Gluten free, grain free, dairy free option, and refined sugar free!!!
This is the time of year that the kids go back to school, the air turns crisp and fresh, and apples picked right off the tree are the best! That is until you decide to coat them with caramel, and then they absolutely rule!!!
I found this great recipe for dairy and refined sugar free caramel dip off of meaningfuleats.com, and it’s great for dipping apple slices into! I kind of stumbled across a chewier caramel when making this recipe one day and have since LOVED IT so much I CANNOT go back!
It reminds me of the days in fall right before halloween, when my sister, Cassandra and some of her friends would come out from the city to our cute little hometown of Hood River (nestled between two gorgeous snow capped mountain peaks!) and we would all go to the pumpkin patch. We’d pick out pumpkins, walk through the corn maze, sample apple cider, and pick up a few bags full of apples to take home. Then we would head back to my mother’s house and make a big batch of caramel to dip the apples into to make caramel apples! It was the best!!!
It had sort of become our tradition every year in the Fall until my mom passed away a few years ago. It didn’t help that my kids and I developed a food sensitivity to refined sugar either! This caramel recipe is the closest it comes to that amazing caramel recipe my mom used to make! Even being refined sugar free, I can’t tell the difference! I challenge you to try it out and let me know if you think I am off my rocker when I say that!
Best Caramel Apples (Refined Sugar Free!!!)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Generously coats 4 medium sized apples or makes 30-40 caramel chews (depending on how big you make them.)
This chewy caramel recipe works to either coat apples or to cut into squares and wrap in parchment paper as little caramel chews!
3/4 cup organic coconut milk fat (give or take, depending on how much you can get off the top of a refrigerated can of full fat coconut milk. Natural Value Organic Coconut Milk is my favorite brand because it only contains coconut and water and the can lining is BPA free!)
3/4 cup honey
1/4 + 1/8 cups Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Coconut Sugar
1/2 tsp unrefined pink himalayan salt
4 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Place a 13.4 oz can of full fat coconut milk in your refrigerator preferably overnight. The coconut milk fat will separate from the liquid and will harden on top.
- Prepare a cookie sheet, or medium sized dish by lining it with parchment paper to cover the bottom and all sides.
- Get the coconut milk can out of the refrigerator and carefully spoon out the coconut fat off the top and place in a medium sized saucepan.
- Add the honey, coconut palm sugar, and salt to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to mix all ingredients up well.
- When boiling, reduce heat to medium, or until it just simmers (lightly bubbles on top) and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring often.
- When the caramel coats the back of a spoon, add the butter.
- Stir until melted and keep stirring continuously for a few more minutes over the heat source. The caramel will get lighter and more frothy looking.
- When this happens, remove the caramel from the heat source, add the vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly.
- Immediately pour into your prepared pan. If using to make caramel apples, spread caramel in a thin layer over prepared pan in the thickness you desire.
- Place pan in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes for caramel to completely cool and get hard enough to cut or shape.
- Pull the caramel out of the freezer and cut squares for candy pieces, or cut circles that will cover your apples. Feel free to place the caramel back in the freezer or fridge if needed to harden so you can separate the individual pieces easier.
*At room temperature the caramel will be sticky and chewy.
**Refrigerate if you want a harder chewy consistency (less sticky), or cut into pieces and freeze for months at a time to pull out a piece here and there for a quick dessert (if you can stay away from it that long!)
***You can make this recipe dairy free by using palm shortening in place of butter.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”