Candy Apples

Source: Martha Stewart, October 2005
adapted There's Always Thyme to Cook
makes about 6 apples

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring, (optional)
or instead of food coloring, 1/2 cup of red hot cinnamon candies (optional)
6 medium apples
parchment paper

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup, and food coloring OR red hots, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high. Insert candy thermometer and continue to boil until temperature reaches between 300 degrees and 310 degrees (hard crack stage), about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, insert a wooden stick into the top of each apple, pushing about halfway through; set aside. When mixture reaches temperature, immediately remove from heat. Working quickly, dip apples in sugar mixture until completely coated. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; allow to cool.