Happy Friday Everyone!! Yesterday’s post about the back to school party theme really got me wondering why we connect apples to a common teacher gift. I did some hunting and found out that the connection between apples and teachers originated in Denmark and Sweden around the 16th century? Teachers were not paid enough during those times so parents of the students sent in apples to the teachers to help feed them. Today in the US when it comes to back to school, classroom decorations, and school themed parties you will find apples on just about everything.

With that in mind, today I have found an amazing apple treat that students, parents and teachers can all enjoy. These apple caramel pops satisfy that apple caramel craving without all the mess. I found this recipe from Home Made Simple and cannot wait to try it out!! 

To make these apple caramel pops you will need:
   - 1 cup granulated sugar
   - 1/2 cup light corn syrup
   - 1/4 cup water
   - 1/2 teaspoon apple candy flavoring oil
   - 3 drops green or red food coloring or food gel, or more for darker color
   - 1 bag caramel squares, unwrapped (store bought just saves a little time!)
   - Lollipop sticks
   - a candy thermometer
   - a heat-resistant measuring jug with a pouring spout (portable pouring spout)

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, or parchment paper coated in cooking spray. 
2. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a large, heavy saucepot over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. 
3. Bring to a boil, then clip your candy thermometer to the side. Let boil, without stirring, until thermometer reads 295°F, about 3-5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. 
4. Once the bubbling slows down, stir in candy flavoring oil and food coloring/gel. Transfer to a heat-resistant jug with a pouring spout, or clip a portable pouring spout to the side of the pan. 
5. Working quickly and very, very carefully, pour syrup onto prepared baking sheet in 1” circles. It will spread a bit. Be sure to leave enough space between each for the lollipop sticks. 
6. While the circles are still warm, press lollipop sticks into them. To secure, gently twist each so the entire top of the stick is coated with candy. Let cool completely. 
7. Place unwrapped caramel squares in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and add 1 teaspoon water. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until smooth and melted, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 30 seconds. 
8. Dip lollipops halfway into caramel and return to baking sheet to cool. Enjoy immediately. Or refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, then wrap in cellophane, tie off with ribbon and store in an airtight container for up to one month. 
Tip: Both the lollipop syrup and caramel can quickly harden onto dishes. For easier cleaning, immediately soak them in very hot water. Soak and rinse until it comes off, then finish cleaning with dishwashing liquid.

So this year instead of sending in the traditional apple, send in one of these apple caramel pops and your student will go to the front of the class. What is your favorite apple treat? And for the teachers out there what was the best treat you ever received?




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