- 4 ripe apples
- 4 wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
- 14 ounces (1 bag) soft caramel candy
- 2 tbsp water
- 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tsp shortening
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1.5 cups peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the chopped peanut butter cups and peanuts in a small bowl and set aside for now.
2. Wash and dry the apples carefully. Remove the stems, and stick the skewers firmly in the stem ends.
3. Place the unwrapped caramels and the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir, then microwave for an additional minute or until completely melted. The caramel should be smooth and liquid by the end.
4. 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 upside down to remove excess caramel.
5. While the caramel is still wet and sticky, press a handful of the chopped peanut/peanut butter cup mixture all around the sides of the apple. Repeat with remaining apples, caramel, and peanut toppings. Place the caramel-covered apples in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.
6. Place the chocolate chips and 1 tsp shortening in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the chips are melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating.
7. Stir the chocolate until it is smooth. Using a spoon, pour the chocolate over the top of the apple so that it drips down over the caramel and peanuts decoratively. Repeat with the remaining apples and chocolate.
8. Place the peanut butter chips and 1 tsp shortening in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the chips are melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating.
9. Transfer the melted chips into a small plastic bag and snip off a small corner of the bag. Drizzle the peanut butter chips in a thin line over the top of each apple for a beautiful finishing touch. Refrigerate the apples until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. If you will not be serving the apples immediately, tightly wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.