I made 250 caramel apples for a school carnival using this recipe and they were a huge hit! Needless to say, I worked out all of the problems before attempting so many. Those who complain that it's just a sauce didn't cook it long enough. The first cooking faze is fast (approx 10 min) but after you add the cream & butter, it took a consistent 20-25 min to reach 230-232 degrees. I found 234 to 240 made the caramel too hard for an apple, but 230 to 232 was perfect. Use parchment paper, not waxed. I picked my apples so didn't have the wax problem. (Honeycrisp!) I washed them, dried them, and kept them very cold right until they were dipped. This helps the caramel cool faster. I also had 2 other people there so I could quickly dip (I didn't wait for the extra to run off) and hand them off to empty hands who held them, turning them this way and that so the caramel didn't drip off. After about one minute the caramel was set enough they could place them on the paper and none of the apples had the caramel sluff off. My husband made quite a few by himself so when the caramel got to the point it wouldn't stick, he just put it back on the stove on low until it melted to the desired consistency again. Make sure your thermometer is accurate and check your pan. Mine had a steel bottom so even after I removed it from the heat at 230, it cooked to 236 which was too hard. Don't give up. This is awesome caramel!!
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I made 250 caramel apples for a school carnival using this recipe and they were a huge hit! ...