I loved the movie Bedknobs & Broomsticks when I was little. I remember watching it on VHS (some of you youngins might not remember such a device) as a wee little girl. Some would say it’s a Mary Poppins rip-off, and I can understand that, but I think it was pretty cute in its own right. Movies & books & stories about witches always intrigued & inspired me; I always had a thing for witches, ever since the first time I went to Salem, Massachusetts as a child. And I’m super crazy insanely excited about the new show on ABC called Once Upon A Time that’s premiering this weekend… supernatural events, modern-day fairy tales & evil queens? I’m totally there! I’m so inspired by all that kinda stuff.
I was also clearly beyond inspired by the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine this year, as evidenced by my post at the beginning of October, and this is another something I took directly from it. Caramel apples with witches & “broomsticks”! They made me think of both that movie & also the Wicked Witch of the West. How cool are they?!
And then mine.
I know. Crazy easy & very adorable. But more importantly- easy. It’s just a little more than a few days before Halloween and I know that there are still some people thinking about last minute ideas. Here’s one.
The other day, I told you about my sort of failed but happy accident caramel apple syrup that I messed up making (but ended up with something awesome anyway). That was a more complex recipe, though, by far. This time I promise- there is no way you could EVER mess this up. First of all, caramel apples are so easy a trained monkey could make them. Second, by just adding a little witch cut out from cardstock & a skewer, you make them into a snack worthy of being a centerpiece, instead of just a sticky, boring little old-fashioned treat. Perfect for kids at a Halloween party.
WICKED CANDY APPLES
- 6 small apples, stems removed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Thoroughly wash & rinse all apples. Dry and insert sturdy wooden craft stick or skewer in each. Prepare an ice water bath in a fairly large bowl, and line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment.
- Boil cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Clip candy thermometer to the side of pan and continue to cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees, about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately place pan in ice water bath to stop the cooking.
- Dip the bottom of each apple in the caramel rotating it and using a spoon to coat apple halfway to three-quarters of the way up the sides. Transfer to baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes (or overnight) before serving.
- Print witches out on cardstock. Cut-out, and using a small hole punch, punch holes on either sides of hands. Slide sticks in and poke them into the top of apples, replacing skewers.
The apples I used were little ones called Ginger Gold. I thought they were the perfect size, and I got a ½ peck of them for about 5 bucks. I only made 6 of them into caramel apples, the rest were baked & eaten up in other ways. When pecks or ½ pecks are on sale, if you can’t go & pick your own, take advantage of it. Apples are crazy versatile & you’ll definitely use them up. Ginger Gold’s in particular are excellent for just about any use: snacking (they’re very slow to brown when cut), pie making (they hold their shape when cooked/baked), etc. However they don’t store well… so refrigerate ’em & use ’em ASAP.
Other apples that are good for this are Lady apples, or any small-sized apple, really.
I used wooden shish kebob sticks/skewers for mine. You can use whatever you like. Fancy twigs, etc. As far as the caramel goes, I’d personally stick with just caramel, or maybe with a swirl of chocolate. If you want to roll it in chopped walnuts or something that’s up to you- I’d just advise you not to go too crazy. Maybe it’s just me but those candy apples with 5 different kinds of chocolate/caramel/nuts never look appealing to me, just messy. But again, it’s a personal thing. And like I said last time I used a Martha idea, I can’t give you the actual witch template, like I said before it’s only available in the magazine & I don’t want to violate her copyrights. I mean, Martha’s been to prison; I don’t wanna fuck with her. But if you don’t want to buy the magazine, with a little creativity & internet saavy, you can do-it-yourself. The internet is chock full of awesome vintage Halloween clip-art.
Have you ever heard the Irish legend of “Carman”, the Celtic witch?
Carman is the Celtic goddess of evil magic. She is a destructive witch who roamed ireland with her three evil sons: Dub (“darkness” in Irish), Dother (“evil”) and Dain (“violence”), destroying anything or anyone in their path. Carman put a blight on Ireland’s crops and terrorized the Irish until the Tuatha De Danann, the “peoples of the goddess Danu,” used their magic to fight and defeat her, and drove her sons across the sea. Just another Irish folklore to worry about while “Trick or Treating” this Halloween.
-source: The Irish Jewelry Company