Happy Halloween, everyone! What better food to celebrate on Halloween than candy apples? We did have Caramel Apple Day only a few days ago, but candy apples differ quite a bit from their caramel counterparts. Caramel apples are apples placed on a stick and rolled in hot, caramelized sugar, that then sticks to the apple skin and cools to make a sweet, hard covering. The candy apple, on the other hand, isn’t caramel at all: it was invented in 1908 when a candy maker dipped some apples into a vat of hot liquid candy that was going to become cinnamon red-hots. The result was an apple covered in sticky-sweet, bright red candy, that tastes very different from a caramel shell. (But the truth is, both of them will easily take your teeth out!)
Many of the candy apple varieties sold around the world still have the spicy cinnamon flavor to them, which gives candy apples a little kick that caramel does not. But our special New York variety (because everything New York does has to be special!) has given up on the cinnamon flavor and instead made a soft, gooey kind of candy shell that has a cherry flavor. It makes the apple much sweeter overall and more palatable to kids, who are usually the ones dragging their parents to the candy shop in the first place! And if we’re talking old-time sweets and confections in New York, you’ve got to have it down at Coney Island in William’s Candy Shop. It’s true that you’ll find a bevy of candy apples sold in every grocery store this October, but to get a real, home-made, fresh tasting candy apple, William’s Candy Shop is the best of the best. William’s makes all their candy apples in-store, with the cherry-sweet candy coating and a little bit extra in the way of chopped nuts, sprinkles, and even toasted coconut on top. It’s a special kind of treat that’s got absolutely no trick involved, so if you’re looking for authentic, vintage sweets this Halloween, head down to Coney Island and get a bite!
William’s Candy Shop
1318 Surf Ave (between 15th St & Schweikerts Walk), Coney Island
“Quite simply, it’s beautiful. You don’t see things like this anymore–the visual delight of candy apples and coconut-covered marshmallows, of spiral lollipops and radioactive-orange Circus Peanuts all tumbled together–and you never know when you’ll be seeing it for the last time.”–Vanishing New York
“Williams is the quintessential old time boardwalk candy shop. Approaching the shop from the outside you first see a window full of freshly made candy apples, clearly the stars of the shop. There’s the classic glassy red ones and carmel. Both flavors are available with variations by adding nuts, sprinkles or coconut. William’s also spins fresh cotton candy and dishes out soft serve cones for those whose teeth can’t handle the sugar-shellacked apples (wussies!). The shop is small but packs a punch with its authentic vintage signage and bags of cotton candy that line the walls. On your next tour de fun through Coney Island be sure to stop at Williams for a taste of old school Brooklyn.”–Brooklyn Based
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Next time someone asks you “where is the candy apple store?”.. you can take them to William’s Candy Shop. Candy apples, more candy apples, candy apples with stuff on them, caramel apples with stuff on them or without stuff too, however you like it. Not into candy apples? They’ve got every other candy too. Mmmm”–Jodi V.
“I stopped by this place while walking through Coney Island for the first time. I saw an array of candy apples through the window and had to stop it. I picked up a caramel peanut candy apple and it was divine. There’s so many different types of candies in the store. The covered marshmellows look so good as well. I’d say stop by if you have a sweet tooth in Coney Island!”–Christian M.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!