It's starting to really feel like fall here in Albuquerque and I can see snow on the mountains now, so I made these at the perfect time! This was my first time ever making caramel, and my first time cooking with both a candy thermometer and real vanilla bean, so it was fun to try new things.
Everything went well until the very end. I was careful to not stir it like the directions said, and I gradually turned the heat up so it wouldn't boil over. I kept waiting and waiting, but the temp never got over 215 degrees. Then it started to smell burnt, so I quickly took it off the heat because I didn't want the flavor to be ruined! Well, I don't think it cooked long enough. The caramel was pretty thin and, as you can see, just ran off the apples. And my attempt to dip them in peanuts pretty much failed.
I don't know if my candy thermometer just wasn't accurate (it's a cheap one, and my first time using it), or if I was just impatient. It was my son's bedtime, and his bedroom is currently the kitchen since we're living in a one bedroom apartment right now, so I may have turned the heat up too high too fast.
In the end, they were still edible and quite yummy! My caramel wasn't too chewy and had a very nice vanilla flavor. I really liked using the real vanilla bean. I might have to make caramel apples a yearly fall time tradition!