slow cooking expert and mom to three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Saturday, October 4, 2008

CrockPot Caramel Apples


Day 278.

My eldest turns seven today, which makes today her birthday, and my BirthDay.

Sigh.

I know you are told by everyone (and your mother) that kids grow up quickly and before you know it the early years will be a blur and a distant memory, but when you are in the trenches of the first few months/years of sleep deprivation and are functioning in survival mode----it just doesn't seem that way.

Now it does.

I see this kid, this real life KID, with big teeth, a big heart, and big ideas and I'm shocked. How did this happen?

Wasn't it just yesterday that I was walking the shag-green carpet halls of our apartment night after night after night jostling her to Nick at Nite theme songs?

Wasn't it just yesterday that I spent way-too-many hours with a baby that just would. not. sleep. precariously balanced on my lap while I consulted Dr. Google during marathon nursing sessions?

Hug your babies. And make them caramel apples. Don't pay attention to the caramel dripped on the carpet. It will come out with a baby wipe---or scissors.

The Ingredients.

--caramel candies. This time of year in the produce section, there should be bags of soft caramel complete with popsicle stick handles.
--apples (one bag of caramel makes 4 large apples)
--nuts/sprinkles
--2 T water

The Directions.

Use a 1.5 quart or larger crockpot---I used a 4 quart.

Unwrap all of the caramel, and add them and 2 tablespoons of water to the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, checking every 20 minutes or so. The caramel is ready when it is shiny and can be stirred easily.

Put the popsicle sticks into the apples by the stems. Use a spoon to ladle the caramel over the apple, and swirl to completely cover the whole thing. Dip into chopped nuts or sprinkles if desired.

Let cool on parchment paper or Release foil.

The Verdict.

These are messy and sticky and absolutely wonderful. I am happy with the way the crockpot melts evenly, and it wasn't so hot I was scared about the kids helping.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a major lurker and look at your blog several times a week. I just loved this post - not only for the cool recipe but because it was a great reminder. My twins are almost 22 months - time is slipping by so quickly. I'm still up every night with one or the other of them. Ya - I complain about my sleep deprivation to anyone that will listen - but secretly, during those times, I cradle and hold them tight because I know this sweet time will pass before I know it.

Sending birthday wishes to your daughter :-)


Lara

Jen :) said...

Happy birthday to both of you! If you think seven is bad, just wait until she turns 15 like mine did Monday. She didn't ask for carmel apples, but I did let her tie dye with her friends at my kitchen table 8^O

We are going apple picking today and I will by using this recipe!

Coloradolady said...

You still have time to enjoy each and every day. my youngest went to college 3 years ago and left home...and me....and her dad.....I thought life was over....sometimes I still do.....

Thanks for the great recipe.

Joanna said...

This post made me get tears in my eyes, and I don't even have kids. Someday I might, but I'm only 19. And I think it's impossible to not make a mess when eating a caramel apple. That's the beauty of them!

Kelley said...

My son turns 14 in a week (sigh). I just showed him your caramel apple picture today and asked if he wanted to make these because he loves caramel apples, & so do I. He smirked and said, I don't care (his typical response to anything I suggest these days). I looked at him and said, " I saw the twinkle in your wittle eye when you saw those caramel apples. We're going to make these today and I know you just can't wait......." To this, a sheepish grin crossed his face and he began to giggle. Then he walked back to his bedroom to save face but deep down inside I know he's salivating thinking of eating some yummy apples. Ah, teenagers. Happy birthday to your 7 year old, and you! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Renee said...

This sounds yummy, you could also use it as a dipper with slices of apples, pretzels, etc.

Hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday!

daysgoby said...

My son is seven today too - how did time go by so fast?

And now I know what we'll make this afternoon. Thanks!

DesertHen said...

I never would have thought of using the crockpot to make caramel apples....what a great idea. I usually make them from scratch.....caramel and all, once a year.

Enjoy all the moments with your children....my son is now 22 and daughter will be 16 in a few short months......I still wonder where the years went so fast!!!!

Happy Birthday to the Birthday Girl.....=)

Nan said...

These look so good! We used to make toffee apples as kids, and how we didn't burn ourselves I just don't know. I haven't made them for my kids yet cuz I'm a coward, but the slow cooker should make things a little less third-degree! Thanks!

4boyz4me said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter and Happy BirthDay to you as well. My oldest just turned 14 on Tuesday with my youngest being 2½ and I know very well how fast that time passes. I haven't yet figured out how to keep from blinking so I don't miss anything.

I want to thank you for your site and all the wonderful recipes. Our lives have been crazy and getting these wonderful crockpot recipes is really making my life so much easier.

Kalyn said...

Oh this is just too brilliant. Have already saved the link for my BlogHer Halloween post!

Eileen said...

Happy Birthday to you (both)..Happy
Birthday to you...I'd sing the whole
song but ....Hope you both have a
great day. Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Love those sweet little hands opening caramels! It does go so fast. . . one of mine turns 5 tomorrow- here's to Fall babies and, of course, caramel apples! -Holly

ignoramoose said...

