you are removing the wax, your apple will already be warm, but another recommendation from the blog above said to have the apples at room temperature as opposed to cold from the fridge when you go to add the caramel.
Step 4: Caramel Coating
Now that you hopefully have your room temperature, wax-removed apple with a stick in it, you are ready to coat it with caramel.
Start by getting some parchment paper on a plate so you are ready for the apple when it's coated. If you are doing many apples, do a large sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Combine caramel, water* (DON'T FORGET THE WATER, I did once and it made the caramel unusable and it cooled to be way too hard to eat), and a couple of marshmallows** (I used about 6 for one apple) into a small bowl.
If you are doing 1 apple's worth, put this in the microwave for just 30 seconds, take it out, and stir. Repeat until the caramel mix is melted, but watch it and don't overheat it. You just want it melted.
When your caramel is ready, let it sit and cool a bit, if it is too hot, too watery, it will slide off the apple easily.
When you are happy with the consistency, roll your apple in the caramel until it is coated. I was not able to coat the apple just by doing this, so I used a knife to put caramel anywhere it didn't reach and also smooth it out.
Scrape excess caramel off the bottom of the apple so you can nicely set it on your parchment paper.
Put it in the fridge so the caramel can set.
*Also don't use too much water, I did this and the caramel wouldn't get firm again and would just slide off the apple constantly.
**I'm sure many people do this, but I first heard the trick to add marshmallows to the caramel to help it stick on a video sometime, I can't remember anymore where I heard it, but if you have them, use them. I'm not sure if they make that much of a difference that you need to buy them just to make 1 caramel apple.
Step 5: Vanilla + Cereal Marshmallows
Once the caramel on the apple is set, I recommend taking the apple out of the fridge and letting it warm up a bit. I had issues when I made the chocolate one (seen in the next step) where the chocolate hardened too fast once it hit the caramel apple and I had trouble getting marshmallows to stick.
Prepare by putting cereal marshmallows in a bowl so you are ready when the apple is coated.
Put your vanilla candy coating (if you are using what I am, it is one 2 section block) and melt it in the microwave. Make sure you don't over melt. It won't' take long. I did 30-second increments and it probably won't take much more than 1 minute total for such a small amount.
Once it is melted, carefully coat the apple like you did with the caramel. Use a knife or spoon to cover any areas you aren't able to coat by rolling it. Scrape excess off the bottom so it will sit on the parchment paper when done.
Immediately coat the apple in cereal marshmallows (don't try to roll the apple in the marshmallows like you do with the caramel or vanilla candy coating, you'll just scrap the candy coating off, you have to pat). I kind of patted it against the marshmallow bowl to try to cover as much as I could and then just manually put marshmallows on any exposed areas. Don't wait, if you take too much time, the candy coating could harden.
Also, I kind of used my hands to push the marshmallows into the coating so they would stick well.
Now, set aside or put it in the fridge until it is set and it's ready to eat!
Just an FYI, these marshmallows seem to get soft once they get cold/go in the fridge.
Step 6: More Tips
When it comes time to eat this, do not just pick it up by the stick and take a bite. Apples like this are not meant to be eaten like that. It will be hard to get a good bite and you'll just frustrate yourself.
Everywhere I have boughten a fancy caramel apple, they always use 4 cuts (two each way like a tic tac toe board) to cut the apple into 9 pieces counting the core/stick. This is the best way to eat an apple like this.
If you cut up the apple and aren't ready to eat it, put the pieces together the best you can to preserve it, wrap it up and put it in the fridge. If you have it, you can wipe the pieces with lemon juice too to prevent them from turning brown.
Also above you can see a chocolate coated version I tried. I thought both versions were good. It's all a matter of preference, but the vanilla coated one looked better in my opinion.
Step 7: The Finished Apple
Isn't it just so pretty!
If you are doing these for a party or gift, you can wood burn the sticks ahead of time, like I mentioned earlier, or just tie a ribbon or two to the stick. Wrap them up if people will be taking them to protect them.
Store them in the fridge until you plan on eating them (these can sit out at least for a while I mean when you buy these from a shop they have them just sitting out, but things just tend to keep better longer term in the fridge don't you think?). Though, take them out of the fridge a little bit before you plan on eating them so they aren't as stiff.
Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest