Culinary Secrets: Sweet treat tastes like Halloween
by Tomm Johnson / For the Tracy Press
Oct 25, 2012 | 2223 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s that time of year when things are cooling down and we are getting ready for colder weather. It also is the time for my favorite holiday — Halloween.

When I was growing up in New England, Halloween was a very spooky time, as the area has a lot of scary folklore and history, such as the Salem witch trials.

We really go all-out for this holiday, and at my home, finding the perfect costume and creating fun food makes for lots of excitement.

I am sharing my caramel apple recipe with you this year, as I can’t remember a Halloween without them. I hope you enjoy.

• Tomm Johnson, a professional chef, lives in Mountain House and shares his culinary expertise through his website, He can be reached by email at or via, under the name “Culinary Secrets with Chef Tomm.”


Yield: Six apples

2 cups sugar

¼ cup light corn syrup

½ cups water

1/8 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 Popsicle sticks

6 small apples

1 sheet parchment paper

Half-sheet pan or cookie sheet

Cooking spray

Additional toppings, as desired

In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice, if using, and bring to a boil. Stir just until all the sugar is melted.

Cook until the sugar reaches 265 degrees and is golden brown. Remove from heat.

Slowly whisk in the heavy cream; careful, it will spatter. Then add the butter, vanilla and salt and mix until fully incorporated. Let the caramel cool until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Meanwhile, put the Popsicle sticks into the apples. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan and generously spray with cooking spray.

Dip the apples into the caramel and wipe off the excess using the side of the pan.

Roll into toppings, if desired, and then put the apples on the prepared parchment paper until cool.

• Chef’s note: I like making these for Halloween, so once the decorated apples are cool, you can put them in cellophane bags and tie them with orange or brown ribbon.

— Tomm Johnson
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