Insert popsicle sticks securely into the top of the apples, about halfway into the core. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the apples with their sticks onto the pan and refrigerate while you prepare the caramel (refrigerating them helps the caramel to stick to the apples).
To a non-stick pot or enamel-coated dutch oven over medium heat, add all of the caramel ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook at a rolling boil, stirring constantly, until the caramel reaches 236 degrees.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow mixture to cool down to 200 degrees.
Remove the apples from the refrigerator. One at a time, holding them by the top of the stick, dip the apples into the caramel, submerging all but the top of the apple (you may need to tip the pan to the side to allow the caramel to make a deeper pool. I twisted my apple slowly to allow the caramel to work it's way up the sides evenly). Pull the apple up and allow any excess caramel to drip off back into the pan. Set the dipped apple onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples.
!Note: if the caramel cools down too much in the process of dipping, just quickly return it back to the stove over medium heat for a minute or two to loosen it back up.