Miniature Peanut Butter Caramel Apples #Applelove

If you love caramel dipped apples, you’ll love these almost bite-sized, miniature peanut butter caramel dipped apples! Using tiny apples, like lady apples, gives you a more manageable caramel apple and less calories, though not any less delicious and enjoyable! Easier on the teeth too!

Peanut Butter Caramel Dipped Lady Apples

One of my first childhood cooking memories (by myself) is one I remember as if it happened yesterday. It’s crystal clear; every detail engraved onto my brain matter like the inscription on the bracelet given to me by my first case of puppy love.

“I will love you forever – R”

Hmmm, I guess that means he still loves me, huh? ;D

I think I was about 4 or 5, and my Mother was resting in bed with a cold. I was watching a PBS show called Zoom (OH – 2-1-3-4 – send it to Zoom!), and they had a little cooking segment which I always looked forward to. I’m not sure they actually ever cooked anything, but it was food preparation, which was new and exciting to me. How to spread peanut butter on apples! With a plastic knife, of course.

I went into the kitchen, grabbed the peanut butter, a plastic knife from a bag in the drawer, a few apples. and pulled a chair (or stool, the one detail that’s a bit fuzzy) to the counter.  I climbed up and proceeded to ‘host’ my own cooking show, teaching my imaginary audience how to spread peanut butter on sliced apples.

Recreating my first cooking show and the mess.

After about 30 minutes; apple pieces strewn all over the floor, smears of peanut butter all over me, the counter, and the cupboards, my Mother, obviously having heard me talking to myself in a loud, cheery voice for a longer period of time than usual, decided to investigate.  She screamed, she freaked, and she shrieked.

OMG. look at this mess! What did you doooo!?! Wait until your father gets home!! I’m going to leave this mess for him to see!”

A whack on the butt, then sent to my room (isn’t that called child abuse nowadays?).

Regardless of the outcome, it was a moment of discovery, and a fond memory that always slivers its way into my answer when asked about how and when I got into cooking, baking,  pastry, etc.

So now it’s Fall and Halloween is approaching. Most markets are loaded with pumpkins and apples, but the ones that have caught my eye are the cutest, tiniest, green apples with just a blush of red. They’re about 2-inches in diameter, and have been beckoning me with their shiny blush every time I walk by.  I finally couldn’t resist and bagged a dozen of these little lady apples (not to be confused with Pink Lady apples).  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Miniature caramel apples!

It’s been ages since I’ve had a caramel dipped apple, and since these apples are so small, the amount of caramel consumed would be minuscule and easy on the toofies.  But wait, just plain old caramel? No way.  I needed to revisit my first cooking show.  There was definitely going to be peanut butter involved, and no one was sending me to my room this time.

Miniature Peanut Butter Caramel dipped Apples! Using tiny Lady apples for an almost bite-sized caramel dipped apple is not only fun, but easier on the teeth!

To show you how small Lady apples are, I placed one next to a medium Fuji apple.  Lady apples are tiny..about 2 to 3-inches in diameter

When I got home, I saw I was out of peanut butter. I cursed to myself silently while checking the mail, then noticed a package on the doorstep. When I opened it, I couldn’t believe my eyes or luck, two jars of Planter’s peanut butter! Divine intervention? Well, not exactly, more like perfect timing.  I had opted in to receive these jars from Planters via the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s Program and the National Peanut Board, about a week or less before (you all know what a peanut butter freakazoid I am).  Things like this don’t normally happen to me since I’m sort of the living, breathing, walking, talking epitome of Murphy’s Law aka Queen Murphy’s Law.

Frankly, I’d love nothing more than to abdicate that throne, and this was certainly a good start!

Miniature Peanut Butter Caramel dipped Apples! Using tiny Lady apples for an almost bite-sized caramel dipped apple is not only fun, but easier on the teeth!
Upon researching the lady apple, I saw I wasn’t the first to think of dipping these little mamas.  Martha, of course, had dipped the ladies years before, as well as Peggy Cullem, but did they dip them in a peanut butter caramel? I think not. Then I realized I didn’t have any candy apple or popsicle sticks on hand.  Once again, things went my way. I recalled Martha using tree twigs as sticks. I always loved that idea and in fact, she used them to dip her lady apples, as did Peggy Cullem.

