Fiction-Food Café

October 20, 2014

Jack Skellington Caramel Apples à la Disney Parks

          Smalls and I have watched Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" like, a gazillion times in recent weeks, loving it more and more each time, so something themed for the movie was bound to happen. You might remember that I visited Disneyland for the first time back at the beginning of September and posted about the character caramel apples available at several of the candy shops in the park. The one I bought was so tasty that I decided to give making my own a go, and thanks to the nice lady I interviewed about how the apples are made (along with scrutinizing the apple I bought) I think these turned out pretty authentic. I tried to get the look of them, down to the nose and mouth lines, just right. And the combination of tart granny smith apples with the caramel and sweet candy melt covering is wonderful.

This post goes out to Heather Krannich who requested something "Nightmare Before Christmas". 

Note: I've had such frustrating times with candy melts and melting chocolate that I finally decided to try a melt additive called paramount crystals, or Wilton sells them as "EZ-Thin Dipping Aid". The "crystals" are basically little wax shavings that you add to your melting mixture so you end up with a smooth and pourable, very dip-able, melt. Love them. I would not have been able to complete these apples with out them.

Jack Skellington Caramel Apples à la Disney Parks

Ingredients (for 3 apples):
3 Large, Granny Smith Apples, as round as you can find
1 Bag Caramel Pieces (I used Kraft Caramel Bits–worked great!)
1 Bag Bright White Candy Melts
1/2 Bag Black Candy Melts
EZ-Thin Dipping Aid/Paramount Crystals (optional but totally worth it)

Important Items:
3 Thick, Candy Apple Skewers (Disney uses white paper, semi-pointed, 5 1/2″ x 15/64″ sticks which I found on Amazon)
Waxed or Parchment Paper
3 White &/or Black Cupcake Liners
Candy Decorating Squeeze Bottle

1. Wash & dry the apples thoroughly & remove the stems. Sit the apples upside down on the counter & skewer them (through the bottoms, not where the stems were) about an inch or so in (skewering them upside down gives them more stability). Prepare a tray by lining it with parchment paper & spraying it with non-stick spray.
2. In a medium-small pot melt the caramel pieces according to package directions–which includes adding 2 Tbsps. or so of water. When the caramel is nice & smooth (add a little more water if it's too thick) tilt the pot & roll an apple in the sauce while holding onto the stick (spooning caramel on top, around the base of the stick, can help too). Take a moment to let excess caramel drip back into the pot & scrape the bottom of the apple either with a spoon or on the edge of the pot. Place the dipped apple onto the paper-lined tray. Once all of the apples are dipped in caramel sit the tray in the fridge for about an hour.
3. Remove the apples from the fridge. In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the white candy melts. If using the EZ Thin/paramount crystals, stir in tablespoonfuls until the melt is pourable & smooth. Tip the bowl or pot & dip an apple in & roll it around, tilting it as much as possible to coat it around the base of the stick, until the entire apple in evenly coated & smooth. Again, use a spoon or the edge of the pot/bowl to scrape off excess melt. Place the coated apple on the tray. Let the sit on the counter until the white coating has hardened. If the white layer looks too thin or you just don't like the look of it you can roll the apples in the melt again.
4. Melt the black candy melts the same way as you did the whites (clean & thoroughly dry the same bowl or pot if you need to), adding paramount crystals as needed if you have them. Pour the melted black into the decorating bottle & carefully squeeze Jack Skellington's eyes, nose & mouth onto each apple (see the images above for reference). Use a toothpick for fine-tuning, such as pushing the melt around for the eyes & gently scraping away any tiny melt strays. Let the apples sit again so the black can harden & then flatten out the cupcake liners & place 1 completed Jack Skellington apple on each. Store in the fridge until ready to eat or gift.

(Jack Skellington figure goes along with the "Disney Infinity" video game.)
(An apple slicer works wonders!)
* For more "Nightmare Before Christmas" nummies check out my Jack Skellington Cheese Pops! *

Happy Halloween!


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