So when I first made these easy Halloween poison apples last year, two of the kids looked at them ever so suspiciously. I was just cranky enough that day to have ACTUALLY poisoned them. I still laugh about this. All these really are our black candy apples, a recipe that is easy and a fun treat for Halloween.
Now don't get me wrong, do I think kids have enough sugar on Halloween? Of course they do! But these are great for a Halloween party, something that adults will love and something to do with the bushel of apples you pick every fall.
Is a candy apple the same as a caramel apple?
Candy apples are not the same as caramel apples. Caramel apples are literally apple dipped in runny caramel, and they are not an easy recipe if you ask me. The caramel always runs all over when I make them from scratch. I prefer to purchase caramel apples from the store where the chemically enhanced, and still tasty AF caramel magically never drips off.
They are delicious, chewy and buttery, but definitely not the same recipe as a candy apple. Caramel apples are also often covered in nuts or sprinkles or some other kind of candy m&m's I have seen before).
What is a candy apple?
Instead of soft caramel, these Halloween poison apples are dipped in a homemade hard candy coating. The candy coating adheres perfectly and is so shiny. For this easy Halloween poison apple recipe we color the hard candy coating jet black making a spooky treat!
The ingredients are most likely things you have on hand, as it is basically a boiled sugar recipe. I use black food coloring, but you can color these any color you like...blue or green would also make for a spooky Halloween treat! Here's what you'll need
- Corn syrup
What's the best apple for candy apples?
While you can use any apple you like, Granny Smith is by far the best choice for making these easy Halloween poison apples. They have a firm texture, and they are tart enough to be the perfect compliment to the super sweet hard candy coating.
Whatever apple you choose to make poison apples, make sure to choose a fresh, firm apple. Don't go with an overly-ripe apple, the stick won't hold and who wants to bite into a mealy apple?
While it isn't totally necessary, I highly recommend making these Halloween poison apples using a candy thermometer. Making a hard candy coating can be tricky and you really know it is ready by temperature. So try to buy or borrow a candy thermometer. I promise you will use it for other things. I use mine for oil temps for frying and for other candies that I have since learned how to make.
Tips for success
- Try real real hard to use organic apples. ONLY because they do not have any kind of coating on them which makes it significantly easier for the hard candy coating to stick.
- Wash and dry your apples. Seriously dry them...the key to success here is getting your burnt sugar to stick (nobody wants a runny poison apple) and you need dryness for this.
- Prep everything else ahead of time (have the stick in the apples, cookies sheet lined and greased etc.). The candy will go from softball phase to finished so much faster than you think.
- Always make sure to use parchment or foil and make sure to grease it.
- Food coloring is last and always when it is off the stove, it will bubble up and trust me, you do not want a bubbled over mess with black food coloring. This is the food coloring I like to use.
Cool these easy Halloween poison apples on the parchment while you get your best wicked witch costume on, and hand out this fun spooky treat! You'll be the hit of your family (or your neighborhood if your handing out this year neighbor friends).
- candy thermometer
- 12 small apples preferably organic - see above - washed well and dried even better
- 12 wooden candy apple sticks or dowels
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- ½ c. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. black gel paste food coloring
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Place a candy thermometer in a medium saucepan and add sugar, ¾ cups water, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking WITHOUT STIRRING (I mean it, you will wreck it if you try to stir it - and you will badly want to stir it, just don't) until it reaches the hard-crack of 310 degrees F. Remove from stovetop and take out the thermometer carefully. Add the food coloring and swirl around in the pan to fully mix in the color. Dip, swipe and twirl the apples through the candy toffee, pull up and let the excess drip off (you can lightly shake it off), and place on greased baking sheet.
- Cool before serving.
Looking for something for adults to enjoy this halloween look no further than my apple cider bourbon cocktail