MAKING CANDY APPLES: Store bought mix vs. Homemade recipe

In the spirit of Halloween and to mark off another activity on our fall bucket list we decided to make candy apples. Since I usually buy them yearly this turned out to be a real learning experience being that this was my first time ever making them.


I looked online for a recipe and headed out to the store to buy my supplies. While shopping I found that you can actually buy a pre-made mix. I went ahead and threw it in the cart just in case I fouled up on my first try and to test to see the differences in the two. 
Of course in both recipes you have to have your apples. I personally love the sweet Red Delicious apples but majority on the house like tart. So we used the Granny Smith Apples. Your first step is to wash and dry the apples, and remove the stems.
Next you insert the sticks down the center where the stems were. You can use Popsicle sticks or I found Candy Apple sticks at our local Lowes Foods store. With this step completed you can set your apples to the side.

1. You'll need 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup,and 3/4 cup water
2. Mix sugar, corn syrup, and water in a small sauce pan (mine was a bit to big). set on burner turned to low to medium low. Stir mixture constantly, until all sugar is dissolved.

3. Continue letting mixture cook with out stirring for 30-45 minutes or when the thermometer reads 275-300. it's ready when a spoonful dipped in a glass of water hardens immediately. 
4. Stir in vanilla and food coloring. For a Halloween look I decided to make this batch of apples black. I told the kids they were black poison apples and they seemed to enjoy that idea.  I also did it so I could tell the batches apart.
5. Dip apples immediately into hot sugar mixture. hold each apple upright by the stick to coat. then let excess drip back into pan. 
6. Set coated apples on a greased cookie sheet upright until candy hardens, at least 1 hour.

*** I had intended on making 5 apples in each batch. I was only able to make 3 black apples. {{You have to devote your full attention to the dipping process or the sugar with harden or of on the burner it will burn}}  in my case I was trying to do two things at once and burned my sugar mix.***
And here is the finished product!! I will admit I did sneak in a couple drops of red food coloring to give it a deep black red color.  but they turned out pretty and tasted great.

With the pre made mix all you have to supply is 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water. the box contains the mix and sticks
With my second batch I used a small pot and it worked great. The directions are basically the same. You just add the mixture with the sugar and water. and stir till sugar is dissolved.
Allow to bubble till the thermometer reads 300 and it's time to coat the apples.
Once again, here is my finished product. :)

Both batches were super simple. one just required you to supply more than the other. They both require your full attention so I'd recommend doing this when you know your not going to have any distractions. Lastly taste!! The only difference between the two in taste was that the store bought batch was noticeable sweeter. But they both tasted great!!

 This recipe is featured on "Host Blog Link" and  Linky Party


SimplyHeather said...

You did really good with these, they look so yummy!!

xo, Heather

Summer Perdew said...

Thanks Heather! It was a little tougher than I had expected but I learned a few things so the next time won't be so challenging.

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Very interesting comparison. I don't know why but when a recipe calls for a thermometer...I run the other way! Now that I've seen that it's not so hard maybe I will try it. Thanks for linking up to PIN MEme!I've pinned & tweeted this!

Diana Rambles
Bento Blog Network
Link Rink

Lindsey said...

I've never tried making these before, but I think i wall have to go get a candy thermometer and just do it! Thanks for the recipe and comparison! Glad I found you at Foodie Friends Friday!

Summer Perdew said...

Thanks so much! It was interesting to find out that candy thermometers aren't as well known by others as I had thought. When I decided to make these I found that my thermometer was missing. The first store I went to I asked if they had any and I swear the people looked at me like I had 3 The store manager told me they had meat thermometers and said "aren't they the same". Long story short I went 6 places one being a craft store on my side out town with no luck. I actually had to go to A.C. Moore across town to find one. I believe the hardest part of the whole process was finding a thermometer.

Summer Perdew said...

Thanks for stopping by Lindsey!!

Ms. Ann Mowet said...

I remember making these when I was younger, your black ones came out perfect.

Summer Perdew said...

Thank you :)

Nickida said...

I am so scared to try making candy apples. I am afraid of making sugar candy I may have to try this with my kiddos. Linking up with you via the Loving the numbers blog hop.

Walking on Sunshine said...

They both look so good! I think I would prefer the homemade version since you can control the sugar! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday to VOTE!

Summer Perdew said...

Thanks for stopping by and I will be there Sunday :)

Summer Perdew said...

I'll admit I was nervous at first but it's really super easy. the only things I allowed my kids to do was pouring the ings in the pot and stir to dissolve the sugar. as for dipping the apples and such it's a little dangerous. I know I burnt myself twice but practice makes perfect. Go for it and have fun :)

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

What an interesting experiment!
Hello, new follower here! I would love to have you link up with my Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!
I hope to see you there!
The Chicken Chick

Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories said...

It's great to know the difference between your own recipe and the store bought mix. I love the look of the black apples.

Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Showcase! :)

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