1 C butter
2-1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 t salt
1 C light corn syrup
1 can sweetened and condensed milk
1 T vanilla
Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Dissolve brown sugar in butter. Add salt. Slowly stir in corn syrup over medium-high heat. Add sweetened condensed milk. Cook to firm ball stage, 245 degrees (250 is TOO hard!!!). Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Dip prepared apples in caramel (spoon caramel onto apple if pan isn't deep enough) and let drip a little over the pan. Place on parchment paper (NOT WAX PAPER- the caramel and chocolate will stick :() If you aren't dipping the apples a second time in chocolate, you can roll in nuts or whatever other toppings you like while the caramel is still warm. Let cool.
Once the apples are cool, you can dip again in melted white or milk chocolate. Let drip a little before placing on parchment. You can roll in toppings or drizzle them with chocolate. Follow the same directions for pretzel rods.
Each batch makes about 30 SMALL apples.