Mac-candy apples for the McIntosh apple’s 200th birthday

I was  thrilled to be invited to participate in the first ever Ontario Apple Growers blogger challenge- the search for the best candy apple recipe. The challenge was inspired by the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh apple and the grandiose Winter Apple Ball, a free family event taking place at the Westin Harbour Castle this Family Day, Monday, February 21st.

Some fun McIntosh apple facts:

•    The original McIntosh tree was a chance discovery by John McIntosh in the Village of Dundela, Ontario in the spring of 1811.
•    Many apple varieties we know today stem from the McIntosh including: the Cortland, the Lobo, the Melba, the Macoun and more.
•    The original McIntosh tree was severely damaged by a house fire but continued to bear fruit on the side that was unaffected until it died in 1906.  In 1912, a plaque was installed in honour of the tree.
•    Every McIntosh tree and apple in the world is a descendent of the original McIntosh tree.
•    The McIntosh apple represents approximately 25 per cent of Ontario’s total acreage.
•    The McIntosh apple is grown in greater quantities than any other apple in Canada and the north-eastern United States combined.
•    It is reputed that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple incorporated and Mac computers named the company after the McIntosh apple in 1976 after spending the summer working on a friend’s apple orchard.  For a different take on the story, this article in Mashable is a good read too!

Of course, I can’t see anything with “Mc or Mac” in the name without thinking of two of my favourite things – my MacBook Air and macarons.  Since creating a candy apple with a computer theme just seemed too tricky, I went with the latter.  Having never made a candy apple (we call them toffee apples in Australia) nor tiny macarons before, this was  a total experiment that I think we can call a success.

The McIntosh apple is in season mid September to May.  It is medium-sized apple with an irregular round shape.  Its skin is green with a red splash and its flesh is white and juicy.  It’s mildly tart, becoming sweeter as it ripens. It’s an excellent apple for eating fresh, or for baking pies and sauces.

And making candy apples…

Happy Birthday McIntosh!

If you are in Toronto on February 21st, although general registration for the Winter Apple Ball is closed, you still have an opportunity to attend if at least one member of your family (4-18 yrs) registers to participate in the apple-bobbing World Record attempt.

Disclaimer: The Ontario Apple Growers were part sponsors who helped me attend IFBC last year.

89 Responses to Mac-candy apples for the McIntosh apple’s 200th birthday

  1. Jamie February 8, 2011 at 06:21 #

    Mardi! I love this! Your candied apple is gorgeous and how brilliant and adorable with the tiny macs! Mac-Intosh b’gosh! Love it! Now I’d love to taste!

  2. Pauline February 8, 2011 at 06:31 #

    I could put my teeth into this no trouble! Look forward to more photos of toffee apples (ha!) Like the colours too. My first attempt never looked as good as this.

  3. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 8, 2011 at 06:32 #

    I’m so completely impressed by those dime-sized macarons! This is one fancy candy apple!

  4. Tes February 8, 2011 at 06:50 #

    How cute are those mini macaroons sticked on the candy apple! It looks amazing and sounds luscious 🙂

  5. Ken│hungry rabbit February 8, 2011 at 07:04 #

    Gorgeous and playful. Apple for all seasons.

  6. Liz February 8, 2011 at 07:08 #

    Mardi, you are amazing! What a fabulous candied apple!!!!

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food February 8, 2011 at 07:17 #

    A candied apple studded with macs? How fantastic!

  8. Mike @theflavorjunkie February 8, 2011 at 07:29 #


    How adorable! I’ve had a love affair with candy apples since my first visit to a fair. Yours looks so good and the macs are too cute for words. Love it!

  9. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen February 8, 2011 at 07:36 #

    I always like caramel apples better than candy apples, but yours is super cute! I can’t believe you made tiny macarons, they’re adorable. Good luck in the contest!

  10. Blog is the New Black February 8, 2011 at 07:59 #

    So creative!

  11. Mr. P February 8, 2011 at 08:03 #

    That is so sexy I could just scream!

  12. Belinda @zomppa February 8, 2011 at 08:26 #

    I had no idea that all McIntoshes were descendants of the original – who knew!

  13. Barbara Bakes February 8, 2011 at 09:32 #

    Such a clever idea! Now I’m thinking I need to try a McIntosh!

  14. sara @CaffeIna February 8, 2011 at 10:48 #

    Oh my goodness! This is one of the cutest dessert/candy I’ve ever seen! You outdid yourself. I love those mini macarons…adorable!

  15. Tiffany February 8, 2011 at 10:58 #

    This is gorgeous! I love the mini mac’s! Just darling!!! I am smitten with this idea… great!!!

  16. Roxan February 8, 2011 at 11:06 #

    A candy apples with teeny tiny little macarons on it, how could it not be a sure fire winner? It’s so cute! Great job and what a fun event to be a part of.

  17. Ethan February 8, 2011 at 12:18 #

    Mardi! J’aime beaucoup tes petits macarons! I love looking look at your macarons now in which you make with ease compared to the challenges you used to have! True perseverance!
    As for your candied apple, I’d line up for one of those at a carnival any day!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 12, 2011 at 20:40 #

      Actually Ethan at the SAME TIME as I was making those, using the SAME BATTER, there was a terribly failed batch too. And another failed batch today 🙁 Sigh. Temperamental!

  18. Steph@stephsbitebybite February 8, 2011 at 14:06 #

    For never doing this before I’d say you did a heck of a job!!! These look fabulous!

  19. The Farmers Wife February 8, 2011 at 14:06 #

    Wow those look so amazing! Beautiful apples, and pictures. I just love your presentation of them, perfect for Valentines Day!

