I swear that the children understand the concept of seasons; they apparently just choose not to be ruled by that reality.
Anyway, perhaps your own kids will want to do this in the fall, after a day at the apple orchard. My two did this on a summer Saturday, after a morning spent playing outside and working on the chicken coop and an afternoon spent at a friend's birthday party, with a DIY slip-n-slide that they ignored--perhaps they're just really, really ready for autumn?
To make caramel apple monsters, you will need:
- lemon juice
- caramel sauce recipe--Syd used the one on a bag of caramels. She got it a little too brown, but it still stuck fine and tasted fine.
- paper towels
- skewers, popsicle sticks, lollipop sticks, etc. We used lollipop sticks leftover from a lollipop-making kit that a sweet friend gave Syd for her birthday--yum!
- decorations--we've got mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins, and googly eyes. Those googly eyes are a must! Sprinkles and white chocolate or peanut butter chips would also be cute, as well as any other candy that you happened to have around the house.
- non-stick surface--we're out of waxed paper, which we should have used. Aluminum foil worked only okay.
1. Core and quarter apples. This way, you can eat your caramel apple without getting caramel all over your face!
2. Dip the cut surfaces of the apples in lemon juice. This will keep them from browning, and you can't taste the lemon.
3. Lay out all your decorating supplies. You won't have time when the caramel is ready!
4. Skewer your apple slices.
5. Make the caramel sauce. Syd could make this sauce independently, although I should have helped her keep an eye on it--when it's done, it's done!
6. Decorate your apple slices. Bring the pot over to the table, and give everyone a big spoon. Take an apple slice, pat it dry with a paper towel (this helps the caramel stick), then spread the top half with caramel:
While the caramel is still warm and sticky, decorate it super cute--
--and then set it on a non-stick surface to cool while you decorate more apple slices.
These are best served immediately, but I'd say that they remain okay in the refrigerator for 24 hours or so. After that, the apples still weren't brown, but I thought that they were a little soft.
I actually like candy apples better than I like caramel apples--I wonder if you can do that by the slice, as well?