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Caramel Apples

8 firm red apples
8 chopsticks
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegan margarine
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
4 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

• Thoroughly wash and dry the apples to remove the wax. (If wax is on the apple, the coating will not stick.) Remove each stem and replace with a chopstick.
• Grease a cookie sheet.
• Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir until smooth. Gently bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a little of the caramel forms a firm ball when dropped into a bowl of ice water. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
• Swirl the apples in the caramel syrup until coated. Place on the cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Makes 8 servings

Variations:
• For nutty caramel apples, let the caramel harden a bit, then roll the apple in chopped nuts. Sprinkles and crumbled Oreos can also be used.
• For “tuxedo” caramel apples, let the caramel harden, then dip the apples into melted dark chocolate, leaving a little caramel showing at the top. Let the chocolate harden a bit. Pour melted vegan white chocolate chips into a sandwich bag. Cut a corner off the bag and squeeze white chocolate swirls onto the apples. Let dry.

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