Candied caramel apples are reminiscent of the days when the circus would roll into town or when the annual county fair would take place. Their nostalgic appeal thus makes them ideal favors. They can be packaged to not only showcase their scrumptious appearance, but also transform them into nifty card holders that form part of the table decor. Just follow the basic procedure below. Then, for ideas on creative twists to make these goodies really pop, refer to the tips that follow.
Materials you will need:
- Caramel apples wrapped in clear wrap
- Card stock or construction paper, size: 8 ½” by 11″
- Pencil with eraser
- Invisible tape
- 12″ organza rounds in red
- Marker or felt-tip pen
Important note: Because caramel melts very quickly, particularly in humid or tropical areas, work on this project in a cool place or in an air-conditioned room.
Step 1: Lay Out the Materials
Gather all of the materials together, but keep the caramel apples in a cool place.
Step 2: Measure the Paper into Rectangles
To create the cards for the favors, take a sheet of card stock or construction paper, either in plain white or in a color within the occasion’s color palette. Using a ruler and pencil, mark off four rectangular pieces, each measuring 5½” by 4¼”. Repeat this procedure to make enough cards for the expected guests. Cut these out.
Step 3: Fold Each Rectangle in Half
Fold each rectangle in half lightly, making sure to avoid leaving a permanent crease. Decide on a shape appropriate for the theme of the event. One example would be a heart.
Step 4: Draw the Chosen Shape with a Pencil
With a pencil, draw half of a heart on each folded rectangle, with the midsection of the heart positioned at the paper’s fold. Use a light touch so that the pencil marks can be easily erased later on. Also consider the size of the caramel apples to ensure a proportionate-sized heart.
Step 5: Cut the Shapes to Make Cards
Cut the hearts out carefully, following the pencil outline. Then, erase any traces of the pencil marks.
Step 6: Label the Cards with a Marker
When all of the hearts have been cut out, use a marker to label each heart with the name of a guest.
Step 7: Attach the Cards to the Apples
Using invisible tape, attach each heart to the stem of a caramel apple. No more than one to two inches of tape should be used for a neat and seamless finish.
Step 8: Wrap the Apple in a Fabric Circle
When the cards have been attached, check each caramel apple to ensure that its clear wrap is intact. Take a fabric circle and lay it flat on the working surface. Take one apple and position it in the center of the circle. Using both hands, carefully gather the fabric upwards until it encloses the apple.
Step 9: Create a Ruffle Effect
Holding the fabric wrap in place with one hand, arrange the edges of the organza circle to create a graceful ruffle.
Step 10: Tie the Ribbon Strings
Take the ribbon strings that accompany the fabric circle, knot these securely, and finish with a pretty bow. Make sure to position the bow beneath the side of the card bearing the guest’s name. Repeat this wrapping procedure with the rest of the apples.
Step 11: Do a Final Quality Check
After all the apple favors have been assembled, gently check that each place card is securely attached to the stem of its apple. Drape the ribbons prettily, fluff up the ruffles, and the caramel apple favors are ready!
Showcase the Finished Favors
As decorative place card holders, these caramel apples would be positioned at each place setting. But as favors, they may be layered on tiered trays or arranged in the shape of a heart on the dessert table. Another alternative would be to place them inside a large vase, creating a fancy edible centerpiece. For an elegant touch, the vase may have a large fabric circle wrapped around its base and tied with a bow–both matching the event’s color palette.
“Caramel apples come in varied sizes, so be sure to use organza wraps large enough to cover them. To check this, do the “newspaper test.” Cut a circle out of newspaper the diameter of the fabric to be used, and wrap the largest apple in it. If there is enough excess paper to form a “ruffle” above the apple, the fabric size is sufficient.”
Tips for Perfect Packaging
- Plan the place cards to be in proportion with the size of the available apples. Before cutting the card stock or construction paper, experiment with different sizes using scratch paper.
- Patterned or textured paper may be used for the place cards in place of plain white card stock. Stickers with themed designs, as well as glitter or confetti can add further spice.
- Aside from the traditional hearts, flowers, and doves, the cards can be cut into shapes in keeping with the event’s theme. For example, maple leaves are ideal for an autumn wedding, miniature pumpkins or candy corn shapes for a Halloween wedding, or shamrocks or “pots of gold” for a St. Patrick’s Day wedding. A beach location can inspire shapes like starfishes, tropical fish, and seashells.
- To label the place cards, try using markers either in the colors of the occasion or in metallic colors like gold, silver, or copper. Markers with glitter ink add a fun touch as well.
- Caramel apples come in varied sizes, so be sure to use organza wraps large enough to cover them. To check this, do the “newspaper test.” Cut a circle out of newspaper the diameter of the fabric to be used, and wrap the largest apple in it. If there is enough excess paper to form a “ruffle” above the apple, the fabric size is sufficient.
- Organza comes in a variety of colors, but it is best to select those that complement the occasion’s color scheme. For a fall reception, for example, organza in red, burnt orange, and olive can be used.
- Store the finished caramel apples in a cool, dry area prior to the party to ensure that they look their luscious best throughout the celebration.
Caramel apples are simple favors that not only taste good, but have a nostalgic appeal as well. These easy steps allow one to capture that sentimentality and package it in a surprisingly stylish way, ideal for both place card holders and take home gifts.