I love the Fall. Despite my husband reminding me that Fall has not officially arrived yet, there are already leaves beginning to drop and I need a sweater in the morning – that’s all the confirmation I need of the arrival of my favorite season.
Every year, we visit a large farm here in NJ with our extended family- aunts, uncles cousins and grandparents. There’s hayrides, pumpkin and apple picking, as well as a corn maize. We then head back to someone’s house to split the apples & pumpkins and enjoy a sweet treat for the kids.
This year, I’m hosting and wanted to come up with a fun idea to use the apples picked from the farm. After shopping at Walmart for Fall-theme packaged M&M’s and Mott’s 100% Apple Juice, I decided to make Peanut M&Ms Coated Caramel Apples and Hot Caramel Apple Cider – a little spin on two fall classics.
I chose the Peanut M&M’s to use for this batch of caramel apples – loving the idea of the crunchy candy and peanut with the caramel. I just love the fall colors of the M&M’s, making them perfect for this season’s baking! I think that any variety of M&M’s would be great for making caramel apples – especially the new Candy Corn variety.
You can make your caramel for dipping in a variety of ways. There are caramel apple kits, which I used, or you can even melt down caramel candy squares. Either way, it’s easy and quick to do.
After the caramel is melted to right temperature, let cool for 1o minutes. Then simply dip your apples (on sticks) into the caramel mixture. Make sure you are using a deep enough sauce pan to do this. Swirl off the excess caramel and then roll into pre-crushed Peanut M&Ms. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or baking mat. Refrigerate for an hour & enjoy.
Hot Caramel Apple Cider
2 quarts Mott’s 100% Apple Juice
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c. caramel sauce
whipped cream – optional for topping
Place the whole spices in a cheesecloth; so much easier to remove later on! Stir everything together in a saucepan and heat until simmer. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain out/remove cheesecloth bag with spices. Return to saucepan and on low heat add caramel sauce until dissolved. Ladle into mugs add whipped cream and more caramel topping & cinnamon stick if desired.