Peanut butter candy apples are easier to make than you may think. AND, perhaps more importantly, making them is just fun.
I’ve wanted to make this fall gourmet apple treat for a really long time. And I finally took the plunge and made my first ones while filming the youtube video that goes with this post (you can find it below).
I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. It seemed like it wasn’t going to be all that easy to be honest.
I was thinking about how the peanut butter might not stick to the apple. And how it wouldn’t be very easy to cover it with chocolate if it did.
BUT … it turned out to be a breeze. So easy, that I imagine I’ll be making these really tasty treats just about every year from now on.
I adore the rustic look that the tree branch stick gives them. It’s particularly great if you’re making them for the halloween season.
And you should, because they make a really special treat for your very favorite trick or treaters.
Peanut Butter Candy Apples vs Traditional Candy Apples
The term candy apple conjures up pictures in my mind of apples with a shiny, deep red coating on a bright white stick. Most of us have eaten at least a few of them throughout our lives.
There is something so darn appealing about that almost mirror-like red coating. It screams, ‘eat me’.
But, the fact of the matter is, they are just not worth the trouble it takes to eat them.
They taste good, I won’t argue about that. But they are pretty darn difficult to chew, and that gorgeous coating just sticks to your teeth. Like, it REALLY STICKS to your teeth.
And then … there’s the fact that they’re loaded with corn syrup. Yep, that’s right. There is A LOT of corn syrup in a traditional candy apple.
So, I preferred to indulge in gourmet candy apples that were made by a chocolate shop back home. They were smothered in caramel, coated in chocolate, and then topped with crushed candy, cookie pieces, nuts, and/or sprinkles.
So darn good. But one day I took a closer look at what was in them and realized that caramel is loaded with corn syrup too. YUCK.
I decided that making my own and coating them in peanut butter would be a better way to go.
They have more sugar than I would like. But they are not an every day food. And the remainder of the ingredients are really pretty acceptable for such a decadent sweet treat.
Ingredients Needed For This Recipe
Seven simple ingredients is all it took to make a batch of peanut butter candy apples.
Here’s a list of them for your reference …
- APPLES – I used sweetango apples to make the recipe for this post. The gourmet apples that I bought back home from the chocolate shop were made with granny smith apples. The sweetango apples were very good. But, when I make these candy apples again I will use granny smith, as the tartness in them really adds something to the dish.
- PEANUT BUTTER – Choose a peanut butter that has only peanuts (and maybe salt) in the ingredients. Their peanut flavor is more prominent. Besides other peanut butter contain high levels of sugar and this recipe is plenty sweet enough as it is.
- BUTTER – Salted farm fresh butter is always my first choice. However, any salted butter will work well in this recipe.
- VANILLA EXTRACT – Any vanilla extract will work in this recipe. If you are able to source, or make, pure vanilla extract that’s best. The ingredients should simply be alcohol and vanilla bean.
- CONFECTIONARY SUGAR – There really is no way to pretend that confectionary sugar is good for you. It isn’t. I just bought the cheapest bag of confectionary sugar I could find at my local grocery store, and tried not to think about it too much.
- MILK CHOCOLATE CHIPS – Milk chocolate chips are readily available in the grocery store and they work great for this recipe. You can use melting chocolates if you have a place to buy them.
- PEANUTS – I chose dry roasted peanuts to make my peanut butter candy apples. They were great, and I do think you could tell that they were dry roasted. But, I really think you can use any peanuts at all.
Choosing Apples To Make Peanut Butter Candy Apples
As mentioned above, I will likely use a granny smith apple the next time that I make these peanut butter candy apples.
Granny smith apples are very crisp, and just tart enough to compliment any sweet recipey are used in. The contrast between the sweetness of the other ingredients and the tartness of the apple definitely lends something special to dishes made with this apple.
However, there are many apples out there to choose from. And it’s my opinion that any one of them would work really well in this recipe.
It’s not really a matter of whether or not the recipe is going to taste good with the apple you use. Any apple will taste good. It is more a matter of your personal preference.
So, choose an apple you like and give it a try. OR … pick up a variety of apples and try them all to see what you like best.
Preparing The Apples For This Recipe
I’ve always known that commercial apples are coated with wax before they hit the grocery store shelves. This is done to make them appear more palatable to the consumer. It makes them nice and shiny, very appealing.
But while I was researching for this recipe I learned something else about this practice. And also a bit about the natural process that occurs with apples, wax, and self-preservation.
Apples produce a wax to coat their skin all on their own. They do this because it helps reduce moisture loss through their skin, which allows them to remain fresh for longer periods of time.