Perfectly lovely. The recipe, the story about your kiddos, the motherhood stuff...just lovely.

I will make these with my 3 1/2 year old this weekend, and I will enjoy every sticky, messy part of it.

Thank you.

Tina ♥ said...

Hi there! One of my bloggy friends sent me a link to you...thank goodness...my hubby is going to be ripping out my kitchen soon, so your crockpot recipes are going to come in very handy!

love, Tina :)

Haley said...

Today is my 30th birthday. I have 3boys- 8 1/2, 6 and almost 3. I think almost daily about how fast time goes now that I have kids. Your post just reminds me to hug them a little longer every chance I get.

Carrie said...

Happy birthday to you...two!!! An extra special day! Hope you two have a great weekend! The apples look delicious!!!

SheSue said...

Have a fabulous birthday! And listen to all those who tell you to make the time to be with your little ones now and forever. Mine are both gone now, one in college, the other married. I miss them tons. It is stories like yours that remind of all the fun times we had together. Thank you for that!

mama nina said...

okay-newbie here...I have made a few recipes-esp loved the Brown Sugar Chicken! yum yum...
Sitting here crying as I read todays post...my two boys are napping right now...(and I don't know what to do...so here I sit checking out recipes for next weeks meals...
I am in the midst of Mega Marathon Nursing "sessions" with a 2 month old son and barely get off the couch-can't stand it some moments and cherish it others...thanks for the reminder to soak it up...
Happy Birthday to your daughter...and thanks for the great blog!

LoveMeKnot Creations said...

mmmm caramel apples, what a great fall favorite!

Daisy said...

We did this for a fundraiser once upon a time, using an apple corer/slicer, paper plates, and a ladle to pour caramel over the apple slices. Great success!
Happy birthday to yours!

monique said...

Happy birthday to both of you!! This was my favorite post. It's sooo true. Time does pass so quickly. It's fun to cherish the little moments- Being a mommy is the best thing in the world!!

Fortress of Awesome said...

Your post is wonderful. I love the photos with the little hands in them -- I loved the pic for the rice crispy treats with their little paws going for the marshmallows and the instructions stated something to the effect of "shoo the little hands away from the mini marshmallows." TOO CUTE!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to thank you for this blog. I'm going to be really unhappy when your 365 days are up. (Any plans for the future!?)

I made your flank steak with feta and apples yesterday and my husband and I agreed that it may be our new favorite meal.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Hmmm....I never thought about my kid's birthdays being my BIRTHdays. Those days touch no one more than the mother. I don't care how old my kids get, I will never forget their birthdays, minute by minute.
I also never thought about making caramel apples in my crockpot! I'll be doing this soon--yum!

Mimi said...

Those look so good. *happy birthday Stephanie's daughter*
Micha

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful reminder. I bought the package to make caramel apples 2 weeks ago and have been too busy to make them. This week, something less important gets dropped from the to-do list.

I enjoy your blog and promise to buy the cookbook when it comes out! I only found you a month or so ago, so please tell me you won't stop blogging when your 365 days are up!

Bev

Heather said...

Happy 7th B-day, to you both!
I am so glad to see this post! I found you about a week ago and you have already had a couple favorites of ours, via crockpot, that I have tried.
My son is 4 on the 10th and we always , always spend every sunday afternoon in the month of October at a make your own carmel apple spot in our town. We have our apples sliced and then the carmel laddled on. But now I have been inspired to make our own at home.
I am loving your resolve to make so many crockpot recipes! For a working mom- it is the answer to homemade meals!

Becca said...

These sound delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Jennie said...

Must I share with the children? Really?

Karen said...

Thank you so much for the recipe and for the message. My oldest is not quite 3.5 and my youngest just turned 10 months, and I've been struggling lately with the exhaustion of having such small children. You've encouraged me to enjoy this time more, despite the frustrations. And maybe we'll be picking up some extra apples today at the orchard to make a delicious caramelly mess. :)

Canadian Saver said...

I wish I was one of your kids!! Mmmmm, these look so easy in the crockpot!

Susanne said...

These look fabulous! Hubby and I can't wait to try them. Thanks for sharing. We just love fall recipes.

Amanda said...

Fabulous!! Can't wait to try these, thank you!

Kelly said...

Awww... you totally made me tear up.

My 2-year-old and husband are out apple picking as I type this. I'm going to walk to the store and pick up some caramels to surprise them when they come back. I'm not above caramel-coating apples to get them both to eat more fruit.

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday a day late, to you and your daughter. I subscribe by email and it's a day behind. You're so right about time passing quickly. Cherish the moments.

SaraK said...

Happy Birthday! I love the photo with the little hands :)

Mona said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishes!!

It appears as if you all had fun with the caramel apples! Those are the memories your growing little ones will remember.

DragonflyJen said...

Aww happy birthday to her! My youngest turned 7 on the 4th as well! My birthday is the 8th though as she decided to come early we just missed sharing our birthdate.

