These Easy Vegan Caramel Apples are perfect for Halloween and/or your fall apple harvest. And despite what you may think about "vegan caramel" this recipe couldn't be easier. The goods..
* 1 honeycrisp apple, organic (of course any apple will work.)
* vegan vanilla-coconut caramel (recipe ahead)
* walnut + dark chocolate crumble (easy)
* 1 wooden stick or thick bamboo skewer
..and boom. Your vegan caramel apple craving is soon to be satisfied...
I've been ogling the caramel apples all over the web the past week and decided that I needed to make this happen here on my blog.
I have experimented with vegan caramel in the past - like my vegan apple cider caramel - but this time I wanted to keep my recipe super simple and access the brilliance of coconut products. So instead of heavy cream or milk (which is found in most non-vegan recipes) I grabbed some vegan coconut cream.
coconut cream - full fat coconut milk, chilled, then the firm white stuff that forms at the top of the can or bowl is the "coconut cream"
And geniusly, Trader Joe's recently came out with something called "coconut cream" which is super rich and thick. Basically it is all "hard white stuff" from the can of coconut milk. You can also grab any full fat can of coconut milk, stick it in the fridge to chill and spoon the white hard stuff off the top of the can (technique shown in my coconut whip post.)
Vegan Vanilla Bean Coconut Caramel..
As I was skimming around other vegan caramel recipes I noticed that many of them get very precise regarding temperatures and boiling points etc etc. It all makes it sound very intimidating, especially to someone like me who does not own a candy thermometer.
So I gave my "super easy, guess-ti-mation timing" version a whirl and it totally worked. I made a few different batches, using different times for "boiling" and again, it worked. So while precision is totally awesome if you have the patience and skills and tools. I personally found that winging it kinda works here. Making vegan caramel a lot easier than you may think.
The topping / coating? You can really do whatever you'd like. Peanuts, chopped pecans, dark chocolate, walnuts, brazil nuts or even go all healthy and throw in a few chia or hemp seeds. I did a simple walnut + dark vegan chocolate mixture. Very yummy.
So grab an apple and make this!..
Easy Vegan Caramel Apples - Walnut Dark Chocolate Dipped
makes one, vegan
1 large apple (organic honeycrisp used)
1 stick for apple (wood or bamboo)
-> wash apple, dry very well and place stick into apple core
1/4 cup walnuts, raw
2 Tbsp vegan dark chocolate chips/chunks/bars
-> process these in a food processor or vitamix until thin and crumbly
4 Tbsp vegan sugar (organic granulated sugar)
1/4 tsp real vanilla extract (or real vanilla bean specks .. I used this)
2 1/2 Tbsp coconut cream (the white stuff from a chilled can of full fat coconut milk)
pinch of sea salt
-> Add sugar, vanilla, salt and coconut cream to a saute pan over high heat. Stir until melted together. Continue stirring as the mixture begins to bubble. Stir bubbling for about 45 seconds. Reduce heat to low. Stir for another minute. Turn heat off and pour mixture into a small dish. Place in the fridge to chill until sticky (about ten minutes should do it.)
Dip dry apple in caramel - slather it around. Then dip in coating. Serve or slice and serve.
* If caramel is too thick when you pull from fridge, stick in the microwave for a few seconds to soften.
* If caramel does not firm up in the fridge, wait until fully chilled, it should be firm. If not, start over and heat the caramel mixture a minute or so longer at the boiling state. You may be able to simply reheat the same mixture.
* If caramel seems grainy, you need to melt/heat it for a longer period on the stove.
* If mixture seems too thick as you are heating it, add another spoonful of coconut cream.
* If caramel does not stick to the apple, place it back in the fridge, it probably needs to chill a bit longer to get stickier. OR your apple is too wet. Dry it off very well.
coconut cream (thick white stuff), simmering caramel: