As a child, a sweetly coated caramel or candy apple was a special seasonal treat, although rarely completely eaten in one sitting. Sadly they don't store particularly well once bitten into, resulting in a discolored gooey mess and pouting faces the next day. To the rescue: the popular mini apple caramel treats showing up everywhere on recipe websites.
For my version, I switched out caramel for a more dental friendly peanut butter coating in the same toasty color and added a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.
Large ripe apples - any variety
Meltable flavored disks
Oversized toothpicks or lollipop sticks
Fall leaves or accents
1) Using melon baller, scoop ball shapes out of widest part of apple
2) Insert toothpick in mini apple and swirl in melted peanut butter mixture covering any peeled portion but leaving a bit of skin peeking out for that authentic caramel apple look.
3) dip into crushed peanuts and Voila!
Let cool on wax paper or place them in mini cupcake liners, if desired
I created a quick label using vintage images from the Graphics Fairy and hung from mini clothespins
There are lots of fun and fancy Fall party picks available at party and gourmet stores, but I opted to simply spruce up some of the oversize toothpicks with pressed small leaves from my yard or a few knots of twine.
If you have leftover melted peanut butter coating and crushed peanuts, you can make a quick peanut butter bark. Stir crushed peanuts into melted coating and spread onto wax paper
Let cool completely and break into smaller sections
serve with the mini apples or pop in a mason jar as a sweet gift or favor.
Waste Not: After creating mini apples with melon baller, the extra unused apple scraps can be diced and added to muffin batter or other recipes
White or dark chocolate or other flavor melts can be used as an alternative, if allergies or taste rule out peanut butter. sprinkles, walnuts or mini chocolate chips can stand in for crushed peanuts.