A Candy Apple Recipe To Sink Your Teeth Into

by Taylor Henriquez

Candy apples are often the forgotten sibling to the more widely accessible caramel apples found at county fairs, food festivals, and grocery stores in the fall. Coated with chopped nuts and candy and drizzled in chocolate, caramel apples are the Marcia Brady of apple treats. But no more. This Halloween, we're learning how to make candy apples,that will put any Oreo-covered, white chocolate-drizzled, caramel apple to shame.

The trick to making candy apples is a candy thermometer. You can buy one for under $10 at most grocery stores. You'll use the candy thermometer to measure the cooking stages of the sugar and corn syrup mixture. The syrup will be done cooking once the temperature reaches the hard crack stage — a specific temperature range (300 to 310 degrees) when cooking sugar. You can gauge the hard crack stage by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a glass of cold water. The syrup should form brittle threads that will break apart if you try to bend them.

I used three types of apples: Gala, Granny Smiths, and Golden Delicious, which are red, green, and yellow respectively. You can choose any variety of apple you'd like; I chose these apples because of their color. You'll also need lollipop sticks, which can be found at your local craft store.

But enough shop talk, let's get cooking. Jan Brady is waiting for her crown.

Candy Apples

Makes nine candy apples


  • 6 small apples (three Gala, three Granny Smith, and three Golden Delicious)
  • 6 lollipop sticks
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 8 drops of red food coloring
  • 8 drops of yellow food coloring
  • 8 drops of green food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 3 packages of Pop Rocks candy (optional)

Wash the apples throughly and dry them, making sure no water droplets are left on the apples. Water will prevent the candy coating from sticking.

Insert the stick directly into the core of each apple, about half-way through.

Combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat.

Insert the candy thermometer into the saucepan, and let the mixture come to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium, and let the mixture simmer until the temperature reaches 300 degrees, about 10 minutes.

Once 300 degrees is reached, divide the syrup evenly among three saucepans, and place over low heat.

In the first saucepan, mix in the cinnamon and red food coloring.

In the second and third saucepan, add the green and yellow food colorings respectively.

Dip an apple into its corresponding color until the entire apple is coated, working quickly.

After coating the green apples with the sugar syrup, cover with Pop Rocks.

Set the coated apples on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or a Silpat to let cool.

If the candy coating thickens, add two tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to reach a boil, over medium-high heat before coating the apples.

For more Halloween ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Images: John Regalado