Caramel Apples: A Guest Post for Spunky Coconut

When Kelly at Spunky Coconut announced her pregnancy, the gluten-free blogosphere all had a moment of squee! As you can imagine (since we’ve had 3 of our own newborns), we’ve got a soft spot for soft skinned, tiny toed, bald, ity bity humans. To give their family time to bond, I’m super honored to be able to provide this guest post, among other awesome posters and gals we admire like Life As a Plate and Gluten Free Easily.

I don’t know about you, but here in Northern Virginia Autumn has arrived. The humidity has dissipated, leaves are changing colors and the fall winds are blowing them off the trees. Finally the orchards are starting to bear one of our favorite fruits: apples.

If you’ve never picked your own apples, we highly recommend it! Apples are the perfect picking fruit for tiny hands – they’re resilient (difficult to bruise), still edible to eat if picked too early (a common occurrence with miniature pickers) and they are extremely long lasting. We’ve been known to pick multiple bushels to store (they stay fresh a long time if chilled) so that we can make apple rings, applesauce, apple pie cupcakes, and our most recent invention – caramel apples – for months on end. If you’re looking for a sweet treat to make this fall, this candy apple recipe is the perfect place to start.

With 5 simple ingredients (plus a few skewers) and a little bit of time, you’ll be able to make a recipe into a memory with your little one in ear to ear grins. An excellent Halloween treat or even a quick and easy surprise after school snack (we recommend serving it with nitrate-free salami or a protein and fat of some kind) this will get your kids running home and school friends excited to share a snack. The caramel has 3 ingredients and stays fresh for months in a chilled air-tight container.

Despite it’s utter simplicity, this recipe is decadent enough to use as a Halloween party treat or any Autumn potluck. And you can feel good knowing that it’s sweetened with only nature occurring unprocessed and unrefined sweeteners to give it a bright and rich flavor, perfectly complimentary to fresh, crisp apples. You’ll impress people with how good real food can be – while ensuring your little one(s) is able to participate in eating dessert! Just make sure you have them help to make the treat, dipping and rolling is one of a child’s best skills – I promise!

Please note, this sauce is a recipe from our upcoming book Eat Like a Dinosaur and is wonderful for use in candy centers, drizzled on ice cream or for a fruit dip. A little goes a long way, but it’s perfect to make and save in your fridge!

Caramel Sauce

½ C honey
½ C maple syrup
½ tsp baking soda


  1. Warm large sauce pan over medium heat, add honey and maple syrup to warm pan – mixture should gently bubble but if it begins to immediately boil and brown is has burnt and you should start over
  2. ♥ Once gentle bubbles begin to form, turn heat to medium low have little hands continuously stir (to prevent burning)
  3. Mixture will bubble and potentially expand over edge of pot, if that happens remove from heat and stir, return to heat once bubbles subside
  4. ♥ Once sauce has thickened and the color darkened (about 10 minutes), remove from heat to add baking soda
  5. Whisk in baking soda thoroughly and continue to stir as it starts to expand and bubble, return to medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Whisk constantly until sauce has become a thick, rich bubbly sauce that does not reduce when moved off of heat
  6. ♥ Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally – sauce will reincorporate to a thick caramel consistency
  7. Serve and use warmed (heat in microwave or on stove top)
  8. Store in an airtight container for several months in refrigerator

Caramel Apples

1 C Caramel Sauce (see above)
2 C chopped pecans
6 medium apples
6 bamboo skewers


  1. ♥ Set-up a dipping station: 1 bowl of warmed (not too hot!) Caramel Sauce, 1 bowl of chopped pecans, and skewered apples
  2. ♥ Gently roll skewered apple in caramel sauce (least messy if you roll on the top surface, rather than try to immerse it entirely)
  3. Let caramelized apple sit for 2-3 minutes, to allow caramel to somewhat harden (otherwise nuts will slide down apples’ sides)
  4. ♥ Roll caramelized apples into nuts (may need to repeat depending on how hot your caramel is and how small your nuts are chopped)
  5. Allow apples to harden by storing in the refrigerator – or enjoy warm if you can’t wait!

Note: Steps which include a heart symbol () are perfect for little hands to provide assistance as your sous chef!

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