Whether you're hosting a get together with friends, a party, a big event, or it's “just because,” you can never go wrong with a caramel apple bar! They're a breeze to set up, plus cheap and super delicious!
Caramel apple bar. Is your mouth watering just thinking about it? We are definitely big fans because they're not only delicious but super easy to put together! We love to entertain, and a caramel apple bar pretty much always makes it on our list of foods to serve.
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If you've never had one, then today is your lucky day! We're going to walk you through the super easy steps to set one up. Besides a few crucial items (ahem, caramel and apples), you can shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer for anything else you may need. #ShelfCooking
Let's get this caramel apple bar party started, shall we?!
ITEMS NEEDED FOR A CARAMEL APPLE BAR
It doesn't take much to kick your caramel apple bar off with a yummy bang! You can make this as extra or as simple as you'd like. It'll taste delicious no matter what, and that's really all people care about. 😉
Here are the basic must-haves for your caramel apple bar:
- Plates – Grab some cheap plates, bowls, or hotdog trays from the dollar store for people to make their sweet treat in.
- Apples – Granny Smith apples are always a crowd favorite because the sweet caramel offsets the tanginess perfectly. However, pretty much any tart apple will work! (We do suggest staying away from red delicious apples, though.) Wash and dry these before placing them out.
- Way to Cut Apples – Apples brown so quickly, so we don't cut them until we're ready to top and eat them! Keep a cutting board and apple slicer on hand so people can easily and safely cut their apples. You can also use a knife if you don't have an apple slicer, just keep it in a safe place when it's not in use!
- Skewers – Some people may want to keep their apple whole and eat it on a stick, so we keep some wooden skewers on hand for those! However, you can skip this if you don't already have some hanging out in a drawer in your kitchen.
- Caramel – Obviously! You can use any caramel, but hot, fresh, homemade caramel is always our go-to! Heat it up in a bowl or use a small slow cooker to keep it warm.
- Toppings – Make sure you have a few delicious toppings. We'll get to all of those options in a second! 😉
- Napkins – Because let's be honest, things are about to get messy! You'll want some heavy-duty napkins that can hold up to people wiping their sticky caramel hands on. Wet wipes will work, too!
Pretty simple, right? Line items up in that order so people can start at one end and work their way to the other.
OUR FAVORITE CARAMEL APPLE BAR TOPPINGS
Now, there's nothing wrong with dipping an apple in some caramel and calling it a day. It's easy and still totally delicious! However, we like to have a variety of toppings when we're doing a caramel apple bar, and we've never had anybody complain.
Do NOT feel like you have to have all of these options! Put out a few that you already have on hand. Don't break the bank or go out of your way to get everything listed here! Raid your cupboard shelves and use up some of those bags of 1/4 filled crushed crackers, coconut and chocolate chips.
Check out some of our favorite toppings:
- Mini M&Ms
- Chopped nuts
- Crushed graham crackers
- Melted chocolate
- Chocolate chips
- Chopped up candy bars (leftover Halloween candy, anyone?)
- Crushed Oreos
- Crushed pretzels
- Chopped up Heath bar
- Melted white chocolate
- Cereal (crushed if it's larger pieces)
- Peanut butter (melted if it's too thick to drizzle)
- Mini marshmallows
- Coconut flakes
Put them in some cute serving bowls or in a muffin tray with spoons and line them up after the caramel (since that needs to be drizzled on first). Label them using tent cards or cute chalkboard stands so everybody can easily tell what each topping is. Easy peasy!
HOW TO MAKE CARAMEL APPLES
Getting the perfect caramel apple can be a bit tricky! Here are a few simple steps that will help you get it right on your first try. We make sure to put our apples in the fridge in advance so that they are nice and chilled!
Step 1: Clean your apples! Rinse them thoroughly and then dry them off. You'll want to make sure you remove that waxy layer so the caramel can stick!
Step 2: Prep the areas you'll be working! Lay out some parchment paper to put the dipped apples on immediately after dipping. Don't forget to clear a space in the fridge to place your apples and set out the toppings so they are ready to apply to the freshly dipped apples.
Step 3: Dip your apples! Make sure that caramel is nice and warm! Work quickly to dip them and place them on a parchment lined pan. Add toppings while the caramel is warm and place them in the fridge to chill! Once the caramel is set you can add a second layer of chocolate or even drizzle chocolate on top to make it look suuuper fancy!
Pro Tip: Don't want to wait for the caramel to set? Chop your apples and toss them on a plate. Drizzle caramel over the top and add the toppings of choice and bam! You have quick caramel apple nachos. Just as sweet and delicious, but way faster and practically mess-free!
WHEN TO HAVE A CARAMEL APPLE BAR
Some occasions just call for a caramel apple bar! Honestly, “just because” is our favorite time to have one, but they're so fun for different occasions. Here's when we pull out the big guns for one:
- Having friends over
- Baby or bridal showers
- Holiday parties, such as Halloween, Christmas, or Valentine's Day
- Birthday parties
- Wedding receptions (slice them and toss in lemon or lime juice to prevent browning — use within a few hours of slicing)
- Family reunions
We haven't met anyone who can resist a caramel apple bar, from young kids to adults! They're always the life of the party, so don't be surprised if people come over after they hear you're having this tasty treat. 😉
What's your favorite topping? Let us know in the comments!
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Looking for more great ideas?
- If you love caramel, then you definitely love these copycat Starbucks fall drinks!
- Throwing a party? Check out our top, cheap party foods ideas that'll work into the budget perfectly!
- Remember to keep your grocery budget in check even when you're hosting fun get-togethers like this!
Now, get to dippin'!