Wash and dry apples; remove stems. Insert craft sticks into stem end of each apple; set aside.
Combine caramels, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 90 seconds or until melted, stirring twice.
Dip each apple into the caramel mixture quickly, allowing excess caramel to drip off. Roll in chopped pecans; place on lightly greased wax paper. Chill at least 15 minutes.
Microwave chocolate morsels at HIGH 90 seconds or until melted, stirring twice; cool 5 minutes. Pour chocolate where craft sticks and apple meet, allowing chocolate to drip down sides of apples. Press pecan halves onto chocolate, if desired. Chill 15 minutes or until set.
NOTE: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Caramels.
Calypso Caramel Apples: Substitute 1 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts and 1 cup toasted coconut for pecans.
Georgian Caramel Apples: Substitute 2 cups chopped toasted peanuts for pecans.
Black-and-White Caramel Apples: Microwave 6 ounces white chocolate morsels at HIGH 60 seconds or until melted, stirring once; drizzle evenly over semisweet chocolate.