Caramel apples are a huge tradition in the United States, but before you can understand the history of caramel apples, you have to know a bit about their predecessor, the “candy apple.” Candy apples started out in Newark, New Jersey, believe it or not. A candymaker named William W. Kolb invented the bright red candy apple in 1908. The legend says that Kolb combined candy and apples when he was experimenting with red cinnamon candy he was stocking in his store for Christmas. To show off the red candies, Kolb dipped some apples in the red cinnamon candy mixture and showcased them in the window of his shop.
Kolb’s candy apples sold for 5 cents each and they sold out quickly. Who could resist such a gorgeous marvel? Before long, candy apples were sold at the popular Jersey shore and later on, at candy shops and circuses nationwide. Caramel apples were invented a few decades later in the 1950s by Dan Walker, a Kraft Foods employee. Just like Mr. Kolb’s candy apples, caramel apples were the result of some experimentation with holiday candy. Walker says that when he was experimenting with some caramels left over from Halloween sales, he discovered the recipe for caramel apples.
"A woman poses in front of a caramel apple display at a Woolworth store in Texas" (1955)
Colorized by DeOldify. pic.twitter.com/1SZydhxGE3
— Jason Antic (@citnaj) October 26, 2020
Walker just melted the caramels and added apples. It was really that simple. See, leftover Halloween candy has been inspiring people since forever! Caramel apples were made by hand for years, but a Chicago man named Vito Raimondi created and patented the first caramel apple machine in 1960. Caramel apples are easy to make, but if you want to take your caramel apple game just a step further and create something utterly elegant, you’ll love this recipe from Delish. They cut the apples in half and core them before brushing them with butter.
A Mt. Hood Caramel Apple a day 🤗 pic.twitter.com/JAhffcGVT6
— Carrie (@carriephillipi) October 31, 2020
Then they sprinkle them with a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Then my favorite part: they pop a few delicious caramels into the hollows. After that, they bake them, then drizzle the finished product with chocolate.
Caramel apple time pic.twitter.com/3HmIsV9itg
— Laura K (@ketchaml) October 25, 2020
Here’s the recipe and you can scroll on down to see a how-to video that will make you want to just go make them already.
My niece Brie for the win with a caramel apple cake for Halloween pic.twitter.com/c2znd7grxK
— Jason Dodson (@MrJasonDodson) October 31, 2020
2 apples, halved
2 tbsp. butter, melted
3 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
1/4 c. water
12-16 caramel candies
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, melted
tw // food
look at my caramel apple<3 pic.twitter.com/aYcPfWXRqi
— j*ss (@fkabimbo) October 31, 2020
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Using a melon baller, core the apples. Place apples in a shallow baking dish and brush each with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Pour water into baking dish and place in oven for 20 minutes.
3. Remove apples from oven and add 3-4 caramels to the well in each apple.
4. Return to bake, 15 more minutes.
5. Drizzle with chocolate, sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar, and serve.
Caramel Apple pops and cruising pic.twitter.com/xSszJAM010
— Steven M LaFond (@StevenMLaFond) October 29, 2020
Here’s the video.