I got the apples ready before actually making the candy so I could keep my eye on the thermometer. I used twigs instead of popsicle sticks - I just cut a pointy end to stick in the apples.
I was attempting to make a blue raspberry flavor for the candy coating. I combined raspberry and tutti-fruitti candy oils... close, but not quite the blue raspberry flavor I was looking for. I made some grape ones too. There is special candy colors too - I used blue, but you won't need that until later.
Start by boiling sugar, corn syrup and water. There's no need to stir the mixture a lot. Sugar crystals that don't dissolve can be a problem, and mixing it too much can get sugar crystals stuck on the side of the pan. Hard crack stage in candy cooking is about 300 F. I used my candy thermometer this time, but I've also done it by watching the size and shape of the bubbles, and having a glass of ice water next to the stove. You can keep drizzling a big of the candy into the glass of water until it feels like a lollipop or hard candy when you bite into the cooled piece.
Big, rolling bubbles in the boiling candy means it's close to the hard crack stage. At this point I added the blue food coloring and let the boiling incorporate the blue. Adding blue will make a translucent blue candy coating - to make it opaque, add white to the color you want it to be.
Close! It moves quickly to 300 F to keep an eye on it!
Once I started dipping apples in the candy mixture, I wasn't able to take any pictures. But dip individual apples in the candy, and then allow some of the extra candy to drip off before placing the candied apples on a greased cookie sheet.
It doesn't hurt to have a helper at this point either. And remember, the candy is still REALLY HOT! Don't drip on yourself, don't lick the spoon or bite into an apple until the candy has cooled!
You can use a spoon to drip the candy on the apples if the candy becomes too shallow to dip the apples in. And to clean up, fill the pan of candy with hot, soapy water and just let that baby sit. The candy will eventually dissolve and what seems to be terrible mess cleans up pretty quickly!
This post is linked up to here.