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Old 01-17-2019, 03:59 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Does anyone make Caramel Apples or Popcorn balls anymore?

It's been a long time since I thought about Caramel Apples and Popcorn balls.

My aunt bought a candy kit that included the caramel and sticks. She melted the caramel in a double boiler and dipped the apples. Cool on wax paper. I enjoyed these almost every time I visited her home.

Popcorn balls were served at kids parties. They're easy to make. A bit messy and sticky. We made them with peanut butter and Karo Syrup.
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/23...popcorn-balls/

I made Caramel Apples a couple times for my kids. They weren't very impressed. Didn't do it again.

My popcorn balls were received better.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-17-2019 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:04 PM
Tzigone Tzigone is offline
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I didn't like either as a child (only tried them once or twice each), so don't make them now. I only ever saw them at Halloween, and fears means parents don't want home-made treats for their kids, anyway. Can't be sure what's in them. Even when I was kid, my mom only allowed home-made stuff from houses where she knew people. I hear more about trick-or-trunk and that sort of stuff now, and don't even know how common trick-or-treating is anymore (no kids, myself), making that sort of non-candy-sweet less popular. And kids can and do get sweets all year round now (and did when I was kid). Don't know if there's anyway to track popularity of caramel apples over time.

BTW, when you were kid, did you make the caramel apples with aunt, or just eat them after you made them? I just recall how much I liked decorating Christmas cookies and Easter eggs as a kid, but I didn't eat Easter eggs and wasn't that fond of Christmas cookies, either.

Last edited by Tzigone; 01-17-2019 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:13 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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My aunt let me dunk the apples in the caramel.

They're better fresh after cooling off just a little. The warm caramel is easier to bite into.

I'd be afraid to eat one now. I have too many fillings and crowns.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-17-2019 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:23 PM
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We made popcorn balls regularly (around Halloween) and occasionally caramel apples.

Greased up hands and hot syrup on popcorn. Tricky work.

A handful of regular popcorn I'd eat in seconds. A popcorn ball would take days eating a bit here and there. What's the point?

As for caramel apples, it came down to peeling off the coating and eating that. Then throwing the apple away. Again, not much point.

So it was a traditional thing we had as a kid that just had no real reason to continue when I had my own family.

(OTOH, Mrs. FtG still makes peanut brittle every December using my grandparents' recipe. Yum.)
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:25 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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You didn't eat the apple?

That was the reason adults dipped them in candy. It encouraged the kids to eat apples and get a sugar rush.


Last edited by aceplace57; 01-17-2019 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:13 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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You can still get caramel apples at Coney Island. I don’t know about popcorn balls, though...I always thought of those as a Christmas thing.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
You didn't eat the apple?

That was the reason adults dipped them in candy. It encouraged the kids to eat apples and get a sugar rush.

Apples are good in pies and things like that, but just apple-apples? Meh, not really.

(I DID see a recipe for caramel bites, where you cut the apples up and dip the slices in the caramel.)
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:43 AM
Balance Balance is offline
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I sometimes see prepared caramel apples at the grocery store (on a seasonal basis), so I assume someone still likes them, but maybe not enough to make them. I liked them as a kid, and yes, I ate the apple as well--the best were nice and crisp, with a peel very slightly cooked by the caramel. I would probably still like them, but I don't make them, and I don't trust the quality of the apples in pre-made ones.

I never liked popcorn balls, mostly because I found them awkward to eat. I would prefer smaller pieces of caramel popcorn. I occasionally make popcorn clusters drizzled with cinnamon candy around holidays.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:59 AM
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Anybody remember candy apples? They were coated in a red candy that was harder than caramel.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Anybody remember candy apples? They were coated in a red candy that was harder than caramel.
I've certainly seen them but never tried one. For reasons I can't quite list, they always seemed faintly sinister to me.
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Last edited by Alpha Twit; 01-18-2019 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:04 AM
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Walmart sells caramel apples, usually around Hallowe'en. Oh wait, I'm not supposed to admit to shopping there, am I?
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:11 AM
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I've certainly seen them but never tried one. For reasons I can't quite list, they always seemed faintly sinister to me.
By strange coincidence the last place I saw candy apples for sale was at a candy store on Disney Property called the Candy Cauldron which featured a large statute of the Evil Queen from Snow White disguised as the old lady holding an apple.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:17 AM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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Back in the days before homemade treats were branded injurious and evil, my parents would make an enormous batch of popcorn balls for trick or treaters. They were a huge hit and as the years passed some of their original trick or treaters came back with their own kids to get some. Then when homemade treats became suspect, my folks would still make a small batch for "on demand" families who had come to them for years.

