Who would have thought that a tiny place selling almost exclusively candy apples would be so busy?
And yet, from the time we walked in to the time The Apple Basket closed, the place was jamming.
While the shop also sells candy-covered marshmallows, pretzels and strawberries, I’m just focusing on the titular apples since we ordered a dozen of them.
At $5.95 each, these little works of art are as beautiful as they are tasty.
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A wall displays jars full of the myriad toppings used for the apples: Rice Krispies, nuts, freeze-dried fruits, coconut, waffle cones, sprinkles and all sorts of candies. Each whole Granny Smith apple gets a bath in homemade caramel and then is artfully decorated with creative toppings.
We chose three with milk chocolate, two with dark chocolate, six with white chocolate and one with just the caramel.
Our favorite was the Movie Night, coated in caramel, popcorn, peanuts, and milk chocolate because of its balance of sweet and slightly salty.
Our second favorite and biggest surprise was the Lemon Dust, coated in white chocolate and crunched lemon candies. White chocolate always reminds me of the Easters of my childhood, and that tangy lemon gave it an extra boost of kid summer.
The other milk chocolate ones we tried were the Walnut and the Oink, Oink. The Walnut is drizzled with swirls of chocolate and crowned with six walnut halves while the Oink, Oink has been rolled in both chocolate and bacon dust.
As a reprieve from the sweetness, the two dark chocolate apples were the Coffee Lover and Cafe Coconut. We took half of each apple home and these two got even better tasting as they lived in the fridge. The Coffee Lover has instant decaf coffee flavoring the dark chocolate, and the Cafe Coconut tastes like a grown-up Mounds candy bar.
Since white chocolate seems less sophisticated to me, I didn’t expect to like these apples as much as I did, but the white chocolate provides a sweet blank slate under the creative coatings.
The Georgian is rolled in crushed dehydrated peaches and pecans, the Apple Pie is dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and the Pina Colada is covered in coconut and candied pineapple.
Well worth the dollar extra, the Birthday Party loads crushed waffle cones and multicolored sprinkles onto both white and milk chocolates. The Strawberry Shortcake is a popular favorite, with shortbread cookies and strawberry bits. Asked how long the apples last, the owner said the longest one has ever stayed in the display counter was a day and a half.
Come around lunch for the freshest apples and the largest variety.
The Apple Basket
Address: 100 Houston Lake Blvd., Suite X, Centerville
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Payment: Credit card, cash
Kids menu: No
Noise level: Low
Delivery service: No
Price range: $5.95 for candy apples
Rating: 3.5 stars