This treat's not tricky

Cooking 101

October 25, 2006|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN REPORTER

Candied apples are an easy, fun way to celebrate Halloween -- for kids and kids-at-heart.

They can be tricked out with sprinkles, nuts or other toppings, or left simply red. Either way, they make a cinnamon-scented, portable nosh for a party.

Shirley Coleman, a chef instructor at Baltimore International College, likes to use tart Granny Smith apples as a balance against the sweet coating. She recommends buying uniformly shaped apples free of bumps and bruises. Wash the apples, but make sure you dry them completely before coating them. Don't forget to remove stems.

If you're using toppings, have them ready -- in bowls large enough to roll the apples in -- before you start cooking. A coated apple hardens fast; toppings not added right away may fail to stick, Coleman says.

It helps to have a good candy thermometer; the sugar solution should be heated until it reaches 280 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the solution by placing a drop in a cup of cold water. If the drop turns rock-hard, the syrup is ready.

kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

CANDIED APPLES MAKES 6 TO 8 APPLES

6 to 8 Granny Smith apples

nuts or sprinkles for garnish (optional)

2 cups sugar

2 / 3 cup light corn syrup

2 / 3 cup water

1 / 8 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick

1 / 2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon red food coloring

MAKING CANDIED APPLES

Wash and dry apples. Remove stems. Using 8 broken wooden skewers or popsicle sticks, pierce each apple at its core, making sure the stick goes all the way through the core. Set apples aside. Place nuts or sprinkles, if using, in bowls large enough for rolling apples; set aside. Butter a baking sheet or cover it with wax paper.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and cinnamon or cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Stir periodically while bringing to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, do not stir; let cook until syrup reaches 280 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring.

Holding an apple by its stick, tilt the saucepan toward you and roll the apple in the syrup, covering it completely. Let extra syrup drip into the pan briefly, then quickly roll the apple in toppings. Place the apple on the baking sheet. Repeat with the other apples. Cool completely before serving.

Courtesy of Baltimore International College chef instructor Shirley Coleman

Per apple (based on 8 apples, without toppings): 331 calories, trace protein, trace fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 88 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 18 milligrams sodium

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