  20. Felice - All That's Left Are The Crumbs February 8, 2011 at 14:08 #

    Cute idea! When I read the heading I was thinking macadamia nut candy apples 🙂 Obviously this is a way better idea. I hope that it wins.

  21. Heather I. February 8, 2011 at 14:13 #

    Gorgeous! What a fun idea to add the macarons to the apple. And the macintosh trivia was fun to read. Apples are my favorite fruit, these look mighty tasty 🙂

  22. Suchitra February 8, 2011 at 14:35 #

    oh my, apple candy looks amazing- never tried it (bookmarked this recipe)

  23. Brittany Trei February 8, 2011 at 14:49 #

    Mini macarons… I feel a new trend coming on. : P

  24. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction February 8, 2011 at 15:51 #

    Candied apples are one of my favorites from when I was a kid… yum!

  25. mademoiselle délicieuse February 8, 2011 at 16:58 #

    They’re so bright and whimsical and completely remind me of something out of Alice in Wonderland!

  26. Steph February 8, 2011 at 17:48 #

    This is amazing and so adorable! I can’t believe how tiny and cute those little macs are, great idea!

  27. Ben February 8, 2011 at 20:53 #

    Great event and great entry! Can I have one please 😀

  28. Tiffany Rosenberger February 8, 2011 at 21:28 #

    Such great pictures and a unique idea. Great job!

  29. Island Vittles February 8, 2011 at 22:56 #

    such a cute idea…and with perfect execution! theresa

  30. Cherrie February 9, 2011 at 04:37 #

    awesome Mardi! very creative

  31. Sarah, Maison Cupcake February 9, 2011 at 11:50 #

    Ha ha I think of macarons first and computers second these days! Looks stunning!

  32. Paula February 9, 2011 at 15:58 #

    This is the most beautiful candy apple ever and the idea to add the mini-macs…bravo Mardi!

  33. Kelly @ Evil Shenanigans February 9, 2011 at 16:16 #

    Ok, those are too cute! I love the mini-macs on the outside. I bet you could do them in all sorts of colors for different times in the year, or for a baby shower, or wedding! Love!!

  34. Lisa February 9, 2011 at 21:31 #

    Oh, this is just brilliant! Those mini macs are amazing against the gorgeous, shiny red candy coating. These would sell like hotcakes!

  35. Andrea@HighLowFoodDrink.com February 9, 2011 at 22:49 #

    Mardi, this is so cute! What a great tribute to the Mac!

  36. penny aka jeroxie February 9, 2011 at 23:41 #

    Oh wow! How lovely! You are getting better and more wow by the day.

  37. Julie@browncookie February 10, 2011 at 01:29 #

    Such intricate baking!! It is not easy to get those macaroons so tiny and perfect with feet! Thanks for sharing!

  38. Katerina February 10, 2011 at 05:21 #

    This is a beautiful candied apple. I love apples and turning it into sweet it increases the pleasure even more!

  39. Lora February 10, 2011 at 07:23 #

    Those tiny macs are just TOO cute!

  40. Geni February 10, 2011 at 08:53 #

    What beautiful apples!

    I’ve never seen mini maca1roons before. Thanks for posting the link on how to make them…I just added that to my list of new recipes to try.

  41. Daydreamer Desserts February 10, 2011 at 08:55 #

    Love the mini macs con the apples the polka dot effect it creates is lovely!

  42. Happy When Not Hungry February 10, 2011 at 09:57 #

    These look so cute and delicious!

  43. ladymacaron20ten February 13, 2011 at 07:07 #

    This has to be the most delightful toffee apple I have ever seen… I only wish I could sink my teeth into it!

  44. Dina February 14, 2011 at 11:23 #

    that is great! so creative. the tiny macarons are adorable!

  45. Conor @ Hold the Beef February 15, 2011 at 00:16 #

    I have never had a good toffee apple. They would have them sitting there looking all delicious and tempting in the fruit & veg section at Coles, and I would bug my Mum for one when feeling particularly annoying as a child. The toffee bit would be pretty good – a sugary overload to get stuck in your teeth – but the apple was always brown and awful. They were also distinctly lacking in macarons. My Mum is very lucky about this, as I cannot begin to imagine how badly I would have bugged her for one of your creations. I think Dad may have been called in for a little smack to sort that out!

  46. cat February 17, 2011 at 22:36 #

    this may well be the cutest freaking thing i have ever seen on a food blog. well done, mardi, well done!

  47. Tina February 26, 2011 at 10:19 #

    the cutest thing EVER!! very inspiring indeed. Love it!

  48. HI Cookery March 1, 2011 at 09:28 #

    I love my Mac laptop, too, and do everything on it–including blogging about macarons like you! Great post about the background of Mac apples. And your mini-macarons on the candy apple are soooooo cute!!!

  49. Melissa@EyesBigger April 1, 2011 at 00:58 #

    Mardi, I’ve just been browsing through your blog and these are freaking adorable! I love them and the photos. Macs are one of my favourites. Growing up, my grandma lived just a few blocks from the Sun Rype Apple Juice factory in Kelowna, BC (part of the huge Okanagan apple producing region) and the site of apple crates piled to the sky is a huge part of my summer memories as a little kid. These are so fun and a big reminder of that. Love it!

  50. Jackie Hale September 15, 2011 at 15:06 #

    I want to ask you permission to use the foto of your candied apple for my blog’s October favorites round up. All credit will be linked to your blog as I normally do with all my round ups. You can respond to my request via my email and consider this an invitation to visit my little humble blog. Thank you,


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