German Chocolate Caramel Apples

Candy apples done up like a German chocolate cake. These are too good to believe. You’v e gotta try these!
German Chocolate Caramel Apples

Okay, it’s time to step up your candy apple game. The best way to do it? Duh… add chocolate! We got inspired by German Chocolate Cake and slapped some toasted coconut and pecans on the outside of our chocolate-covered caramel apples. But you can feel free to experiment with your own toppings (raid the Halloween candy aisle, stat! Ohhhh…and do check out these 10 Candy Bar Topping Combos for inspiration).

With these candy apples, we’re going to be total pros and make our own buttery caramel and even temper some real dark chocolate. Don’t worry; with your trusty candy thermometer by your side, you’ll have these babies ready in no time (And if you suck at tempering, we’ve got a quick-fix cheat for you!). Look at you, with your fancy-schmancy candy apples!

German Chocolate Caramel Apples

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 80 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 lb. 50-70% cacao chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ lb.tempered 50-70% cacao chocolate, in a large solid chunk
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil (optional)
Special Equipment:

Directions:

  1. If you are using store-bought apples, place the apples in boiling water for 20 seconds to remove the waxy coating, then dry them thoroughly. (Freshly picked apples can be rinsed in tepid water and dried thoroughly.)
  2. Remove the stems from each apple and insert a lollipop or popsicle stick through each apple core by about 1 ½ inches. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  3. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Allow the sugar to melt, swirling the pan occasionally so the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom. Use a wet pastry brush to brush off any sugar crystals that accumulate on the sides of the pan.
  4. Once the sugar has melted, is deep amber in color, and registers 350°F on a candy thermometer, turn the heat to low. Whisk in the heavy cream until the mixture stops sputtering and becomes smooth again.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it has melted and fully incorporated. Transfer the caramel to a small microwave-safe bowl and let cool for about 2 minutes.
  6. Dip each apple into the caramel, rolling the apple to cover the entire surface. Shake off as much excess caramel as you can, then place onto the greased parchment paper. If the caramel is not thick enough, let it cool a little bit longer. If the caramel starts to become too thick, reheat it in 10 second intervals in the microwave until it is a good consistency.
  7. Once all the apples have been coated, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator so the caramel can set up, at least 30 minutes. Use a sharp knife to trim any caramel that has pooled around the bottom of the apples, then pop them back in the refrigerator.
  8. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Spread coconut flakes and pecans on the same baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut has browned and the pecans are fragrant. Cool on a wire rack, then toss the coconut and pecans together on the baking sheet.
  9. Bring a pot of water to a simmer over low heat. Place the chopped chocolate into a large, clean, dry, heatproof bowl and set it over the simmering water. Melt the chocolate slowly, stirring occasionally, until it has all melted and reaches a temperature of 115°-120°F.
  10. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and place the bowl on a towel, but keep that water simmering on the stove.
  11. Drop your large chunk of chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the block of chocolate so that it melts. Stir until the temperature of the melted chocolate reaches 80°-83°F.
  12. Place the bowl back over the simmering water and slowly bring the temperature up to 88°-91°F. Don’t let it go above 91°F or you’ll have to start over! Once it reaches that temperature range, remove it from the heat and stir it really well. If there is still a hunk of unmelted chocolate, take it out. Your chocolate should now be tempered! Test it out by dipping a knife into the chocolate and placing the knife in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If the chocolate is hard and shiny, you’re golden. If not, you might have to try again. (Cheat: If you don’t feel like doing all of that again but your chocolate isn’t properly tempered, add about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the chocolate and stir it in really well.)
  13. Line a baking sheet with clean parchment paper. Remove your caramel apples from the refrigerator and dip them into your tempered chocolate, rolling the apples to coat them thoroughly. Sprinkle the coconut-pecan mixture onto the sides and bottom of each apple while the chocolate is still wet. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. If your chocolate gets too thick, place it back over the simmering water and heat it up again, being careful not to let the temperature exceed 91°F. Once all the apples have been coated in chocolate and sprinkled with the coconut-pecan mixture, place the baking sheet into the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve your apples. They're best served on the day you made them but will be o.k. the next day too.
This post originally appeared in October 2015 and revised and republished on September 2016.

Maria Siriano

Somewhere among the towers of batter-smeared mixing bowls, you’ll find a flour-covered Maria making unique seasonal desserts for her blog, Sift and Whisk. Although she never quite got the hang of the clean-as-you-go technique, she has still managed to elevate her baking skills far beyond “add oil, water, and eggs.” She makes a killer pie, if she does say so herself.