Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Candy making!

We made candy this year, and had a lot of fun. I had someone ask me for the recipes so I typed them out for them...I figured since they were already typed, I'd go ahead and post them for everyone!


(Here is the site I got the recipe give credit where due:

It has good directions and pictures...but since you're here, and I've added personal ya go.

3 Tbs. (or 3 packages) unflavored, unsweetened gelatin

½ cup cold water

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup corn syrup

¼ cup water

¼ tsp. Salt

1 Tbs. Vanilla extract

powdered sugar

Prepare a 9x13 pan (mine was glass which worked great) by greasing and dusting with powered sugar.

Pour gelatin and ½ cup water into your mixing bowl (I would have liked a stand mixer for this, so if you have one, plan for that..otherwise, whatever bowl you will use your electric mixer with.) I hadn't worked with gelatin will be solid almost at once...don't freak will melt once you pour the hot sugar in.

While that is sitting, put your sugar, corn syrup, and water into a sauce pan. A heavy bottom one is best, but I did it in a light one just fine...just stir constantly and don't turn up the heat too much or it will scorch. Bring mixture to a boil. If you have a candy thermometer, you want to bring it to 250 degrees. If you don't, I've read you can boil for 1 minute and get good results.

Drizzle your hot candy mixture over gelatin mixture while mixing at low speed. Once the syrup is mixed in, add salt. As soon as it starts to fluff up and you aren't in danger of splatters, scrape down the bowl and turn the speed up on your mixture. At some point (I've read about 8-10 minutes, but I don't think I mixed for that long) the volume will stop increasing. At that point, add your vanilla. When it's mixed in, turn off your mixer.

Pour the mixture into your glass pan and smooth out the top some. Let it sit uncovered overnight.

When you are ready to cut them, dust a surface with powdered sugar (no, really...dust it plenty! Those things will be STICKY!) I used a pizza cutter. Cut one row at a time, then cut it in squares and coat each with powdered sugar until they aren't sticky.

At that point you can do what you want with them...even just eat them as they are. We melted milk chocolate chips and dipped them. With chocolate they are best stored in the fridge.

(wow, that sounds long...but it was really very easy...the most time consuming part was cutting and dipping them, but it was a lot of fun and I had Betty doing sprinkles while we chatted, so I didn't notice)

English Toffee

(source: )

1 Cup Sugar 
3 T. Water

1 Cup Butter

2/3 Cup Chocolate Chips

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan.
Heat slowly over medium heat and stir mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil until the color of a brown paper sack. Stir often (15-20 minutes keep it boiling). Butter an 8x8 inch square pan. Pour the mixture in the pan and place chocolate chips on top. When chips are melted, spread evenly over entire surface. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top, if desired. Let cool and brake into pieces. (my notes: The recipe on the blog actually calls for ½ cup butter and ½ cup margarine, but I used all butter. If you are using a thermometer, you want this to get to the “hard crack stage” which is 302 degrees. I like to pull it off about 298. When you are boiling your sugar, if you are watching the temp, it will seem like it takes a long time right around 220ish. That is about the point where the water is boiling off, and the temp will rise rather slowly. Once the water is all out the temp will raise rather quickly, so keep an eye on it to keep it from burning. I also wouldn't use a glass 8x8 pan again. I'd use a large cookie sheet with either parchment or a silicon mat. That way you don't have to fight to get it out of the pan and it can be spread out thinner, which is how I prefer my toffee. You would need more chocolate to cover it if it was done that way.)

Peppermint Bark

Ok, I have no recipe for this...I just it...  Prepare cookie sheet. I buttered then put plastic wrap on mine, but a silicone mat would be great too. Melt a bag of milk chocolate chips over low heat. Add a couple drops of peppermint oil. Pour and smooth out on cookie sheet. Mine didn't reach the edges, which I think makes it easier to get out. Let it cool in the fridge. Crush a handful of peppermint disks(I've seen recipes that use candy canes, as well). We used a cutting board and the pointy side of a meat tenderizer. Be sure to cover them somehow or they will fly everywhere. Plastic wrap worked well for this, but don't pound harder then you have to, or you'll have it everywhere anyway. Melt white chocolate chips over low heat, add peppermint chunks and spread out over the milk chocolate. Let set up in fridge then brake into pieces.