Gooey Chocolate Caramel Apples are a fun treat to make right at home. They’re a terrific treat to share as a gift or serve at parties.
One of my favorite treats of all time has to be Chocolate Caramel Apples. I’ve never much cared for a hard candy apple, and a plain caramel apple, while certainly delicious, has always been a bit too messy for my liking. But dip a caramel apple in chocolate and something magical happens. I don’t know what it is, but it’s magic. The chocolate encases the gooey caramel and combines with a crisp apple to create flavor perfection.
I’m not a candy expert or a chocolate maker or a chocolate maker candy expert. I’m just a simple girl with a hankering for a good Chocolate Caramel Apple. So I set out to figure out the tricks to making the perfect chocolate dipped caramel apples right at home. Check out the list of tips below and you’ll be on your way to Chocolate Caramel Apple perfection!
Tip for making Chocolate Caramel Apples:
- Choose apples that taste great. A bad apple is a bad apple even if it’s coated in chocolatey caramel-y goodness. One of my favorite apples to use for this is Honey Crisps. They are hard to beat, plus some of them are huge! Granny Smith are quite nice too. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s sturdy, crispy, and you’d eat it whether coated with caramel or not.
- Some of the apples in the photos above have sticks and others do not. For smaller apples, I dipped them just holding the stem, but larger apples require a stick to dip and turn. I’d prefer them without a stick to avoid puncturing the apple, which helps the coated apple stay fresher longer, but bigger apples are hard to manage without a stick of some sort.
- If you’re planning on using the microwave for melting the caramel and chocolate, consider an Apple Dipper. Essentially the apple dipper is just a sturdy plastic microwave safe bowl with high sides and a curved interior that fits an apple just right for dipping. This comes in handy if you go the microwave route for melting the caramel and chocolate. I’m sure a microwave safe bowl the same shape and size would work just as well.
- For the caramel, I found Caramel Bits easier to work with. They melted quicker and evenly. Order them online or check local grocers for availability.
- Take time trim caramel “feet” before dipping in chocolate. The feet I refer to are the caramel puddles, or flat caramel bottoms that form as it sits. Kitchen shears work great for this.
- Use good chocolate for melting. I’ve tried melted chocolate chips for these treats, and had to add vegetable shortening or coconut oil to get the correct consistency. It didn’t turn out well in the looks or taste departments. After reading some discussion threads by chocolate experts, I hunted down some Merckens Dark Chocolate Break Up at a local retailer (our Fresh Market had it). It’s the best and works perfectly for dipping apples or any other fruit. It costs a tad more but I think it’s totally worth the extra cost to avoid problems and frustrations.
- Consider using dark chocolate. With all of the sweetness from the apple and caramel going on, I think a less sweet dark chocolate is a better balance. But as with all things food, use what you like.
- Always have extra caramel and chocolate on hand. No matter what a recipe says, I always have additional if needed. Depending on the size of apples, you may need more or less. Plus, any extra chocolate can be used for drizzling.
See the imperfect caramel coating below? Since I was covering it with chocolate I wasn’t so worried about the caramel not looking perfect. (The photo below also shows the caramel “feet” trimmed off.)
See how the chocolate conceals the caramel imperfections? It’s totally like magic, y’all.
These are great for the holiday gifts. Get ready and make a big batch to share as a sweet gift for friends and family!
- 5 ripe apples, washed and dried (Honey Crisps and Granny Smith are excellent choices)
- wooden skewers, lollipop/sucker or popsicle sticks
- 11 ounces caramels (caramel bits work best)
- 12 ounces good chocolate for melting (I recommend Merckens Dark Chocolate Break Up. Also, I used dark chocolate, but use what you like)
- optional: toppings for sprinkling, dipping or drizzling (chopped nuts, candy sprinkles, melted chocolate for drizzling)
- Prepare apples for dipping. If using sticks, insert into apples at stem stopping before puncturing through bottom of apple.
- Line baking sheet with wax paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Melt caramels according to package instructions. One at a time dip apples, letting extra caramel drip off. Place on wax paper to cool. Once all have been dipped, place in refrigerator for at least an hour to let caramel set up.
- Using kitchen shears, if needed trim caramel "feet" (extra blob of caramel on bottom of apple) off of apples before dipping in chocolate. (See photo above.)
- Melt chocolate according to package instructions. Dip caramel covered apples in chocolate until evenly covered. Let extra chocolate drip off. If adding toppings, sprinkle, dip or drizzle now. Place finished apple on wax paper until set.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until needed. Depending on the apple, these should keep 3-5 days refrigerated.
More apple favorites:
Originally published September 23, 2012. Updated September 27, 2015.