Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Caramel Apples

 Today's big project was making caramel apples. Andy has been keen on cooking, and this was something he was dying to make. He discovered caramel apples when we were at the beach, and wanted to make his own.

He had some surprises in store for him, however. He woke up excited to make his apples, but first we had to clean the kitchen. To be honest, my kitchen is pretty filthy, so that took some doing. Then he took a break.

Step two: actually making apples.

"OK, Mom, what do we do?" he asked, slightly bored in tone, because he's, you know, ten.

"I have no idea," I replied. He stared at me, incredulous.
"You have to look it up," I explained. "Hop online and find some instructions."

After he processed this, he managed to get out his iPad and ask how to spell "melting" and "caramel" and found some instructions. Then he read them all the way through, since I insisted we know what we were doing before we started.

Then we got to work.

First, we had to get the sticks into the apples. We found some sticks, cut them in half, and got ready for the Great Apple Stabbing.

He decided to remove the stems himself, with scissors, until I twisted one off in about two seconds.  Then he stabbed those apples.

We had to unwrap a whole bag of caramels for this project. I thought about having him make the caramel- it isn't hard- but in the end, I wanted to focus on the melting, and honestly, one thing at a time. We had some other stuff to do today, and I had a bag of caramels.

I helped with this part, because there were so many.

Next, he melted the caramel. We talked about why the heat wasn't high, and why he had to continuously stir the caramels while they melted- a tough job at first.

We talked about why we added two tablespoons of water to the caramels to melt them.

We discussed why we needed to use parchment paper to put the dipped apples down to harden.

He is a very smart squirrel.

We also talked about why we wash and dry the apples- getting off the dirt from the field and the store (know how many people touch apples in a store? You may not really want to), and then making sure the apple is dry so the caramel will stick. He thought that was interesting.

I was very proud of him, as he did all the melting himself. I help him with the dipping, as it kind of took two people to do- holding the pot, dipping the apple, and spooning caramel requires three hands. He did a great job.

A hour in the fridge later, he had snacks- and i think caramel apples may now be his favorite.

At least, when he makes them himself.

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