Moreover, a few hard candy treats can replace the desire to munch too many soft candies––a little will go a long way to tame a sweet tooth! Best of all, it s surprisingly easy to make hard candy provided that you have the right ingredients and tools. Once you re familiar with the candy-making process, it will likely inspire you to make more batches. In this article, you ll learn how to make basic hard candy, fruit drops, lollipops and old-fashioned barley sugar. Before you make candy of any kind, read through the entire instructions for the individual recipe. You need to be thoroughly aware of what the recipe requires before starting because candy needs precise temperature control and precise actions at the times that the recipe states.
Most importantly, remember that candy not attended to is candy that burns! Check the temperature before making candy. Candy should not be made when the weather is high in humidity or rainy or it has a hard time setting.
Check the room temperature––it should be around 60ºF-68ºF (15.5ºC-20ºC), with low humidity. If you have no choice about cooking in sub-optimal temperature conditions, you may be able to compensate by cooking the candy 1 to 2 degrees higher than recommended by the recipe. Altitude will affect the outcome; if you live at high altitude, you may need to make adjustments in accordance with the usual recommendations for high altitude cooking. If you don t already have one, purchase a candy thermometer of good quality. You need to be happy about working with great precision when making candy––it s a science as well as an art.
For more details on selecting a candy thermometer, see How to choose a candy thermometer. Never touch the base of a saucepan with a candy thermometer. The pan must always be long enough that the thermometer does not reach the bottom when hung on the pan lip.
Know how to test the hardness of candy. This can be done manually or using a thermometer. The thermometer is easiest, but it s handy to know how to test the temperature manually, which you can learn to do before using a recipe by reading How to test candy hardness stages.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Without stirring, let the mixture come to a boil which should be about another 5 minutes, Raise the temperature to high as it boils. Right before the liquid reaches exactly 300ºF/150ºC, add the food coloring and flavoring to the mixture. Doing so will allow the boiling action to stir the coloring and flavoring into the mixture.
Watch the thermometer until the temperature is at exactly 300ºF/150ºC. (If you do not have a candy thermometer you can fill a glass with really cold water then take a drop of the candy liquid and if it solidifies in the shape of a ball and floats to the surface, then its ready for next step.) Remove the mixture immediately at 300ºF/150ºC, or it will burn! After you remove the sugar from heat, the temperature will continue rising but that is not a problem provided that you took it off the heat at 300ºF/150ºC. When it is still very hot, add a dab of flavoring oil and several drops of your choice of food coloring or Kool Aid.
Mix quickly. Mix food coloring to make fun shades. Try adding the color after stirring in flavor and stir lightly for a swirled effect. Mix flavors or Kool Aid or pour over dried fruit for an added texture. Pour the molten sugar onto a greased cookie sheet.
Allow it to cool. Spread the mixture around the sheet before it cools too much. It is not advised to put the mixture inside the freezer as it makes it harden too fast. Try pouring into candy molds or mini muffin pans instead for a consistent shape. Dust with powdered sugar. For a variation, do not dust the pieces––simply leave them as they are and they will look like stained glass.
The powdered sugar keeps the candy pieces from sticking together and becoming a large, sharp lump. If you like the effect of the colors without the powdered sugar, make sure you store the pieces on pieces of wax paper and not touching one another. Hard candies make great gifts. Place in jars or cellophane bags and decorate. Add labels so that the recipient knows what flavors to expect. If you don t have a thermometer, use a spoon to drop tiny amounts of molten sugar into ice water every few minutes.
When the drops form hard threads or balls that you can bend and is not sticky, remove from heat. This is called the ball stage. If you like to experiment, try mixing flavors to make a unique flavor. It s highly recommended that you use a candy thermometer. Candy is more likely to sugar if you use conventional methods.
Basically, the thermometer makes candy making much easier. Watch your teeth! It is always better to suck hard candies than to chew or crunch them. Heated sugar is almost as hot as a deep fryer. If you get it on you, it will stick and burn for several seconds. Cooking old fashioned candy is not suitable for children under 12 and when teaching children over 12, remain in a role of constant supervision.
