Who has the best candy apples around? Maybe you!

By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage.com Food / Travel Editor

Thursday is Halloween, and as the leaves are changing colors and the weather is cooling down our thoughts are turning towards all that comes with autumn. Missouri is beautiful in the fall with the brilliant hues in nature. The fall harvest provides apples which have long been a staple for October. It’s time to bob for apples and look for the best apple treats.

Who makes the best candied apples in St Louis? That’s a question that is debatable.

merbsMerb’s Bionic Apples (shown left) are legendary. Happy Apples, made in Washington Missouri, are the smaller orbs priced at under a buck and a half, which have been a favorite for decades. And let’s not forget those wonderful apples found across the river – candied apples are gobbled up at Eckert’s Country Store and Bobby’s Frozen Custard.
All good apples but for me, not the best. The best candied apples always came from someone’s kitchen. Best yet, made by a grandma with lots of TLC added to the recipe as the following two classic recipes. I remember finding these two recipes along my trick or treat route many years ago. These recipes are well worth giving a try and sharing. Candied apples give and that will bring back a fond memories.

Picking those apples yourself is also a way to make memories with your family. According to Eckerts: “Pick-Your-Own is available from 9am – 6pm. Today, (Tuesday) we are picking Fuji and Granny Smith apples. The cost of pick your own apples is 1.89/lb. Homegrown apples are available for purchase in our Country Store. Picking is available from 9am – 6pm. The last wagon leaves the station at 5:30pm and we ask that you be done picking and back in by 6pm. Field Access: $2/person Friday-Sunday, $1/person Tuesday – Thursday, no field access fee on Monday*

Old fashioned  Candied Apples 

1 cup water

1/2 cup corn syrup

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon flavoring

1 teaspoon red coloring

1 dozen wooden craft sticks

1 dozen small apples (jonogold or red delicious)

Boil water, syrup, and sugar together until a brown caramel color is reached (at about 250 degrees – use a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat and add cinnamon and red coloring. Cool slightly.

Push a popsicle stick into the core of each apple. Dip the apples 1 at a time into the red syrup, swirling to shake off excess and place on a buttered baking sheet to cool.

Easy Caramel Apples

8 Granny Smith apples

4 (4.51-oz.) bags soft caramels

3 tablespoons heavy cream

chopped nuts

Press a popsicle stick firmly into the top of each apple.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Unwrap the caramels then place them in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the heavy cream and cook the caramels, stirring occasionally, until they melt and the mixture is a smooth consistency. Reduce the heat to low.

Dip each apples onto the caramel mixture, shaking off any excess and scraping any caramel.. Roll the apples into nuts and place on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the apples for 15 minutes or until the caramel is firm.