Traditional caramel-covered treats are made even better with the toppings suggested by our food editors. A sprinkling of sea salt enhances the buttery flavor of caramel apples. For a prettier presentation, use apple-tree cuttings as sticks -- ours are from Martha's farm. Serve White-Chocolate Caramel Corn with Cashews alongside the apples.
If you don't own a candy thermometer, this cake offers a good excuse to
buy one. It sounds a little nitpicky, but the caramel should reach exactly 238 degrees. (Any less and the cake layers wont hold together properly; any more and the caramel will turn hard.) Precision will also pay off with the chocolate frosting: It achieves
its ideal spreading texture after standing for 30 minutes.