OK, so outside of the peanut butter in the caramel, no real originality, but who cares? These were going to be so cute and so well-received.  Perfect little 3 or 4 biters of tart, sweet, healthy apple with barely enough caramel to even come close to ruining your diet or teeth (unless you eat more than two of these in one sitting, which I did, of course).

They’re also perfect little Halloween party favors, or a great trick-or-treat goodie or sweet snack for the kids that won’t result in them swinging from the chandelier with an embossed invitation to join the cavity creep brigade.

Miniature Peanut Butter Caramel dipped Apples! Using tiny Lady apples for an almost bite-sized caramel dipped apple is not only fun, but easier on the teeth!
I used the caramel recipe from my passion fruit filled bonbons, futzed with the amount of ingredients a bit, and added peanut butter and vanilla, but this time I used Peggy Cullem’s method for making the caramel, and it worked.

Roll these cutie-pie, dipped apples in chopped peanuts, sprinkles, candy, or anything you like outside of nuts and bolts (unless you really dislike the recipient).  If you’d like, dip the lower half of each apple in melted chocolate once the caramel sets, or just drizzle with chocolate. They’re also beautiful dipped in the peanut butter caramel with no extra decor (calories); it’s entirely up to you!

Miniature Peanut Butter Caramel Dipped Apples

Peanut Butter Caramel Dipped Lady Apples
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 12 to 14 caramel apples
  • 12 to 14 Lady apples (or the smallest apples you can find)
  • 12 twigs or popsicle sticks.
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup hot heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  1. Thoroughly wash and dry apples and twigs. Stick twigs into apples and set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Place ½ cup of the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until light amber in color, about 5-7 minutes. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down sides of pan to prevent crystallization as the mixture boils. While the sugar and water is coming to a boil, in another pot, bring heavy cream to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Remove sugar -water saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the remaining half cup of sugar, corn syrup, hot heavy cream, salt and butter (STAND will bubble and gurgle like crazy - you could burn yourself! Also, the mixture will seem like it's seizing, but keep stirring until smooth.). Return to the heat and insert a candy thermometer. Cook until the thermometer registers 240 Fahrenheit, about 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool for about 1 minute, then stir in the vanilla extract and peanut butter until smooth.
  4. Working quickly, dip the lady apples into the caramel, letting any excess drip back into the pan. If caramel is still too thin for dipping, wait another minute or two and try again, until the peanut butter caramel coats it thickly. Set the dipped apples on the prepared baking sheet (roll in toppings immediately after dipping, if using). If the caramel becomes too thick while dipping, gently rewarm it over low heat. Let the caramel apples cool for at least 1 hour before serving.


Peanut Butter Caramel Dipped Little Lady Apples


October is #applelove month!

Please join in on the #applelove fun by linking up any apple recipe from the month of October 2011. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #applelove event. The twitter hashtag is #applelove.

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39 Responses to Miniature Peanut Butter Caramel Apples #Applelove

  1. Oh wow these are so adorable! I’m starting to plan all my Halloween baking/cooking now and these look absolutely perfect. Love the peanut butter twist too…that’s my kind of toffee apple!

  2. They look fabulous! Do you know that I never had one of those… It is time to remedy to that sad situation!



  3. Megan says:

    Caramel is one thing… but peanut butter caramel? That sounds amazing! And the twigs are adorable!

  4. Suz says:

    I was just thinking about toffee apples. I think your PB twist is brilliant. I love a bit of salty sweet!

  5. Dan says:

    Looks delicious. Curious as to the peanut butter and caramel flavor.. haven’t had a candied apple in a long time usually to hard on the teeth. Certainly putting me in the Halloween mood. Nice photos too!

  6. Evelyne says:

    Gosh you have the craziest true stories. It is surprising you ever returned to the kitchen after such a traumatic experience 😉 But so glad you did, I love the fact that these apples are smaller so you get the caramel (and PB) experience without getting sick of it half way. So cute placed on leaves

  7. caramel apples….chicago’s fall favorite for sure! love the photos!

  8. Sandra says:

    Cuties. I’ll be looking for an apple recipe. That shouldn’t be a hard task.

