Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There was just something endlessly thrilling about dressing up in costume, running around in the dark, crisp autumn evening air, smashing soggy leaves underfoot as you ran from house to house, and loading up on candy. I loved (and still do) all things spooky, and always looked forward to my mom getting the ‘Halloween’ box out of the attic that had all our Halloween decorations in it, as well as a few ‘scary story’ books, like the one about the ribbon on the little girl’s neck…y’all know the one I am talking about. That stuff was pretty morbid, even for kids, but I ate it up. The spookiness, the darkness, the season, the night, the food, it was all good in my book. And to be honest, the thrilling aspect of Halloween never really subsided for me. Sure, now I’m the one dolling out candy rather than running around eating it (I just eat it at home rather than door to door. Yay Halloween leftovers!), but I still get to dress up, read spooky stories, and scare myself silly watching terrifying movies that I instantly regret viewing as soon as the lights go out. And I get to come up with delicious and creepy-looking things to eat, which is hands-down my favorite part of the holiday.
I’ve always loved the eerie and shocking appearance of candied apples. Something about the blood red color, the woodsy way they look with foraged twigs as handles, and the gleaming shine that seems to beckon you to try it…it all seems very ‘snow white poison apple’ to me. And the best part of making this striking dessert is the relative ease of preparation. Aside from a candy thermometer, the ingredients and tools needed to make this recipe are delightfully simple. Sugar, apples, corn syrup, water, tea. Sure it’s not the healthiest concoction, but Halloween only comes once a year, so it’s safe to indulge a little. I say get your pots a-brewing, and get those apples a-dipping, for who knows if you’ll make it past this year’s hallow’s eve…muwahahaha!!! (insert scary sounding voice here)
Insert the popsicle sticks into the centers of each apple. Set them aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, bring the granulated sugar, black tea, and corn syrup to a boil over medium high heat. Continue heating the mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into it reads 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the red food coloring and stir until combined.
Remove from heat and quickly dip each apple in the hot syrup mixture, holding it by the popsicle stick, and turning to coat the apple in the mixture. If the syrup isn’t deep enough to coat the apple, use a metal spoon to help scoop and drizzle the mixture over the apple. After each apple is coated, place it back on the parchment paper and allow to cool until it hardens, (about 1 hour), before serving.