Rinse and dry the apples well. Remove the apple stems and carefully insert the wooden pop sticks; lift each apple to make sure they can securely be picked up. Set aside.
Combine the corn syrup, sugar and cola in a medium saucepan with a handle. Heat at medium-high until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring mixture to a boil – watch the mixture constantly as it cooks at this stage because the fizzy cola may bubble over. If the mixture rises too high in the pan, just give it a stir to calm the bubbling. After 5-7 minutes the mixture should lose its fizziness.
The sugar mixture will take about 20-25 minutes to reach 302 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. This is known as the hard-crack stage.
Once the correct temperature has been reached, remove the pan from the burner and add the cola flavoring. Mix well. Mixture is ready for dipping when the bubbles have subsided, about 5 minutes.
Dip apples, one at a time, swirling until completely coated in syrup. Hold apples above saucepan to let excess candy drain off and transfer them to the baking sheet. As you work, you may need to tilt the saucepan to pool the candy to one side. This will help ensure all apples get a full coating as your mixture gets lower. I dipped the apples twice for a deep amber color.
Allow the candy to harden completely. Place the candy apples in decorative pastry papers or cupcake liners.
Most apples are treated with food grade wax, which is difficult to wash away and the candy coating will not adhere well to the skins. Organic apples are not treated with wax, so I recommend using them for this recipe.
Keyword bottled cola, candy apples, cola flavoring oil