I liked the popcorn balls, but they were hard work and really my parents thing, not mine. I haven't made one since my parents passed and that makes me a little sad.

Bring on the caramel apples! I don't make them, bUT I do buy the yummy ones they make at the farm store deli counter.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:26 AM
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My mom would make caramel apples for us kids once every fall. We loved them. I remember making them a few times for my kids but UGH! the cleanup was horrible. Then they came out with Wrapples. A round sheet of soft caramel that you would wrap around the apple. My kids loved them too. I think when caramel apple dip came out, making real caramel apples kind of faded away. I usually buy a tub once a year. So good. My son really loved regular caramel apples. The grocery stores around here always sell them ready-made every fall. So I would buy him a couple every week until they were gone for the season. We have a candy store here that makes them year-round but they're pretty expensive. They have plain caramel and also caramel with curshed cookies, peanuts, M&M's, and a variety of other toppings. QVC also sells fancy and expensive caramel apples every fall.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:19 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I've seen caramel apples in stores. I'll buy one when they are in season. It would be a nice treat from childhood.

I've seen the cans of dip. That's a great time saver.

Some people make their own caramel. My family skipped that step and bought a bag of Brachs or Kraft. They melt easily in a double boiler or microwave.

They still sell Kraft unwrapped caramels at Target.
https://www.target.com/p/kraft-premi...kaArecEALw_wcB

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-18-2019 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:30 PM
Karen Lingel Karen Lingel is offline
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The Unbelievable Apple

An apple covered in caramel, chocolate, nuts, etc. In the end it weighs 3 lbs. It has no stick (so as not to break the apple skin and allow germs to infiltrate) and is meant to be sliced and shared, like a cake.

It's yummy.
  #17  
Old 01-18-2019, 07:41 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Wow, that does look good. I'll order one just before Spring break when our kids are visiting.

Serving it in slices is ingenious. Much less messy than trying to take bites directly from a sticky apple.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-18-2019 at 07:43 PM.
  #18  
Old 01-18-2019, 08:50 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balance View Post
I sometimes see prepared caramel apples at the grocery store (on a seasonal basis), so I assume someone still likes them, but maybe not enough to make them. I liked them as a kid, and yes, I ate the apple as well--the best were nice and crisp, with a peel very slightly cooked by the caramel. I would probably still like them, but I don't make them, and I don't trust the quality of the apples in pre-made ones.

I never liked popcorn balls, mostly because I found them awkward to eat. I would prefer smaller pieces of caramel popcorn. I occasionally make popcorn clusters drizzled with cinnamon candy around holidays.
If there's a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store near you, they make quite a selection of caramel apples - normal, M&M-covered, peanut-covered, and "cheesecake" (caramel, then some unidentified white candy, then graham crackers) come to mind.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:29 PM
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I've made popcorn balls in the past but lost the recipe. Now I make stuff similar to this; I use a bit of baking soda in the popcorn mix rather than putting it in the oven.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:02 AM
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I looked up recipes for caramel apple bites. Apparently the trick is to use a melon baller.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:22 AM
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I used to make popcorn balls when my kids had friends around for movies and a sleepover. I used the recipe from Cookin' with Queen Ida. One time I made them stupidly big, the size of a baseball. Naturally, it became the kid's preferred size.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:24 PM
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There's a chocolate shop downtown in my city that sells caramel apples. There's caramel coating, then they get rolled in a variety of other things, like nuts or mini candies, then are drizzled in chocolate. Absolutely divine.

When the shop was newly open, and I hadn't heard of it yet, I was walking downtown with my mother and passed it on the way to the bank. The apples were in a window display. I walked on by and did a classic double take, literally walking backwards to look at them. When I was done at the bank I went back to the shop.

I'm so pleased the place has made it all this time, it's hard for an independent shop to make a go in retail these days.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
As for caramel apples, it came down to peeling off the coating and eating that. Then throwing the apple away. Again, not much point.

I had a similar problem. I liked to eat the caramel coating WITH the apple, but there was far too much apple left and that would get tossed.
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