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Anyone who has ever been to a county fair, midway or circus has seen the venerable candy apple, the one fruit that kids are happy to eat at any time. Some enterprising carnival enterpreneur took the noble apple, sweetest of nature's treats, and gave it a good dose of red hot Imperial cane sugar and Food Drug & Cosmetic Red Dye No. 2, and a lo! a legend was born. The confection has even given rise to a color of automotive paint "Candy apple red", a favorite among muscle car owners.

So, if you find yourself hungry for a dental work destroying pseudo-nutritional good time, but are in an area naturally lacking in carnival folk and their culinary skills, I have a solution: Roll your own! Here is what you need to make your very own candy apples:

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated white table sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Red food coloring
Candy thermometer
Apples - I recommend McIntosh for sweetness or Granny Smith for tartness
Skewers or popsicle sticks

Wash and dry your apples and spear with the sticks before mixing the candy shell. Mix the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepan, making sure to dissolve most of the sugar in the water. You should have a white sticky liquid. Put on high heat with candy thermometer positioned in center of fluid. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil the mixture until it reaches hard crack, which is when the liquid reaches 300 degrees F, immediately add red food coloring and stir, then quickly dip the apples and set on a greased cookie sheet. When dipping, try carefully spinning the apple in a full circle to ensure complete coverage of the skin with the candy. Each batch candies approximately 1 dozen medium-sized apples.

On a side note, the hard crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. At this temperature, there is almost no water left in the syrup. That's 99% sugar kids!

Another famous candy apple recipe around my house is for an apple flavored shooter, which I recommend not be served to children, unless they ask real nice.

2 oz. Amaretto Di Saronno
1 oz. butterscotch schnapps
Top up with apple juice to 4 oz. Serve straight up, ice cold.

Enjoy!

Addendum: shimmer says over in the UK, candy apples go by the name toffee apples. They usually sell them at funfairs and at the seaside. They are a universal treat!

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