Some of this natural wax is removed by commercial producers when they wash the apples for market. This is why they apply synthetic wax to them.
The synthetic wax extends their life in the same way that their own natural wax does. The difference is the effect that consuming synthetic products has on human health. But that is a tale for another time.
For the purposes of this post I’m going to point out that the wax that is on apples, be it natural or not, can interfere with the adhesion of the coating you’re trying to apply to it. So it must be removed.
It is easy enough to do, no worries. Simply pour a bit of white vinegar in a small container, dip your vegetable brush in it, and scrub down those apples. Be generous with the vinegar and scrub thoroughly.
Then rinse them off and dry them with a clean towel. This will prepare them for the recipe. It only takes a few minutes and it makes all the difference in the world.
How To Make Peanut Butter Candy Apples
There is a full tutorial, on how to make this recipe, available at the bottom of this post. You can print it out and have it on hand while you’re making your peanut butter candy apples, if you like.
Here is a breakdown of the basic steps.
Collect and trim the sticks for the apples. Wash the apples and insert the sticks.
Make the peanut butter coating. Refrigerate it for 1 hour. Mold the coating around the apples and return them to the refrigerator.
Melt the chocolate and spread it on top of the peanut butter coating using a teaspoon.
Roll the bottom of the apple in chopped peanuts before the chocolate hardens completely.
Place the apples in the refrigerator until it is time to eat them. Cut, core, and indulge!
Suggested Toppings For This Recipe
I’m a huge fan of chopped, roasted peanuts rolled all over my peanut butter candy apples. For me, they are the perfect fit.
But there are really endless other choices that can be made here.
Try rolling your candy apples in …
- Shredded Coconut
- Chopped Peanut Butter Cups
- Reeses Pieces
- Chopped Dried Fruit
- Chopped Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, or Pecans
- Crushed Cookies
- Chopped Bacon
The sky’s the limit. Have fun, and make your apple just the way you like it.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE APPETIZER/SNACK RECIPES …
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PEANUT BUTTER CANDY APPLES
These peanut butter candy apples look great and they taste even better. They're tons of fun to put together. And they make a great gift.
- white vinegar
- 6 sturdy sticks, 9" long, trimmed at an angle on one end
- 6 small-medium apples
- 1 1/2 c peanut butter, well-blended 100% pure
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 bags milk chocolate chips, 16 oz
- 1 1/2 c dry roasted peanuts, chopped
- Pour some white vinegar in a small container. Dip a vegetable brush in it and use it to scrub off the outside of the apples. Be generous with the vinegar.
- Rinse the apples and dry them with a clean towel.
- Insert the raw end of the sticks into the stem end of the apple and set them aside.
- Put peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until they are creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar in 1 cup at a time, and beat into a pea sized batter.
- Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Take 1/6 of the batter into your hands and form it into a thick disk.
- Lay the disk flat on the palm of your hand and place an apple on it. Press the disk up onto the bottom of the apple with your palm. And then begin to mold the batter upward onto the apple.
- Push the batter upward until it almost covers the apple.
- Place the apple on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it in the refrigerator.
- Repeat this action with all the apples.
- Place the milk chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt them down over medium heat. Stir them often to prevent them from stiffening up. They will look as though they are holding their shape in the pan long after they've melted.
- Place the chopped peanuts in a wide shallow bowl. You will want to be able to roll the apples in them in this bowl.
- Take the apples one at a time and cover them almost to the top of the peanut butter layer with melted chocolate. A household teaspoon works very well for this.
- Immediately after you coat them with chocolate, roll them in peanuts covering them almost to the top of the chocolate layer. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl is covered with peanuts when you set the apple in it. Otherwise, the chocolate will come off the apple onto the bowl and make it difficult to roll it.
- Do one at a time so that the chocolate doesn't harden before you get the peanuts on.
- Place them back on the parchment lined sheet pan and refrigerate them for about an hour.
- Slice and core them to serve.
- Or just take a big 'ol messy bite right out of one on the stick!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1440Total Fat: 88gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 45gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 492mgCarbohydrates: 147gFiber: 13gSugar: 118gProtein: 29g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 10/19/2022. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
You’ve got to be kidding me? Apples with peanut butter and chocolate! This looks divinely delicious!
It is divinely delicious. It really is. AND just so easy 😉
Brad MacAonghais says
Definitely respect you bad mouthing corn syrup and being honest about the sugar but like you said, once a year
I try to avoid sugar and I make a lot of desserts that are healthy. But I always indulge in a little ‘too much sweet’ in October. This year because I’m doing posts for the blog, a little too much has really been just too much, LOL!