Nothing says “fall” quite like caramel apples. While traditional caramel apples can be somewhat difficult and messy to eat, this recipe shows you how to make mini caramel apple bars so you get the same great taste, but with bite-size convenience.

At your next fall get together, set up your toppings as an assembly line, and let your guests go crazy putting on their own toppings.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Apples (we used Granny Smith & Jonagold)
  • Chewy caramel candies
  • Water or Half-&-Half

ADDITIONAL TOOLS

  • Apple slicer
  • Wooden popsicle sticks
  • Parchment paper (wax paper will stick to the caramel)
  • Cold water with lemon juice (prevents the apple slices from browning)

ASSORTED TOPPINGS

  • Crushed peanuts
  • Colored sprinkles
  • Assorted melted chocolate
  • Shredded coconut
  • Mini M&M candies
  • Crushed Oreo Cookies
  • Crushed pretzels

Fill a container with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every 4 cups of water. Wash and slice apples and place into the lemon water. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Unwrap caramels and place in a small saucepan with a few tablespoons of water or half-&-half. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a ceramic, microwave-safe bowl, or a small crockpot set to ‘warm.’ The caramel sets up fast, so you may need to re-heat it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds in-between dipping sessions.

Place all of your toppings into disposable containers or a divided tray (a muffin tin works great for this!). Place a disposable spoon into each topping. Place a small sheet of parchment paper onto each disposable plate (this will prevent the caramel and chocolate from sticking).

Before your guests arrive, remove apple slices from water and completely pat dry using a paper towel. Place apple slices in a bowl next to the wooden skewers and parchment-lined plates. Now let your guests make their own mini caramel apples!