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Williams-Sonoma sells them without the stick, which you can certainly do. If you want a big fat stick though, I recommend this package from Walmart for 97 cents. (Just use the 4 or so fat ones, not the skinny ones)
Here is the recipe for Deluxe Caramel Apples
6 Red Delicious or Granny Smith apples, chilled (I used 3 HUGE "HoneyCrisp" apples)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (6 oz.) (opt.)
14 oz. individually wrapped caramels - have your kids unwrap them!
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1. Wash and dry apples. Insert stick into stem end of each apple about 3/4 way deep. (You may have to twist, and then pound the stick a little with the flat end of a meat tenderizer depending on how hard your apples are!)
Place pecans in a pile on a 12 inch sheet of wax paper.
Line cooke sheet with waxed paper.
2. In 1 -quart saucepan, melt caramels with 1 Tbsp. milk and 1 Tbsp. water. over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat.
3. Holding one apple at a time, quickly spoon (a big spoon) the caramel all around the top of the apple (leaving a little of the apple to peek through), then the sides, and the bottom to coat completely. (If caramel mixture begins to harden, warm again over low heat.)
Roll in pecans, pressing pecans lightly into caramel. (I would then turn it upside down for a minute to keep the pecans from sliding). Transfer to cookie sheet and stick in fridge for 15 minutes
4. Put choc. chips in a small microwavable bowl and microwave on 50% power about 1 minute or until chocolates melt. Stir until smooth.
5. Snip a tiny bit off the corner of a disposable decorating bag, OR a ziploc bag. Fill with chocolate, close and twist the top, and decorate "loops" around the top of the apple. You can keep adding more loops if you want it really fancy.
6. Refrigerate 15 minutes to allow chocolate to set. Loosely cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Let apples thaw at room temp for 15 minutes to soften caramel before cutting into wedges to serve.
OH YEAH! Remember the rug on my landing? It is on sale at walmart for $21 instead of $25!
Have a great day!