Sunday, July 5, 2020

Disneyland Treats at Home - Marshmallow Wands, Caramel Apples, and Chocolate Apples

Today we're continuing our series of making some of our favorite Disneyland Treats at home! Last time we made Mint Juleps and Mickey Beignets.
This time, it's those tasty treats we always stop by and at least look at after we ride Winnie the Pooh. It's tradition to go inside Pooh Corner and then get either a marshmallow wand or a caramel apple.

And we're going to throw in a chocolate covered Mickey apple to go along with this. It is a Disneyland treat after-all. And speaking of Disneyland, these marshmallow wands are the Disneyland version, meaning that it's marshmallow, a layer of caramel, and then chocolate on top. Theresa was unhappily surprised when we were at Disney World in Florida and she ordered her favorite treat from back home and it was just marshmallow and chocolate, no caramel.

We're going to start off with the apples. I didn't know that the proper way to remove the wax from the apples was to boil them briefly so the wax melts off. The internet teaches you new things every day.

Theresa and I just knew we have caramel apple sticks somewhere, but for the last couple days, couldn't find them. After having no luck, and thinking we'd be relegated to using popsicle sticks, one last search of the cabinets was successful in locating a bag of caramel apple sticks.

The kids like being involved in the kitchen, so we try to let them help where possible. They're adding ingredients to make our own homemade caramel! I'm using the recipe from for Caramel Apples. Ian is adding the cream.

Alli the corn syrup. Butter, brown sugar, and salt, also found their way into the pot.

Nice work family!

Alli gave it a little stir.

And then Ian.

And now we wait. The candy thermometer should help things come together and take the guessing out of the temperatures.

Well I should have read the instructions a little closer. It called for a 3 quart pot. I only have a 2 quart or an 8 quart. I should have gone with the 8 quart. The caramel was threatening to boil over (now that's what I call a sticky situation). I had to lower the flame to keep it boiling but not so fast that it would foam up.

It smells nice.

But seriously, this is taking forever! I pulled up a chair and watched as it slowly slowly made its way up to 240F

This recipe says not to stir at all and that it should take 15-20 minutes to come to temperature. It took 90 minutes based on the time-stamps of my photos. Ugh, next time just use the bigger pot.

After letting it cool for an additional 12 minutes, it's time to dip our apples. Mommy first. She's a fan of the plain caramel apples. No frills, just a nice crisp apple and golden non-gritty caramel.
Eh, this caramel is not quite looking right. Despite coming up to 240F, it's pretty gritty.

I dipped a few marshmallow wands in, hoping for the best.

And then Ian dipped his apple in and coated it with caramel.

Can't forget Alli.

Well... they look a bit disappointing. The caramel is gritty and not sticking very well. Time to do some more research.

Theresa found another site that said instead of 235-240F, take it up to 248F and stir the caramel constantly. Even though the caramel has cooled a bit, I don't know that we can ruin it any further. There's plenty of room in the pot now too, so RAISE THE TEMPERATURE!

Ah, there we go. That's the kind of results we're looking for.

And those marshmallow wands are looking much better too.

<whisper> Ian, Alli, want to lick the caramel spoons? </whisper>
Hmm, they can't hear us from outside. I guess we'll just have to enjoy them then.

After letting them cool for a couple hours, it's time to do the chocolate step. Theresa oiled some scissors and trimmed the skirt off the treats. It won't go to waste though. We're saving all this delicious caramel. I see you peeking out from there Alli.

For the chocolate, we're using some old Merckens candy disks that we've had in the cabinet.

And I've got different colored sugars here to decorate our apples and marshmallow wands, just like in the parks.

And... strike two for the day. The Merckens chocolates are supposed to melt in the microwave on low power. My first batch in the glass bowl didn't turn out good at all. The second batch in the plastic bowl also turned out bad. Plus it's got an off smell. How old are these again?

There's one other method you can try and that's a double boiler. I melted a few more of the candy disks and started having the same problems. Theresa added a little bit of oil to the mix and it started to become more loose, but it still has a smell to it that I'm not liking. Well, strike 3 on the chocolate. That's unfortunate.

Wait, wait! It was a foul tip! Not strike 3 after all!
Theresa dug into the pantry and pulled out a container of Dolci Frutta. We typically use them for dipped strawberries, but this could work! These don't expire for another year! Nice thinking Theresa!

While the chocolate covered treats cooled, Theresa made the kids a single marshmallow cut in half to try.

After dinner, it was time for our Disneyland Treat dessert! Which one should we start with?

The kids thought the marshmallow wands. I agree. Those are likely to be the tastiest.

Alright Theresa. You're the marshmallow wand connoisseur. What do you think?

It's great! The caramel is tastier than Disney, being made from all fresh ingredients. It's a bit chewier, but that's good too. The chocolate is of course a different flavor, but it's still tasty. These worked out really well!

Now let's eat the caramel apple. At home we can cut it up into pieces with a knife. That's always a challenge at Disneyland.

Everyone wants to try a piece.

It's yummy! Theresa's parents think so too!

Alli was really wanting us to cut into that Chocolate and Caramel Mickey Apple.

I cut it into pieces shared it with the table. It's tasty, but I think the marshmallow wands have won the day. They're really good.

And taking another look at our failed earlier attempt after it cooled. Yeah, that's super gritty. I picked up a marshmallow wand and the caramel just wants to pull away. The caramel didn't get hot enough to set so it's just slowly pooling away from everything. I'm glad we kept going and did some experimenting after this batch.

And I had really wanted to make one of those adorable Mickey Mouse caramel apples like they make at Disneyland. I watched a few youtube videos and everything about the process. But after the chocolate disks didn't smell right or melt right, it gave up that idea. I tried a couple marshmallow wands with the colored sugar to see what they'd look like. The blue candy disks on top showed off the colors best. The dark chocolate disks meant the colors also looked dark. If we ever try this again, white/light chocolate is a must for colored sugar.


  1. Experiment, experiment...that's the way to go :-) Disneyland treats means yum, yum, yum...those marshmallow wands sure look good...can't go wrong with chocolate, caramel, and marshmallow (kind of unusual the DW version doesn't have the caramel layer like DL)...unusual colors with the different colored chocolate disks and sprinkles. Like Alli's open-mouth enthusiastic excitement for the cute Mickey candy apple...nice capture! You know what they say about a "watched pot" least you were able to enjoy the cooking caramel aroma longer than expected. (lol) Oh boy, tickled a funny bone when you "whispered" to Alli & Ian on licking the caramel spoons to no avail; thus, you and Theresa just "had to do it yourselves"!!! :-) :-) EOM

    1. Definitely a lesson learned for next time. Use a bigger pot for caramel.
      We've got a few more fun Disney treats planned. A couple ambitious ones that I'm interested in seeing how we pull it off.