Carmel Apples

Halloween carmel applesWe are marching up to Halloween!  This week we’ve seen tomato soup, peanut butter ghosties, and now caramel apples!  The house is considered decorated.  I’m thawing the straight-from-the-orchard apple cider, and the party food is set for our post trick-or-treat romp (in the snow)!

These two-ingredient caramel apples use ingredients that are allowed on GAPS, SCD, and Paleo diets.  They took me less than 30 minutes to make.  The kids can get in on the action by decorating popsicle sticks (make sure they leave the insertion end clean) and spinning the dipped apples until the caramel cools and sets.  This food is fun, easy, and gets the whole family together.  (Okay, I know.  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snicker’s used to do a great job of bringing the family together, too.  Until someone took it into their head to store and stash.)

Covers about 6 small apples


  • 2 Tablespoons of ghee (butter would work, too)
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 6 small apples (or 3 huge ones)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Parchment or waxed paper


  1. Wash your apples ahead of time if you can.  You want your apples COMPLETELY dry.  Absolutely dry.  Set them aside until you’re ready.
  2. When you’re ready to make the recipe, decorate your popsicle sticks and insert them into the apples on the stem end (remove the stem).
  3. Place the honey and ghee into a medium-sized saucepan.  (A small saucepan would work, but the mixture may froth over the side if you’re not careful.)
  4. Turn the heat on medium to medium-high and start stirring.
  5. Stir constantly until the mixture froths all through (not just at the edges) and is in full, rolling boil.  At this frothing point, cook for two minutes.  Set your timer.  If you have a candy thermometer, you want to cook the mixture between soft-ball and hard-ball stage.  (If you cook it to hard-ball stage you will have candy apples rather than carmel apples.  If you cook it too short of a time, you will have “carmel-on-the-parchment-paper” apples.)  Another method to make sure you’ve got the right consistency is to dip a spoon in the mixture.  Remove spoon.  As the carmel cools on the spoon, it should stick to it and not just completely run off.
  6. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to start cooling.  After it has cooled maybe 5 minutes or so, start dipping your apples.  Just don’t let it cool until it sets before you get it on the apple!  The carmel will be runny until it cools so you need to turn and tilt the apple until the carmel cools and sets.  Then place it onto the parchment or waxed paper!
  7. Place in a cool place to store.
  8. You could get creative and sprinkle with nuts or chocolate.  You could be uncreative and just make the carmel dip to serve with cut apples.
  9. Enjoy the grins of your children!  The time with them is fleeting.

Family “gustar” report:  Complete success.

Aside:  We’ve all heard of honey, but what is ghee?  First off, it’s pronounced with the  “hard ‘G’ sound.”  Like in the word “go.”  Secondly, in the past, have you ever heated up butter in the microwave and maybe overdid it a little–or a lot?  There were layers and a bunch of floaties?  (I used to hate it when I did that.)  The layers are the different components of butter.  The ghee layer (or clarified butter layer) is the fat layer.  The other layers with the lactose and milk proteins are poured and strained off and just the butterfat of ghee is left behind.  It is supposedly less allergenic than butter.  It can also be cooked at higher temperatures without burning.  Often, you will see it used at seafood restaurants for dipping and also it is used in Indian (as in the continent) cooking.  You can make your own or buy it.

I hope you are having a wonderful week.  I hope you are getting lots of time with your kids and that your patience is abundant.  Take care.


Carmel apples being dipped Carmel apples wpid-IMAG1593.jpg

10 thoughts on “Carmel Apples

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi! How are you today (tonight)? Over here traditional fall treats are carmel apples and candy apples (same idea, just dipped in a hard candy type shell, usually red)! The carmel is often store-bought nowadays, but when I was a kid we made it from sugar, corn syrup, and butter. My version tastes of honey, but my kids still love it. The carmel dip will work for other fruits, but the firmer the fruit it is, the better–or just provide spoons or knives to lather it on something like bananas and strawberries! The sauce works great on salted popcorn (for those eating grains). Pour it over when hot and stir well with a spoon. Allow to cool enough, grease your hands, and shape into balls. Or also it works great poured over nuts. Happy Halloween!

      1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Ok–if you do, when the whole mixture is bubbly and frothy throughout, not just the edges and not just a “little” boily:–then set that timer for 2 minutes or watch that second hand and keep stirring. Enjoy a “whole foods” version of an American treat!

      2. Jackie

        A quick way to do this if you’d like to try them and aren’t worried about adhering to a certain diet, is to buy soft caramels and melt them down. (Hope you don’t mind Terri!)

      3. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I edited the part where you said to add red food dye and a bottle of high fructose corn syrup–so I guess it’s okay now. Ha! Ha! LOL! Thank you for piping in, Jackie! (I haven’t checked out the caramel labels–but it is a common way to make caramel for caramel apples here and quite yummy!)

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Surprisingly, it does! If you cook it to the “soft ball stage” on the candy thermometer, it is very gooey and soft and holds a shape when cool. Kind of like the homemade carmels people would make and wrap up at Christmas–soft, sweet, and melts in your mouth. If you cook it to the “hardball stage,” it becomes hard and glassy like candy–and pulls out any fillings. Is it sugar and corn syrup carmel? Consistency-wise, not bad. Taste-wise, well, you know honey is pretty honey-flavored. However, you can’t beat just pulling out two ingredients and heating!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.