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Salem, Mass had a lot of things going for it – cheap, hot, delicious cups of apple cider, crazies dressed in full-face paint and costumes, good beer, and creepy stories galore.  One thing I was thoroughly dissatisfied with was the lack of caramel apples.  See, we finished lunch, and I ate a delicious sandwich, and I was stuffed and all, but I really wanted a caramel apple.  I mean really, really, really badly.  So badly, in fact, that I paraded us around the whole town to look for one.

P1040199But I didn’t just want any old caramel apple.  No, no.  That’d be too easy.  And if you’ve learned nothing else in these last few months of posts, you’re at least aware that I do very, very few things the easy way.  I didn’t want a candy apple, because those taste like crap.  I didn’t want a caramel apple that was prepackaged and sold to me by a man churning out hot dogs from a cart next to the graveyard (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say).  I wanted, and I didn’t think this was too much to ask, one from a candy store – one where the people at the store had made it, and it was covered with chopped nuts, and it was just fall in one single bite.

But, alas, it was not meant to be, and I went home caramel-apple-less.

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And I just couldn’t let it go.  It irked me so much that I couldn’t have that damn apple that I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  And here’s the thing – caramel apples are not on the top of my “must eat” list.  I mean, they’re yummy and I don’t turn them down, but I’ve never sought them out to the extent that I did this week.  I was a girl on a mission, friends.

So yesterday, I decided that if the only place I was going to find caramel apples was in the grocery store (Seriously, are we really this lazy!?), I was going to just make the damn things myself.  And really, it couldn’t have been simpler, or more delicious.  And it definitely, definitely beat the pants off of anything that man with the hot dogs in Salem would’ve handed me…especially since I had a pumpkin martini in my other hand.

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Caramel Apples – The Easy Way

1 (14-ounce) package of caramels – I got the individually wrapped kind, which was a monstrous (See what I did there? Monstrous!? Cause it’s Halloween!) pain in the ass, so if you can find ones that aren’t wrapped, I’d buy those

6 apples – give or take, depending on how big they are

6 popsicle sticks

Chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc. for topping

Poke the popsicle sticks through the top of each apple.

Place chopped nuts or sprinkles (or both) in a shallow bowl.

In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, melt the caramels with a little water.  Watch them really carefully – they will overflow and make a bigass mess if you leave them in for too long.  Mine took about two minutes and a little stirring to get the right consistency.  Place the apple in the center of the bowl of caramel, and use a spoon to douse the sides. Lift the apple straight up out of the caramel, still over the bowl, and use the spoon to get rid of the excess that drips off.

Dip the caramel-coated apple into the topping in the shallow bowl, spinning the apple to coat the bottom.

Let cool on a plate or sheet of waxed paper.

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