Unwrap Peter's Caramel and cut into large chunks. Place in a large, heavy oven-proof pan with a lid.
Turn oven to 200 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of oven. Place the pan of caramel in the oven with lid on pan. Set timer for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, wash the apples thoroughly. Using a clean scrubber, wash the skin of the apples. you may use a light sand paper to remove the wax from the apple peel as well, or dip the apples in hot water to remove the wax. When the apple is ready, the skin of the apple should not be shiny and all wax removed. Completely dry the apple. Set the apples in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Set out all ingredients for decorating caramel apples.
About ten minutes before caramel is removed from oven, insert the apples with sticks and dry any of the juice around the stem with a paper towel or cloth.
When the caramel is melted, remove from oven and set on stove or counter with a hot pad underneath pan.
Squirt some of the gel food coloring into the melted caramel. I use about one teaspoon per 5 lb block of caramel. If using flavoring, add flavoring at this time as well, or dip part of the apples without flavoring and add flavoring later. Gently stir the caramel to make sure all of the coloring and flavoring are incorporated. Do not stir vigorously or air bubbles will appear.
Using a large spoon, take apples and spoon caramel over apple until the apple is completely coated, scrape any excess caramel off the bottom of the apple to prevent a pool of caramel collecting while setting up. Turn the apple upside down so the apple is up and the stick side is down. This will help the caramel to set up on the top side of the apple.
Place the apple on the lightly greased parchment paper. Decorate the apple if desired. Decorations must be applied before caramel completely sets up. If dipping caramels alone, quickly decorate after dipping each apple.
When the apples have all been coated with caramel, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to set caramel.
Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This recipe is easily halved, or quartered or the apples may be dipped one or two in a batch. Adjust the amount of caramel you melt accordingly.