This year is the 200th Anniversary of the McIntosh apple, and there is an awesome (and unfortunately sold out) event taking place to celebrate it! On February 21st, 2011, people will gather to celebrate Family Day at the Westin Harbour Castle where they will try and break the Guinness World Record for the most kids bobbing for apples. You can learn more about this fun event at www.onapples.com.
As part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh, the Ontario Apple Growers have issued a blogger challenge to create the best candy apple recipe! I have never made a candy apple before, but it sounded like a lot of fun so I decided to give it a shot! The first step was to find some Ontario Grown apples. I had a lot to choose from, because our grocery store is packed with different varieties of Ontario Grown apples. I decided on some Red Delicious apples. My favourite apple is the Gala, but the majority rules in my house most of the time and my husband and son prefer Crispin apples. I decided to stray from both of these for this venture.
I gathered up a variety of ingredients that I thought I could use, including chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, MacIntosh’s Toffee, peanuts, candy hearts, chocolate sprinkles and white and pink icing. I had no real plan, except to make them BIG and gooey and good!
First I mixed a cup of chocolate chips with about the same amount of Mack toffee. I melted them in the microwave, but the mixture was too thick, so I moved it to a pot and added some milk and about a cup more of chocolate chips.
The chocolate toffee mixture turned into a delicious chocolate liquid….mmm.
After washing my apples and adding the sticks, I dipped them into the chocolate mixture and set them on a baking sheet (with parchment paper on it). I then moved them to the fridge so the chocolate could harden a bit. While they were in the fridge, I took the remaining chocolate mixture (there was still quite a lot), heated it until it was melted and added some peanuts to the mixture.
Doesn’t it look yummy? Just like fudge. I melted it until it was more of a liquid. I dipped the apples again, but found this heavier mixture was sliding all to the base, so I let it thicken a bit and then poured spoonfuls of it over the apples. I then returned the apples to the fridge overnight. I added 1 cup white chocolate chips to the chocolate/nut mixture, melted it and then refrigerated it as well.
In the morning, I mixed equal parts chocolate and peanut butter chips and melted them until liquid. I then poured that mixture over the candy apples and allowed it to run down the sides of the apple so that it resembled melted wax. I then sprinkled peanuts on top. The chocolate/peanut mixture thickened into a fudge-like substance that I broke into little pieces and sprinkled on top of the candy apples too. Since you can never get enough chocolate, we also shook some chocolate sprinkles on top of the chocolate fudge!
Next I took some white and pink icing and decorated the top of the apple. We added cinnamon candy hearts to some of the apples, but not all of them since some of my children think they are too hot and don’t like them.
The finished result is a huge, rich and sweet chocolate apple, that has a hint of toffee and peanut butter flavour!
- 6 Ontario Grown apples, washed (with sticks)
- 3 cups chocolate chips
- 1 cup toffee
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup peanut pieces
- Chocolate sprinkles
- White icing, piped
- Pink icing, piped
- cinnamon candy hearts, optional
- Melt two cups chocolate chips, 1 cup toffee and 1/2 cup milk in a double boiler
- Dip apples in chocolate mixture and place in refrigerator or freezer to harden (do not leave apples in the freezer for long periods of time).
- Add your peanuts to the chocolate mixture and melt again.
- Spoon the chocolate/nut mixture of the apples with a large serving spoon.
- Return the apples to the fridge for overnight. (I chose to leave the apples and fudge mixture overnight but they would likely be finished after 1-2 hours.
- Add 1 cup white chocolate chips to the chocolate/nut mixture, melt it again and pour the mixture into a baking dish on parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.
- When the apples and fudge mixture are hardened and thickened, take the apples out of the fridge and break up the fudge mixture into little pieces.
- Melt 1 cup chocolate chips with one cup of peanut butter chips, spoon over the apples. Allow it to run down the sides of the apples.
- Sprinkle peanuts and fudge pieces on top of melted chocolate.
- Shake chocolate sprinkles on top.
- If you want to include cinnamon hearts, crush them and sprinkle them on top.
- Pipe the white and pink icing on top of the apple in any design you prefer.
I really enjoyed making these candy apples, and it is something I will do again. My kids have enjoyed eating them too! I don’t need to bribe my kids to eat apples because they already enjoy them, but this is a great way to have a fun treat while having something healthy at the same time.
Watch www.onapples.com for more candy apple recipes!
In celebration of the McIntosh apple’s 200th anniversary, here are some fun facts…
McIntosh Apple Facts
- The original McIntosh tree was a chance discovery by John McIntosh in the Village of Dundela, Ontario in the spring of 1811.
- Many apple varieties we know today stem from the McIntosh including: the Cortland, the Lobo, the Melba, the Macoun and more.
- The original McIntosh tree was severely damaged by a house fire but continued to bear fruit on the side that was unaffected until it died in 1906. In 1912, a plaque was installed in honour of the tree.
- Every McIntosh tree and apple in the world is a descendent of the original McIntosh tree.
- The McIntosh apple represents approximately 25 per cent of Ontario’s total acreage.
- The McIntosh apple is grown in greater quantities than any other apple in Canada and the north-eastern United States combined.
- It is reputed that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple incorporated and Mac computers named the company after the McIntosh apple in 1976 after spending the summer working on a friend’s apple orchard.
- The McIntosh apple appears on the 1996 Canadian silver dollar to commemorate the 200th anniversary of John McIntosh’s arrival in Canada, rather than the year he discovered the tree. Designed by artist Roger Hill, the coin is titled “Canada’s Premiere Apple.”