There is just something about caramel apples that is inherently nostalgic to me. As a kid, when my parents would take us to Marini’s on the Santa Cruz wharf to pick out a treat, it was always my go to. I love the variance in texture and the mix of sweet and sorta healthy. Nowadays I unfortunately have a few issues with traditional caramel apples: 1) They are insanely messy and 2) The caramel on them contains dairy. Then a few months back I did a collaboration with JJ Cocomels and found that they not only have a plethora of delicious caramels, they also sell caramel sauce.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with JJ’s Cocomels, familiarize yourself because they are ah-mazing. They make vegan caramels out of coconut milk that I actually think are better than regular caramels. Coconut milk has such a richness to it that it lends itself perfectly to caramel creations. It wasn’t until last week that I thought about using this magic for traditional caramel apples, but in a less traditional fashion. Putting the apples on a stick makes them not only easier to eat, it also makes them into more bite sized portions. This snack took me only a few minutes to put together and the effort was totally worth it, here is how you can make your own:
What you’ll need:
3 Granny smith or Fuji apples
1/4 cup JJ Cocomel Sauce (chilled slightly)
Either white or dark chocolate (choose a vegan brand and melt)
1) Cut your apples into slices (I did four per apple, but it depends on if these are adult or child portions). Then put a regular old BBQ skewer into each slice and cut off skewer to be roughly popsicle stick length. If you want to use popsicle sticks instead, simply cut a popsicle stick width slit into each apple and insert the popsicle stick.
2) Cover the apples with whatever toppings you would like, you can get super creative here! Be sure to start with either a chocolate or the caramel (I found both work great) as a base. For the chocolate, place in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring in-between. Once the chocolate has a smooth consistency it is ready for use. For the caramel, keep slightly chilled and slater on the apple with a spoon. Then just roll your apples in the desired topping – which should be laid out in individual plates to avoid cross contamination. Here are some of the toppings that we used:
-oreo chunks (heck yes Oreo’s are vegan….still totally terrible for you…but vegan!)
-white chocolate chips (a vegan brand like Lieber’s works perfect for a coating when mixed with a little coconut oil)
–JJ’s coconut caramel (duh)
Once your apple is covered, place it on wax paper and place in the fridge so it can harden properly (I like my caramel apples best cold). Try to enjoy within 1-2 days as the apples will brown past then, but trust me, these treats are so yummy you will eat them ASAP.