Candy apples are not getting to the crackling stage...
The candy is not sticking to my apples and when I drop a sample in cold water it does not come to the hard crackling stage, so what can I do?
If your candy apples are not getting to the crackling stage it is because you are not getting your candy mixture hot enough.
I assume you are using a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, and water. The temperature needs to reach between 300 and 310 degrees F. to actually get to the hard crack stage.
Are you using a candy thermometer? Did you test your thermometer first to be sure it was accurate (water boils at 212 degrees)?
If you don't have thermometer, you will just have to keep testing your candy syrup until it forms hard brittle threads in the cold water. It may just take longer than you think.
Just be sure not to overdue it or you'll end up with burnt tasting candy. It's tough without a good candy thermometer.
As for the candy sticking to the apples, are your apples from the grocery store? If so, they probably have a wax coating on them.
Boil some water and drop the apples in for a few seconds and then fish them out and dry them off to remove the wax. Otherwise, the candy has a more difficult time sticking to the apple (even if you do get the syrup to the right stage).
Hope you can get your candy apples to turn out perfectly. :)