Monday, March 10, 2014
Breaking up homemade cinnamon hard candy.
Note: See Part One from Tuesday for a description of my trip to Aroostook County and Felicia’s family recipes for Scrable, Felicia’s Turtles, and No Fail Chocolate Fudge.
This holiday season create or add on to your edible traditions by making homemade candy. Wondering what to get as a last minute gift and don’t want to spend a lot of money? Homemade candy is a festive way to mix up your holiday cookie plate, and will easily trump anything you will find at the store. Your friends and family will not be the only benefactors, just think about how much more enjoyable time in your warm kitchen with family or friends is to a crowded mall. Believe me, as long as you know how to read a candy thermometer and have a little patience these recipes are a cinch!
Wrapping tips: Use twine to tie up your edible gifts in small bundles in pretty tissue paper and then put them in a tin or shopping bag. Reuse a shoebox by painting a pretty decoration on it. Handwrite the tag.
Peanut Butter Cups from the kitchen of Mother Hubbard – Felicia’s favorite holiday treat
You will need 40 little paper cups (search for paper candy cups online or in markets)
18 Hershey bars
2 Tbsp Paraffin wax (helps make chocolate mix creamier)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter – Felicia prefers Skippy
2 Tbsp soft oleo
Melt 9 Hershey bars down in a double boiler. Stir constantly. Melt 1 Tbsp wax on stove (will not melt in microwave) and mix into chocolate stirring quickly.
Felicia’s tip – use a small (approximately 1 tsp) Ice cream scooper for the peanut butter and chocolate.
Mix together brown sugar, confectioners sugar, vanilla, peanut butter, and olio. Make into Bon Bon cups (think approximately inch size round balls). Put in paper cups with chocolate.
Melt 9 Hershey bars down in a double boiler. Stir constantly. Melt 1 Tbsp wax on stove (will not melt in microwave) and mix into chocolate stirring quickly. Cover peanut butter with chocolate. Pour as quickly as possible, because will harden.
Cool for at least 15 minutes in refrigerator or unheated garage.
Makes 40 pieces. Can store in refrigerator 2-3 weeks.
Peanut butter cups in the making.
Hard Candy – LorAnn Oils Regular Batch
You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 tsp LorAnn Gourmet Flavoring (flavor selection here online and you might be able to find in a drug store or Walmart)
½ tsp liquid food coloring
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring. When syrup temperature reaches 260, add color. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup. Remove from heat at 300 or when drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water. After boiling action ceases, stir in flavoring. Avoid rising steam when stirring. Pour syrup into lightly oiled candy molds or only greased cookie sheet and score with knife to form bite-size pieces. When cool, break into pieces and dust with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Will keep a few months if stored in an airtight container with confectioners sugar.
• If you want to create purple try mixing blue and red, but for a real purple you will need to buy purple food coloring.
• The flavors are intense, and when added to the pot it turns into a strong enough vapor that you will probably want to open a window or two.
• Use old cookie sheets you don’t care about as they will get scratched up. Mark the bottom of each “candy” pan with an “x” or store with holiday decorations so they are easy to find.
• Really butter the sheets or the candy will stick to them.
• If you can, take the sheet or molds into the garage or onto the porch where cool air will help facilitate the cutting process by making the candy cool and thus harden faster. • Use a pizza cutter, not a knife, when first scoring during the cooling process.
• Dip the pizza cutter in butter so it will not stick.
• Simplify the powdered sugar process by having a bowl of confectioners sugar ready to toss the broken pieces into.
• If gifting and/or just for your own purposes, separate the different flavored candy into Ziploc bags – otherwise one flavor might take on another flavor. If this is not an issue for you, disregard.
Some of the steps to making homemade hard candy.
Felicia breaking apart the cinnamon hard candy.Tweet
Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.
When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.
In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.