Looking for a tasty and decadent gift, that comes from the kitchen this holiday? Why not try your hand at caramel apples, covered in a rich coating of milk chocolate?

These apples sell in the gourmet stores for $10 to $20 each, but are not difficult to make at home. All it takes is a little time and a little creativity, and you will become everyone's favorite gift giver.

Caramel Apples

6 medium to large apples (preferably with a rough textured outer skin, like Winesap)

1 pound of caramel candies, unwrapped

2 tablespoons cream

2 pounds good quality milk chocolate melts (Wilton can be purchased at most grocery and craft stores)

1 pound white chocolate melts

Toffee candy pieces (optional)

Chopped nuts (optional)

Peanut Butter chips, melted (optional)

Semisweet chocolate pieces, melted (optional)

Mini candy coated chocolate pieces (optional)

6 popsicle Sticks

Wash and pat dry apples, don't rub to a shine. Insert popsicle sticks into the blossom end of each apple, set aside. In top of a double-boiler, melt the unwrapped caramel candies over low to moderate heat, stirring occasionally as they begin to melt. Add cream.

Once the caramels are melted completely, dip each apple into the caramel making sure that they are completely coated. Set each apple on a parchment-covered cookie sheet to cool.

While apples are cooling, melt milk chocolate melts over a double boiler. Dip the cooled, caramel apples into the milk chocolate, covering as much of the apple as you can. Before setting the apple back onto the covered cookie sheet, dip the bottom of the chocolate-covered apple into one of the optional candies or nuts.

Before adding the nuts or candies, you may opt to melt the white chocolate over a double-boiler; pour melted white chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off one bottom corner and drizzle some of the white chocolate onto the apple. Finish with the nuts or candy if desired.

Let the chocolate coating harden, if it remains soft, you may refrigerate until completely set.

Once the chocolate has completely hardened, finished apples may be wrapped in plastic wrap and tied with seasonal ribbon for gift giving.

Finished apples may be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.