The beginning of the school year in our home meant the four "f's"... fall, football games, food and fundraisers. I made these caramel apples in batches of 50 for nearly every fundraiser and football game for over 15 years and they were always the first to sell out.
Now that my kids are adults, I can make them as they were intended, in batches of 10, instead of the "fundraiser 50". I now make a batch every year for those "special" trick-or-treaters that come knocking on my door on Halloween. Enjoy!
Note: If using store bought apples, it's a good idea to dunk them into boiling water for about 30 seconds before beginning, then drying very well. Some stores use a waxy coating which can make the caramel slide off as it cools. Try to use apples fresh from the farmer, farmer's market or orchard to prevent this. Here's how to de-wax the apples: pillsbury.com/...aramel-apple-how-to
Butter a cookie sheet and set aside. Place chopped peanuts in a deep-sided pie plate or bowl. Place stick into each apple.
Melt butter in saucepan. Then add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally 10-12 minutes or until mixture comes to a full low boil.
Stir in **sweetened** condensed milk. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally 20-25 minutes or until a small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball or candy thermometer reaches 245 degrees. (I always use a candy thermometer.)
Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Dip apples into caramel then roll in peanuts. Place on buttered cookie sheet to cool. Store in refrigerator in individual treat bags tied with ribbon.