4 wooden craft or lollipop sticks
4 small very red McIntosh, Cortland or Empire apples,
rinsed and dried, stems removed*
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon red food coloring*
Dried unsweetened coconut flakes (in health-food stores)
* For yellow candy apples, use Golden Delicious apples and yellow food coloring. For green candy apples, use Granny Smith and green food coloring.
To avoid sugar-syrup burns, wear rubber gloves when dipping the apples.
Insert stick into center of stem end of each apple. Line baking sheet with nonstick liner or aluminum foil.
In 2-quart heavy saucepan, combine sugar, the water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, swirling pan occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high; bring mixture to a boil. Attach candy thermometer to side of saucepan. Boil mixture until temperature registers 300 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove syrup from heat. Swirl in food coloring, tilting saucepan, until blended. Holding apple by stick and tilting pan, swirl each apple in syrup until coated all over. Lift apple and gently twirl over saucepan, letting excess drip back into pan. (If coating in coconut, sprinkle apple with coconut.) Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples. Let apples stand at room temperature 1 hour or until coating hardens.
Per serving: Makes 4 apples. Per apple: 337 calories, 0 protein, 88 g carbohydrate, 0 fat, 3 g fiber, 0 cholesterol, 33 mg sodium