When it officially became fall, I went on a mad search for caramel dip. I love granny smith apples dipped in caramel. I don’t think anyone should ever do without it. I found a good recipe for caramel sauce to put on ice cream and baked goods, but I couldn’t find a homemade recipe of my beloved Marzetti apple dip, typically sold in the fresh produce aisle next to the apples. I almost gave up, but changed my mind when I went to the grocery store. Have you ever read the ingredient list on caramel dip? It’s pretty scary.
I searched and sifted through caramel recipes until I found what I was looking for. Now, I was picky and refused to use one where you melt caramel candies. The candies will have just as many chemicals, which defeats the purpose. I decided on a recipe for making homemade caramel apples on a stick. I didn’t want to cover my apples, but it would make sense that you’d use the same ingredients for the dip.
I will be honest with you. I don’t know if my solution was all that great after all. The recipe used ½ cup of light corn syrup, something I normally avoid, and sweetened condensed milk. The sweetened condensed milk isn’t as horrible, it’s just pretty fattening. I normally reserve that for my cheesecakes and key lime pie. When I’m having those, I know it’s an indulgence. When I’m having caramel apple dip, I like to remind myself that I’m eating an apple.
Overall, my caramel dip tasted good, but the flavor of the butter was very prevalent. My husband liked it a lot. I enjoyed it, but still found myself craving the old fashioned Marzetti caramel dip. I know, chemicals are bad, but my brain has been trained to crave this version. My recipe is good, but not better than the original. Next year, I’ll probably buy the dip and avoid looking at the label. For those of you who are not as gung ho for the Marzetti caramel dip, you might prefer this recipe. The ingredients are cheaper and the recipe is very simple. For you, it could be completely worth it, sadly it wasn’t for me.
Now, I did make the caramel sauce for ice cream at the same time as the caramel dip. This, thankfully was a success. It’s very easy to make and the only thing you need to purchase is heavy whipping cream. The closer you get to the holidays, the more likely you’ll have this around the house anyways. I really liked this recipe. It’s cheap, simple and tastes very good. My fridge does have a tendency to convert my beautiful caramel sauce and dip into a solid, however 10 seconds in the microwave and all is fixed. I will certainly not be buying it from the store anymore.
Kittencal’s Easy Caramel Sauce or Ice Cream Topping
By Kittencalskitchen on December 06, 2003
- Prep Time: 3 mins
- Total Time: 8 mins
- Yield: 2 cups (approx)
- 1/2 cup butter ( no substitutions)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, unwhipped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- In a small saucepan melt butter.
- Add the brown sugar; whisk until combined and thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Whisk in the whipping cream, until thoroughly blended (2 more minutes).
- Mix in vanilla (if using) until combined.
- NOTE; this sauce will thicken up more when refrigerated.
Kittencal’s Caramel Apples
By Kittencalskitchen on October 14, 2003
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Servings: 8-10
- 1 cup butter ( no substitutes)
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 8 -10 wooden sticks
- 8 -10 medium tart apples
- Insert 1 wooden stick into each apple.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and milk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees (firm ball stage) about 30-40 minutes and for a softer caramel cook just to a few less degrees.
- Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
- Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat.
- Holding by the stick, sprinkle with nuts or whatever you desire while the caramel is still warm (work quickly the caramel sets up fast).
- Set on generously buttered wax paper to cool (make certain to generously butter the paper).
- Note: if making a double recipe make two recipes in two separate pots.