TOTAL PREP TIME: 1 1/2 hour
12 very small Red Delicious apples
12 popsicle sticks
2 cups sugar
1 cup each light corn syrup and hot water
1/2 cup red cinnamon candies (like Red Hots)
1/4 tsp liquid red food color
1. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
2. Wash and thoroughly dry apples; remove stems. Insert popsicle sticks into stem ends.
3. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 250 degrees F (wipe down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush occasionally to prevent crystallization).
4. When mixture reaches 250 degrees F, add cinnamon candies and stir just to blend. Continue to cook until 300 degrees F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove syrup from heat and swirl in food color, tilting saucepan, until blended. Let mixture settle for a minute until bubbles slow down.
5. Holding an apple by the popsicle stick and tilting pan, dip and swirl apple until coated. Lift apple and gently twirl over saucepan, letting excess drip back into pan. Place on prepared baking sheet, popsicle stick up. Repeat with remaining apples.
6. Allow apples to stand at room temperature until candy coating hardens, about 1 hour. Candy apples can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature.