★4 to 5 medium crisp red apples such as Red Delicious, Jonathan or McIntosh
★2 cups sugar
★3/4 cup water
★1/2 cup light corn syrup
★1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
★6 to 8 cinnamon disc candies, crushed, or 1/3 cup of Red Hots
❶ Generously grease a cookie sheet with shortening, butter or cooking spray and set aside.
❷ If apples have been refrigerated, bring them to room temperature. Wash and dry them thoroughly, remove stems, and insert a wooden craft stick into the stem end of each apple.
❸ To crush the disc candies, place them in a plastic sandwich bag and give them a few sharp whacks with the broad side of a hammer.
❹ Mix sugar, water, corn syrup, and food coloring in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and boil gently, without stirring, until mixture reaches 290 degrees on a candy thermometer.
❺ Don’t rush the process - it may take 15 minutes or so for the syrup to reach the right temperature. When the syrup is right, stir in crushed candies or Red Hots until melted and well-mixed.
❻ Dip apples quickly into syrup, twirling until completely coated. Stand on buttered cookie sheet to set. Cool to room temperature before eating.
❼ Best if eaten within 24 hours.
Special Note: Expect your syrup pan to be a sticky mess once you’re finished. Just run it full of very hot water and let it set to soften the syrup residue. If this is your first try at candied apples, you might want to set the syrup pan over another pan of gently boiling water, double-boiler style, while you dip the apples. You have to work fast enough to get all the dipping done before the syrup starts to crystallize, and the hot steam/double boiler trick may buy you the few extra minutes of work time you need.