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Naughty Or Nice

Traditionally associated with Bonfire Night, Toffee Apples are becoming just as popular a few days earlier for Halloween. Easy to make, and sweet to taste, they’re a hit with kids, have adults reminiscing, and now with two reasons to indulge what’s stopping you?

There’s no official place of creation although you may be unsurprised to know that it came from America with credit pointing in the direction of veteran candy-maker William W Kolb whom in 1908 was experimenting with a Christmas-themed red cinnamon potion into which he dropped an apple one day. Some say this was by accident, and some say on purpose, but whichever it was history, or legend, has it that he liked the end result and once he displayed them in his shop window their immediate popularity soon meant that demand outweighed production.

That said the practice of preserving fruit with sugar or honey is age-old, and both Halloween and Bonfire Night fall within the wake of the annual harvest.

They are still enjoy by people of all ages, although it’s not unknown for the younger ones to quickly bite off the toffee and dispose of the apple, whereas the older ‘kids’ are able to appreciate glorious union of the two flavours and textures.

OK here’s a wickedly sinister Halloween treat, and an always classic Bonfire favourite…

Halloween Toffee Apples 


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ cup liquid glucose/light corn syrup
  • A few drops black gel food colouring
  • 6 Granny Smith apples (or 12 small apples)


  1. Grease a piece of baking paper and place on a tray/baking sheet.
  2. Insert bamboo skewers in all the apples and set aside.
  3. In a medium pot, combine the sugar, water, glucose/corn syrup and food colouring and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels smooth when you rub it between your fingers.
  4. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and wash the sides of the pot down with a pastry brush dipped into clean water to prevent crystals from forming.
  5. Allow the caramel to boil until it reaches the hard crack stage (150°c/310°F on a candy thermometer).
  6. Carefully dip the apples into the hot candy mixture and place on the baking paper to set and cool for approximately an hour before serving.


Bonfire Toffee Apples


  • Selected apples
  • 1kg granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1/2 cream of tartar (not essential if you don't have it in)
  • 12-15 sticks or skewers


  1. Put the sticks into the apples at least halfway, and lay out a sheet of baking paper, or have a couple of non-stick cookie sheets ready.
  2. Put the sugar and water into a large saucepan, and stir to combine on a medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir in the cream of tartar. Increase the temperature and heat to hard crack stage, around 150˚C, at which point the toffee will turn a light brown colour. 
  3. Remove from the heat and dip each of the apples into the toffee to give a thin coat, then place the toffee apple on the cookie sheet or baking paper with the stick pointing up, and allow to cool (about half an hour or so).

*Please note that for maximum enjoyment ensure your apples are fresh and also that they don’t have a waxy coating.  Also with extremely hot liquid being used please ensure you keep the creative process away from children.

These couple of recipes can be found at and respectively