Love your blog!

Jodi said...

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your website. It has really changed the way my family eats. As I was shopping yesterday
I noticed that Rice Chex is now Gluten-free. For all I know it could have always been gluten free but I thought this might be of some interest for you. They also have a whole web page of gluten free recipes. Maybe you could adapt some for the crock pot. http://www.chex.com/Recipes/CategoryView.aspx?CategoryId=447&t=5

Stretch Mark Mama said...

Happy birthday from another mama who became a mama for the first time nearly seven years ago herself! Time flies.

Stephanie said...

My youngest just turned 7 but my oldest also just turned 18. I try to enjoy everyday with them cuz time does pass by so quickly. BTW I also have a third who just turned 16 and drives herself to school now. God is good!

Saur♥Kraut said...

You are truly the Goddess of the Crockpot. I have to try this one!

Proud Mommy said...

You are responsible for starting a new tradition in our household!!! We all need to be reminded to slow down and enjoy the moment. Thanks!

Angela's Kitchen said...

Happy Birthday! I hear you about them growing too fast. My kids turned 13, 10 and 5 this year - I've been a bit tramatized! Who told them they could grow?! I was going to build some sort of cryogenic machine in the backyard and freeze them, but my son said he might get freezer burn... I told him I would double wrap, but he wasn't going for it... sigh....

Thanks for the great tip for caramel apple making. The using the stove/caramel cooling down too much thing is usually such a pain. I am doing this!

Lori said...

Awesome idea! And I totally understand how you feel about your baby growing up...mine will be 10 next week! Double digits...YIKES!

Michelle said...

Yummmmm.....
They are so tempting that the hardest part will be waiting for the caramels to melt! At the moment, I am trying a ribs recipe in the crockpot - if it is good, I"ll pass it along :-)

Shirley said...

I love this one, Stephanie. It's hard to resist caramel apples. ;-) Happy Birthday to you and your daughter! It does go incredibly fast, especially after those first few months (they were rough for us, too). My son will soon be 21!

I bet you could do this recipe using the crockpot, too. Ghosts made of white chocolate or candy coating on pears.

http://noblepig.com/2008/10/05/graveyard-grub.aspx

Kathleen S said...

This is perfect for fall! Everyone has to have caramel apples at least once in the fall! I like to use milk instead of water. Doesn't make a lot of difference, maybe just a touch creamier. Love your site! Just found it! Hope I win a new crock pot, too! Kathleen sothman8@netinsdotnet

kyooty said...

Oh that is so totally yummy looking

SunshineofAutumnQuilts said...

OH MY GOSH! This is great. You could totally do this at school in the classroom. I had never thought to use the crockpot. I can't wait to try this. My kids have never had carmel apples. Will be fun.

Jen said...

Happy birthday to her, and to you. My older daughter turned 7 on the same day. She loves to find people with her birthday, and will love this recipe, too!

Sara said...

they have caramel CHIPS now too. SO much nicer than having to unwrap them one by one. ;)

Dustybug said...

I'm a lurker, but LOVE your blog. I'm trying this one today so that we can have caramel apples for dessert! Mmmmm..

Cynthia said...

loved this post, so sweet and I don't mean the apples!

my eldest will be 6 tomorrow, she wants a party where everyone makes caramel apples and so we are going to follow your lead and hook up the crock pot tomorrow...

I also wonder where this big kid came from? I love to tell her the story of her birth and today she looked right at me and said "Mom, I am getting to be so big!"

Yep.

Aysha said...

Delicious!!!!Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

Hey Steph!

I am getting ready to make caramel apples today because we eat them at Rosh Hoshanah every year, and I remembered that you made these....I read through your post of your 7 (almost 8 now) little girl....sigh too....My little one is going to be 7 next february! How did this happen? That I have a first grader who writing and asking grown up kid questions and reading and drying dishes....thanks for everything!

Lynette

Anonymous said...

As everyone has said--enjoy your children while you can--If you want a taste of how FAST years can fly by--not only did my kids grow up too fast but my grandson will be 13 years old in 2 short months !!

Kelly said...

We made these for a little Halloween party we had the week before Halloween. They were gooey and messy and oh so yummy!

Coppertop said...

I NEVER thought to make these in the crock pot!! Thank you!! We made them by melting the caramels in a pan, and it was, horrible & messy. I dumped caramel on my hubby's hand a few times trying to coat the apples. THIS sounds much safer for everyone!! Also....the bit at the beginning......made me cry...I have an almost 12 year old and a 3 year old boys. I LOVE my babies!!

Steffi5461 said...

Yum! I am going to do these in a few weeks while camping! Since we have electric I will be able to leave the Carmel on there for a while! Thank you for the awesome idea!

Susan said...

Have I told you that I love you? Thank you for your amazing recipes and often thoughtful insights. You are my port in the storm somedays! i can't wait to try these apples- my kids have been begging to make some because we didn't want to pay the local pumpkin patch 'mini-fair' prices, but I've been gun-shy for fear of burns. You're the best!

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