Traditional caramel apples are topped with peanut butter cups, chopped peanuts, and semi-sweet chocolate in this nutty, sweet-and-salty treat. The combination of crisp apples, chewy caramel, rich chocolate, and crunchy nuts is delicious and will suit any fall party or get-together.
- 4 apples (ripe)
- 14 ounces caramel candy (soft)
- 2 tablespoon water
- 9 ounces/1.5 cups chocolate (semi-sweet or chocolate candy coating)
- 1 cup peanuts (salted, coarsely chopped)
- 1.5 cups peanut butter cups (coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chopped peanut butter cups and peanuts in separate bowls and set aside for now.
2. Wash and dry the apples carefully. Remove the stems, and stick the skewers firmly in the stem ends.
3. Place the unwrapped caramels and the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir; microwave for an additional minute or until completely melted. The caramel should be smooth and very fluid by the end, so continue to heat in short intervals until it is a workable temperature and consistency.
4. Hold an apple by the skewer and dip it in the caramel, tilting the bowl at an angle and rotating the apple to cover it completely with a smooth, even layer. If necessary, use a spoon to pour caramel over the top so that the entire apple is covered. Bring it out of the caramel and twirl it upside down to remove excess, then set it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples.
5. Place the caramel-covered apples in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.
6. Place the chocolate or chocolate candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 45 seconds.
7. Dip the caramel-covered apple in the chocolate, until the caramel is almost entirely covered. If it helps, use a spoon to pour some of the chocolate over the caramel to get even coverage. While the chocolate is still wet, press some chopped peanut butter cups into the chocolate, and sprinkle the chopped peanuts evenly over the wet chocolate. Place the apple back on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples.
8. Place the peanut butter chips and coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the chips are melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.
9. Transfer the melted chips into a small plastic bag and snip off a small corner of the bag. Drizzle the peanut butter chips in a thin line over the top of each apple, radiating out from the center, for a beautiful finishing touch. Refrigerate the apples until the peanut butter sets -- about 15 minutes. If you will not be serving the apples immediately, tightly wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.