  9. Sue says:

    These are so cute! I love that they’re the perfect snack size apples, and that they have peanut butter mixed in! I’m a bit of a “peanut butter freak” too:) Love them, Lisa! Have a great weekend!

  10. Such a fun idea! Using little apples so you get more caramel per bit is brillant.

  11. Jenni says:

    Oh, those look so fun!! I love the sticks, haha.

  12. Simone says:

    O those looks so very good! I can so picture you sitting in that room with peanutbutter and apple all around Wouldn’t any mom freak out at that thought? But you’ve certainly made up for that with these peanut butter caramel gorgeous apples. I’ve not seen little ladies, I know we have pink ladies but not sure if we can get these small apples here. But it would work with a bigger apple anyway, so that’ll be good! Love it!

  13. Amy says:

    Love your first TV show! 😉 What a precious childhood memory!

    These apples are so tempting. Gotta love these mini version in saving calories. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award !

  15. Suzanne says:

    Lisa, I love these little ladies! I just saw Paula Dean on some cover with some too and I thought I should have used sticks for mine but oh well. The sad part of your memory was your mom freaking out and you remembering it, I cringed when I read that part (a little to close to home). I freaked out many times with my daughter without thinking and that’s probably why she hates cooking, Oh if I could re-do her younger years and my reactions I would. But I’ve learned since and I am a pretty good teenage parent so hopefully it helps cancel out some of those bad memories. I used to be so incredibly up tight, pluck me with a string up tight, age and meds. help with that tho. I sure wish I could come over and enjoy some of those apples with you I love pb spread on apples so I know with the caramel I would be in heaven!! Love ya girl, sorry I haven’t been there to talk to lately.

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  17. Dinavia says:

    These are so cute! Love the photos!

  18. I may be part of minority, preferring caramel over chocolate! But I do not mind them collaborating, LOL ;-).

  19. Jamie says:

    Ha! Great minds think alike as today I am making an #applelove dessert with my caramel! But oh how I loved caramel apples when I was a kid! Now, not to diss peanut butter, which I so love, but as soon as you mentioned drizzling chocolate over the caramel apples, well, that’s for me!!! And I love your story of your tv cooking show! And the mess! Ha ha ha you still make a mess when you cook, don’t you? Or the cooking gods come and give you a smack on the tushy, get you in trouble and send you to your room. But no matter the klutz… every single thing you bake is fabulous!!!

  20. Baker Street says:

    Am I very late? Are there any left over for me? These look absolutely stunning lisa!

  21. These are so gorgeous!! I love the sticks. Beautiful photos. And peanut butter caramel?? Bestill my heart! Apples and peanut butter are my favorite snack!

  22. Lisa~~ says:

    Very cute little treats. I love the addition of pb to the caramel. Maisie and I adore pb on apples and she would have so much fun with this…I see a Maisie cooking project in the works.

  23. Lora says:

    These are darling. Love the peanut butter caramel. Wow.

  24. Oh my goodness these are just too cute!

  25. Cindy says:

    I love these! Definitely making them for Halloween! Thank you!

  26. Mark says:

    Is there a lbig man version of these? I think you need to supersize these ;.>P

  27. Shaz says:

    Oooh, these are just absolutely adorable Lisa! Unfortunately we are at the last days of our apple season but I’m definitely bookmarking for next year 🙂

  28. Liz says:

    Oh, how fabulous!!! Love the tiny apples and the twigs are such a wonderful touch (leave it to Martha!). And I also appreciate the higher caramel to apple ratio in these gems 🙂

  29. Oh, Zoom! I remember that show!! And they once made challah . . . Love the idea of adding in pb to caramel–that is something I must remember for the next time I add caramel to a dessert (esp. a caramel/chocolate dessert). The sticks add such an elegant touch.

  30. Gorgeous!! And love the divine intervention (from one PB lover to another 🙂

  31. Khalilah says:

    I’m definitely making these for Halloween…the peanut butter IN the caramel is such a great idea!!

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  34. your TV cooking show and, as a mom, could picture the whole scene 🙂 Mini caramel peanut butter apples sound perfect – and I adore the sticks!

  35. Toxi says:

    These are so cute where can I ind mini lady apples?

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Toxi! You should be able to find them in most supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and orchards. This is peak apple season, so you shouldn’t have a problem, finding them 🙂

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