Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Caramel apples are always a "hot" seasonal item to make in the fall. You can make your caramel coating from scratch of course, especially if you are not making many. However, if you are making over 50, lets just say, then I recommend this product that I was introduced to when I was the pastry chef at The College of William & Mary. It's a 25-30 pound bucket called "Caramel Dip" by Henry & Henry. The more you buy in bulk, the more you save, but make sure you don't buy in bulk and then have it sitting on the shelf, only to throw it out. Since I had about 40 to make, I actually used my other go-to brand, "Peter's Caramel". This one comes in a 5 pound loaf and it's a bit pricey because it's not in a big bucket like the other one, so make sure you price accordingly!
I love these caramels, because you can just melt in a large pot on low and once it's melted, you can start dipping. If you heat it to where it's super hot and runny, the caramel may be on the harder side. If you want that softer caramel texture, then just heat only till melted. I've heard of people using their crock pots, but I have yet to try that. I've used the stove method (I was "babysitting" it so I didn't opt for a double boiler) and I've also used heat proof 32 oz deli/soup containers with a microwave. For the microwave, you probably want to start with 30 second increments and work your way down. You can only dip so many apples that way, but it's less messy that using a pot, in my opinion.
I also like this product, because it sets, which makes it easier to bag them and yes, the flavor is amazing as well (that always helps lol). I believe I was able to dip at least 25 apples or so with one loaf.
You can also make other confections with this caramel. I will make some big chocolate turtles with the leftover that I have this year.
Click on the Amazon link for the product #commissionsearned
I have also included the link for the sticks. You have to be careful because some of the sticks that pop up in your search are sharp and more like thick skewers for BBQ. I like these because they are blunt at the end.