Host an Apple Dippin’ Party!


Host an Apple Dippin’ Party!

Photo credit: Amanda Odum

Forget bobbing for apples -- try something less wet (but in honesty, probably just as dang messy).

Many of us love the thought of a caramel apple, right? That first bite of luscious caramel goodness and juicy apple. But they’re kind of a mess, and once you get down past the caramel layer, it’s just apple, and sometimes they’re just not that great. Sometimes it’s a bit much to eat, and they’re dang hard to share.

Now, this is not to vilify the traditional treat but rather to help express the genius that is the apple dipping party. It can be tailored to the old, young, or both, and you’ll be surprised at how foodies can get into it.

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If you have a spectacular caramel sauce recipe, by all means use it. If you don’t, no worries; you’ll be doctoring these apples so much you can get away with melting down some storebought caramels. Simply unwrap a 14 oz bag of caramels and melt in a double boiler with a quarter cup of half and half. You can thin it as necessary with more cream. For dipping proper, a small slow-cooker on low would be ideal to keep the caramel warm. Skewers, toothpicks, or fondue forks can serve as utensils, depending on your caramel container.

In addition to the plain caramel, you can portion out some for add-ins like chocolate and booze. For an especially appealing adult treat, add a teaspoon of bourbon to a cup of melted caramel (or more, of course). Keep stirring until the sauce smooths back out.

Prepping the apples is easy -- simply core firm apples and cut into wedges. Granny Smith, Gingergold, and Fuji were all great varieties in testing. However, remember that the apples will brown, so you want to cut them right before serving.

Place small bowls of toppings nearby. Varieties of chopped chocolate, assorted sea salts, and chopped toasted nuts are all excellent. For a fun game, have guests mix and match caramel sauces, apple varieties, and toppings and let guests take turns trying them and scoring  them. (To give you a leg up on the competition, try Drawl’s favorite combo -- Granny Smith dipped in bourbon caramel and topped with sea salt -- it’s unbelievably delicious.)

A word of caution: Have plates nearby. Since you’re dipping the actual flesh of the apples, the caramel won’t stick quite as well as it would to a whole apple. On the upside, you can keep re-dipping on your plate.

Have fun, and send your best combos to

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