I made these skull candy apples for my neighbor’s birthday & they’re the perfect treat for Halloween or Dia de los Muertos!
A couple things about making candy or caramel apples upfront:
- It’s well worth it to buy the caramel bits that are already unwrapped than buy the squares & do all that unwrapping. HUGE time saver!
- Not sure why, but everything I read said the apples take waaaaayyyyyy more caramel and candy melts than expected, so be sure to stock up. Based on the math I saw, it said each bag of caramel [11 oz] would only do about 4 apples. Since the candy melts were roughly the same size, I figured they would do about the same.
Since I was doing 24 apples for the party, I decided to do 27 total to give myself a tiny buffer. But, after buying 7 or 8 bags of each – just to be safe – I did all 27 apples with only 3 bags.
Not saying they were the largest apples in the world, but they definitely weren’t super tiny by any means.
Take that for whatever it’s worth but if you’re on a budget, hope that helps you not write off a treat like these!!
Granny Smith Apples, washed & dried**
Candy Melts [I prefer “bright white” but you can get white too. I did a 2:1 mix]
Candy Melts [black & whatever colors you want]
**Washing apples with a vinegar solution or all natural Veggie Wash [in a spray bottle from the grocery store] is super important to remove any wax that might be on the apple. If not, the caramel could slide right off.
After they were washed & dried, I put the apples in the fridge for an hour or so to get them cold. It was a tip I had seen & I don’t remember why. Oops! I think it’s just to help the caramel set faster, because it’s coming into contact with something cold, instead of room temp.
When melting the caramel on the stove, do it over low heat & per instructions on package. Kraft caramel bits I used says to add 2 TB water to the 11oz package.
Place stick in apple, where stem is.
Place wax or parchment paper on baking sheet & spray with non-stick spray.
Once caramel is melted, dip apples in, one at a time, & turn to cover.
Allow excess caramel to drip back into hot caramel.
Place apple on prepared sheet. Once all apples are done, place all in fridge to help caramel harden. Wait at least an hour. You need the caramel set, especially before you put it in a hot mix, or you’ll have a melted mix of caramel coming off in your candy melts! 😉
When you’re ready to start the candy layer, prepare a new sheet of parchment or wax paper. This one doesn’t have to be sprayed with non-stick spray.
Heat candy melts over low heat & do not add any liquid!!
I did it in a double broiler, where I stuck a metal mixing bowl on top of the pan that had the water in it. Turn off heat before it’s completely melted, as stirring will finish the job.
Dip apple in candy melt & place on prepared baking sheet.
Put sheet back in fridge to help harden again.
Now, for the fun part…
Since I used the double broiler to melt the white candy melts, I still had warm water in the pan when I took the mixing bowl off.
Place the colored candy melts in Ziploc bags for easy decorating.
You really only need like 30 black discs & 5-10 of whatever other colors you’re doing.
Make sure the water isn’t too hot where it’ll melt the plastic, you only need it warm to lukewarm. Then place the Ziploc bags in the water. It’ll melt them without you getting additional pans dirty.
Use your hand to massage the bags when you take them out of the water to make sure they’re fully melted.
Cut the end of the Ziploc bags & get to decorating, starting with the black to make the skeleton faces. 2 circles or ovals for eyes, an upside down heart for the nose, 3 or 4 circles with a squiggly line through it for the mouth.
Once you get all the faces on, which is usually dry naturally by the time you finish them all, go back through & add the color accents.
I did each color at a time, for the most part, and if I needed to add more of the first color by the time the others were done, I went back through. Again, if melts in Ziploc start to harden again, usually just takes some massaging in your hand to get them melted again.
Again, this is why I went one color at a time, so I could leave the others in the lukewarm water.
And the finished look:
I don’t recommend more than 3 colors, as it’ll get a little busy. Now, it you rotate more than 3 colors throughout all the apples, that works. But 3 colors usually gives you the right combination!
Who wants to make some?!