|Atomic Candy Apples|
6 small apples, Pink Lady, Gala or McIntosh, at room temperature
14 ounces granulated sugar, about 2 cups
15 ounces light corn syrup, about 1 1/3 cups
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon oil
15 to 20 drops red liquid food coloring
Special Equipment: 6 chopsticks
Put 3 inches of water in a 3 1/2-quart saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Insert the narrow end of a chopstick into the bottom blossom end of each apple. Dip the apples, 1 at a time, into the boiling water for 20 seconds to remove the wax coating. Wipe dry with a paper towel. Transfer apples to a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Cover and bring it to a boil, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and clip on a candy thermometer. Continue cooking the syrup until it reaches 300 degrees F, approximately 15 minutes. When the syrup reaches temperature, take the pot off the heat and remove the thermometer. Add the cayenne, cinnamon oil and food coloring, stirring thoroughly to combine. Cool until the bubbles calm and begin to subside, about 3 minutes.
Dip each apple in the warm syrup, turning slowly to coat. Continue to turn, allowing the excess to drip back into the pot. Cool the apples completely on the prepared half sheet pan. Wrap individually in waxed paper and plastic wrap or store for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.
Cinnamon oil is available at many a megamart as well as the Internet.
Credit: Alton Brown