Do you remember those hard-crack red candy apples from childhood days? Well here’s an updated spiced version that is sure to bring back fond memories and delight the kid in you! Use green or red apples and cut-up apple twigs for handles. Or find some straight twigs in nature and cut to size. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt and nuts (if using) for a Halloween treat that is sure to please little and big kids alike!
Hard Crack n’ Twig Spiced Apples
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¼ cup white or golden corn syrup
• ¾ cup pure water
• pinch of sea or kosher salt
• ½ teaspoon Ground Chai Spice
• 6-8 small to medium apples
• apple sticks or branches for handles
• buttered parchment paper (placed on a cookie sheet for cooling the candy apples)
Optional: Chopped walnuts, and coarse salt
• Please read tips below before proceeding
• Wash apples and dry very well
• Insert sticks into the stem ends of the apples pushing about halfway through and set aside
• In a large saucepot over high heat, stir together the sugar, syrup and water
• Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Now add the Chai spice and salt. Be careful as it may bubble up.
• Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and continue to boil until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage 300-310 degrees. This will take approximately 15-20 minutes
• Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and choose one of the following options:
1. Quickly dip the apples into the hot sugar mixture, turning to coat. Set aside on buttered parchment paper and sprinkle with walnuts if using.
2. If you have used a saucepot with a spout – leave the apples on the buttered parchment paper and pour/spoon (wooden spoon only as metal will conduct heat) the hot syrup over each apple for a more rustic look. Sprinkle with walnuts if using, and coarse salt
• Cool completely at room temperature before serving
• Be sure to bring the sugar mixture to the ‘hard crack’ stage (300 – 310 degrees) If the sugar syrup is not at the hard-crack stage the candy will be soft and toffy-like making it very difficult to eat.
• If apples are store-bought and not farm market or fresh-picked apples, dip them in boiling water for a few seconds to melt any wax that may be on the apples. The candy coating will slide off waxed apples.
• Use caution as the sugar is VERY HOT!
• If sugar syrup begins to cool and harden before you are finished dipping the apples, simply return the saucepot to the stove and warm through until it melts.