How to Make Jaw-Droppingly Good Candy Apples

Oct 30, 2013

Nancy Leson isn't all that big on candy, but she is sweet on a new candy cookbook.

One recipe the Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook offers is for candy apples, and not those brownish toffee apples, either.  This recipe's for real-deal shiny red ones.

Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook Apples


8 large (4-inch) or 12 medium-size (3-inch) apples (any firm tart or sweet/tart type), washed well and dried thoroughly, stems removed

Nate, the apple of Nancy's eye, is her son and chief candy apple fan.
Credit Nancy Leson

3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons red food coloring (optional)

Special equipment:

8 to 12

sturdy wooden skewers, 6 to 8 inches long and roughly 1/4 inch in diameter

(available at most supermarkets), pointy ends snipped off; or 8 to 12 popsicle sticks.

Heatproof spatula

Pastry brush

Candy thermometer

Large (13” x 18”) baking sheet, lined with silicone mat or parchment paper

1. Insert a skewer into the stem

end of each apple, and push it down as far as you can without

breaking through the bottom of the apple; you want at least 3-inches of skewer poking out of the top.

2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a small 2-quart saucepan, and stir with a heatproof spatula to combine. Dampen a pastry brush with water, and use it to wash down the inside of the saucepan to remove any renegade sugar crystals that may have stuck there.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil uncovered and without stirring, over high heat. When it has come to a boil, insert the candy thermometer and continue to cook, without disturbing to 300-degrees (hard-crack stage).

4. Remove the pan fro

m the heat and let the syrup cool, undisturbed, until the bubbles have mostly subsided and the mixture has thickened slightly -- it should have the consistency of pancake syrup when the pan is swirled gently -- 5 to 7 minutes. If you’re using food coloring, add it now and stir gently but thoroughly to combine, until the syrup is no longer streaky.

5. Carefully dip an apple in the candy, holding it horizontally, and slowly twirling it as you lift it out (to catch any drips). Remember to keep the skewer horizontal at all times -- never hold the candy apple with the stick down until it is completely cool! Gently place the apple on the lined baking sheet.

6. Repeat with the remaining apples. Allow the candy coating to cool completely until it is hard to the touch, about

10 minutes.

And for even more on candy apples check Nancy's Liddabit Sweets story in the Seattle Times.

"Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."

– Ogden Nash