Not all commercially made caramels are gluten free. Therefore, making homemade caramel sauce for caramel apples is a wonderful solution and often saves money. Not to mention, homemade caramel just tastes better! Put a smile on someone’s face and make these today. Perhaps you’ll be smiling soon?
1/2 cup light corn syrup (or gluten free brown rice syrup* - Lundberg's)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chopped nuts (optional)
Shredded coconut (optional)
Gluten free chocolate, white, milk, or dark, for drizzling (optional)
Remove all stems from the apples and replace with a skewer inserted into the same end.
Spray a platter with gluten free cooking spray such as olive oil.
In a medium-sized saucepan, using a wooden spoon, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches 235°F. (A good way of testing is to drop a piece of caramel into a glass of water. If the caramel is the consistency of a soft, doughy ball, it is ready. If it is too soft and the ball collapses, cook a little bit longer.)
Remove from the burner and stir in the vanilla. Sometimes I stir in a very small square of chocolate too.) Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
Immediately dip each apple into the caramel, turning until completely covered. Continue to turn as you remove each apple from the caramel. If desired, immediately roll each bottom half in chopped nuts or gluten free jimmies, sprinkles, etc.
Transfer to the prepared platter until set.
Once set, if desired, drizzle with melted gluten free chocolate, white, milk, or dark; allow the chocolate to set. You can speed this up by refrigerating the apples, but this will harden the caramel.
*The use of brown ice syrup creates a softer caramel. You may wish to cook it 5 degrees higher. Extend the time as necessary each time.