Candy apples, also known as toffee apples, are whole apples covered in a hard sugar candy coating. While the topping varies from place to place, it is almost always served with a stick of sorts in the middle making them easier to eat. Candy apples are a common treat at autumn festivals in Western culture, such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest. They are a popular dessert throughout the Americas. In the United States, candy apples are most commonly eaten during the Halloween season. In Latin American countries, candy apples are popular throughout their extended holiday season. Caramel apples are more popular in much of the United States, with candy apples unknown in some regions. In Germany they are most often associated with the Christmas season. They are also sometimes sold at carnivals and fairs.
The most common "candy" is a hard coating of cooled sugar syrup, usually tinted red and sometimes flavored with cinnamon. The sugar syrup is heated to the "hard crack" stage before coating the apple to make a hard coating when the syrup cools. Other variations include caramel apples, taffy apples, and chocolate apples.
According to the Newark Sunday News:
William W. Kolb invented the red candy apple. Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly. Soon candied apples were being sold along the Jersey Shore, at the circus and in candy shops across the country, according to the Newark News in 1948.