One of my favorites is caramel apples. They are fun to make and fun to eat. And fairly easy too.
As you know I like to have things for the children to do. They have fun, hopefully learn something, and if they are busy they will not get into trouble.
How do I make caramel apples? I am so happy you asked. Here is a recipe and some ideas for making them even more creative and fun for the kids. The recipe is for 10 apples but there is no reason for you to stop there if you want more.
You will need 10 apples, 10 popsicle sticks, 100 caramels (about 2 bags), 4 tablespoons of water, and cooking spray. Prepare the working area by having waxed paper spread. I sometimes place a drop cloth under the table if some of the children are younger. It makes clean-up easier.
The children can help unwrap the caramels and put them in a saucepan. Ten children unwrapping 10 caramels does not take too long. I use a double boiler but a saucepan works fine. Add the water and heat over a medium heat stirring often until the caramels are melted and creamy smooth.
While the caramels are melting, wash the apples and dry them thoroughly. Remove the stems. A fun game to play while removing the stems is to have each child do one. As they twist the stems have them do one letter of the alphabet for each twist. The letter that goes with the twist that pops the stem off is the first initial of their true love.
Push a popsicle stick into the stem end of the apple. Spray the waxed paper with cooking spray. Make one sheet large enough to hold 10 apples without touching each other. I give each child a smaller piece to work on.
Dip the apples one at a time into the caramel turning them slowly to make sure they are covered. You can then set them on the waxed paper and let them set for at least 15 minutes before eating.
Or you can have plates with things like chocolate pieces, sprinkles, chopped nuts, chopped dried fruits, chopped candy corn, crumbled cookies, coconut... well you get the idea. The children can roll their apples in the extras of their choice. They do not need to limit themselves to only one.
Another idea is to provide foods that can be used to make funny faces. Cookie halves can be ears. Licorice whips can be used for eyebrows. Tubes of frosting can be used imaginatively. Small mints make good eyes. Then set the apple on a cookie to cool before eating. Be as creative as you want.
Making caramel apples is a good time for all. If you get carried away and have caramel apples left over do not fret. Cut them up for fruit salad, ice cream toppings, and anything else your mind can conceive.