The Hippo


Jun 2, 2020








 Where to find caramel and candy apples

Van Otis Chocolates 341 Elm St., Manchester,
Granite State Candy Shoppe 13 Warren St., Concord; 832 Elm St., Manchester,
Candy Kingdom 235 Harvard St., Manchester,
Sanborn’s Candies 293 Lafayette Road, Hampton,
Kilwins 20 Congress St., Market Square, Portsmouth,

Seasonal sweets
Have a caramel-coated Halloween

By Allie Ginwala

 An apple a day may keep the doctor away — and one covered with caramel, chocolate and almond butter crunch keeps the tastebuds happy. 

Marc Amiet, owner of Van Otis Chocolates in Manchester, said that in recent years gourmet caramel apples have become increasingly popular. They carry them from mid-September through Thanksgiving and typically make 50 to 100 per week. 
“We have a big following for our caramel, and I think using that for the apples makes a lot of sense,” he said. “The combination of the tartness of Granny Smith apples that we’re using … goes better with the sweetness of the caramel and the chocolate.”
Kristen Chinosi, owner of The Culinary Playground, agreed that a Granny Smith is the way to go.
“It’s tart, and that’s the perfect complement to the sweetness you’re putting on the outside,” she said. “And they tend to run large and tend to be nice and round. … It’s a crunchy apple too.”
A handful of local chocolate shops make gourmet caramel apples, including Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord and Manchester.
“We’ve been making super fancy gourmet apples for a few years now, and those are extremely popular,” owner Jeffrey Bart said.
Granite State Candy uses only locally grown apples, he said.
The ingredients that go over those apples are part of what makes them “gourmet.”
“The chocolate we use is a high-end chocolate,” Amiet said. “Everything else we use for ingredients is definitely on the higher side of quality.”
Van Otis currently has four kinds of gourmet caramel apples — almond butter crunch, chocolate funneled, pecan turtle and white chocolate cinnamon sugar — all of which start with the caramel-coated Granny Smith apple base. 
Treat yourself
For those looking to make their own caramel apples, Chinosi said there are a number of ways to create the traditional fall treat at home.
One important thing to remember before diving into your confectionery project is to make sure to dry the apples well with a paper towel after washing them.
“If you don’t dry it properly, the caramel will slide off,” she said.
The next step is to make sure you have all of your ingredients ready to go. 
“Really the key is just having everything laid out ahead of time,” Chinosi said. “Once you dip it [in caramel] it [dries] fast, so you do need to work quickly and have a little assembly line going.”
You can make the caramel at home (which is super easy, Chinosi said, and cuts down on some of the excess sweetness) or buy soft caramel and melt it with cream in the microwave. 
You can make a straightforward treat with just the caramel coating, or you can dress it up with toppings like shredded coconut, chopped nuts, crushed candies, mini chocolate chips or sprinkles. 
“[It] really allows you to have a beautiful presentation,” she said.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to cover the whole apple in caramel. Chinosi said to try variations of the treat by only dipping part of the apple, drizzling the caramel or using a melon baller to make bite-sized apple poppers to serve with toothpicks. 
Whichever way you decide to dip or drizzle, once the caramel and toppings are in place, put the apples on wax paper and place them in the refrigerator to harden. Make sure to take them out and let them sit for a bit before eating.
If you love the taste of caramel apples but don’t want to dip, drizzle or make poppers, Chinosi suggested a dip that gives you all the right flavors, just in a slightly deconstructed format. Try dipping apple slices in a three-layer dip of softened cream cheese, caramel and chocolate chips. 
“[You] still get the experience, but maybe not all the food,” she said. 

®2020 Hippo Press. site by wedu