Did you know that it is the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh apple in Canada?? To celebrate the Ontario Apple Growers’ are having a Winter Apple Ball this Family Day (Monday, February 21st) in Toronto. There they will attempt a Guinness World Record for the most kids (18 and younger) bobbing for apples. In spirit of the celebrations I thought I would share with you a recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Candy Apples – think chocolate bar meets caramel apple.

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Apple

4 Ontario apples such as Cortland, Honeycrisp or McIntosh – washed and dried
4 wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
1 bag (14oz) soft caramel candy
2 TBSP water
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 1/2 cups peanut butter cup chocolate bars, chopped into small chunks

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil, parchment paper or waxed paper and spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Stick skewers or popsicle sticks into the apples at the stems. You may wish to remove the stems but I like to leave them on. It can give you a little something more to hold onto if your stick wants to come out of the apple. Place the chopped peanut butter cups in a shallow dish or plate for later.

If your caramels are individually wrapped, remove the wrapping. Place caramels and the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring at the half way point. The caramel should be completely smooth and melted by the end.

Hold an apple by the skewer and dip it in the caramel, tilting the bowl at an angle and rotating the apple to cover it completely with a smooth, even layer. If necessary, use a spoon to pour caramel over the top so that the entire apple is covered. Bring it out of the caramel and twirl it to remove excess caramel. Roll caramel apple in the peanut butter cup chunks while caramel is still sticky.

Repeat with remaining apples, caramel, and peanut buttercup topping. Place the caramel-covered apples in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.

Place the chocolate chips and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the chips are melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate (as much or as little as you like) over the cooled apples.

Refrigerate the apples until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. If not serving the apples right away, wrap them tightly and individually in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.