Hard candies should be eaten in moderation and not as a regular part of the diet. Hilary Walden, The Complete Home Confectioner, (1986), ISBN 0-86824-266-7 – research source Andrea Swenson, Gifts from the Kitchen for Dummies, (2002), ISBN 0-7645-5452-2 – research source Larousse Gastronomique, Old-fashioned barley sugar, (2009), p. 66, ISBN 978-0-600-62042-6 – research source Food Network, http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_25258,00.html?rsrc=search – research source Featured Article Categories: Featured Articles | Sugar Treats In other languages: Italiano: Preparare Caramelle Dure e Lecca Lecca, Español: preparar caramelos macizos, Português: Fazer Balas Duras Tradicionais (Hard Candy), 中文: 制作老式硬糖, Deutsch: Bonbons selber machen, Русский: сделать леденцы, Français: faire des bonbons à l ancienne Discuss Print Email Edit Send fan mail to authors Get Our Books Free Newsletter Our Videos Frugal Living Save On Food Cooking Tips Kids And Food Meal Planning Quick and Easy Meals Quick And Easy Managing Money Ask Tawra and Jill Budgeting Getting Out Of Debt Kids And Money Saving Money Everyday Kids Holidays 4th of July Christmas Easter Halloween Thanksgiving Valentine’s Day Staying Home Miscellaneous Bath and Beauty DIY Entertainment Gardening Moving Recipes Beverages Breads Quick Breads Yeast Breads Breakfast Desserts Cakes Candies Cookies Pies Dips Drinks Gluten Free Homemade Cleaners Kids Recipes Leftovers Meats And Main Dishes Miscellaneous Recipes Mixes and Gifts In A Jar Pasta And Rice Quick and Easy Recipes Salads and Dressings Sauces Side Dishes Soups Vegetables Organizing/Cleaning Cleaning Decorating Laundry Organizing How To Start A Blog Here are 25 of the best easy Christmas candies all in one place! Many of these recipes can be made in just a few minutes and the result is oh so delicious! They come from our Dining On A Dime Cookbook.
And be sure to check out our Homemade Christmas E-book for more great Christmas ideas! 25 of the Best Easy Christmas Candies Recipes And Tips We love to make homemade candies for Christmas! We only really make one cookie, Nan’s Gingerbread Men, but oh do we love to bake candies!
Today, I’ve included all of our top favorite easy candies that we make every Christmas. I don’t like spending hours in the kitchen baking so most of these candies can be made with just a few minutes’ hands-on work! I’ve also included some candy making tips from our Dining On A Dime Cookbook. Making Christmas candy seems complicated but it really is super simple and several of these easy recipes consist of just two ingredients!! Candy Tips Use the leftover syrup from the candied orange peels on your pancakes, waffles or French toast for a gourmet taste.
If you over cook chocolate, it becomes dull looking. To save it, put the pan on low heat and beat in 1 teaspoon shortening or oil at a time until you have restored the shiny, smooth consistency. When you are melting chocolate, make sure that all utensils are completely dry. Even a little bit of water will make chocolate grainy and lumpy.
Buy fortune cookies in large bags from Chinese restaurants. They cost about five cents each when purchased in bulk. They also make great treats for lunch boxes. When making candies like peanut brittle or truffles, you can set them outside on the patio table to cool if you’ve run out of room in the refrigerator. Remember, for most of the country there are no bugs this time of year!
Save chocolate bunnies and chocolates from Halloween to use for making Christmas candy or buy it on clearance after Halloween. Candy cooking tests to use if you don’t have a candy thermometer: When placed in a cold cup of water, candy will: Soft Ball 234°-240° form a soft ball that can be flattened Firm Ball 242°-248° form a firm ball that holds its shape until pressed Hard Ball 250°-268° form a ball that is pliable and holds its shape Soft Crack 270°-290° separates into hard but not brittle threads Hard Crack 300°-310° cracks easily Caramel 320°-350° mixture coats metal spoon and forms light caramel colored mass when poured onto a plate For High Altitude? lower candy temperature 2° for each 1,000 feet of elevation. 2 Ingredient Easy Fudge Recipe 3 cups of chocolate chips* 1 can sweetened condensed milk Pour both ingredients into a microwave proof bowl. Melt in 30 second increments.
Stir after each 30 seconds. When melted, pour into a greased 8×8 inch pan. Let cool in the fridge and then cut into pieces.
Variations: Add Nuts as desired Cherry Mash: Use cherry chips to make to the fudge. Then pour melted chocolate chips on top with peanuts. Peanut Butter: Use peanut butter chips to make to the fudge. Then top with chocolate or don’t, if you prefer not to.
Dark Chocolate: Use dark chocolate chips Mint- Use mint chips, mint pieces or 1 tsp. mint flavoring English Toffee Recipe 1 cup nuts, chopped (pecans or walnuts are best) * 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup chocolate chips Butter an 8×8 inch pan (my favorite pan!). Spread the nuts in the bottom of the pan.
On medium heat, bring the sugar and butter to a boil and boil 7 minutes. Spread into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Let it sit a few minutes. When melted, spread evenly. Let cool before cracking into pieces.
Makes 24 pieces. *Variations: White Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts (not cheap but to die for!) Dark Chocolate with Almonds Semi-sweet chocolate with Almonds for an Almond Roca flavor Easy Chocolate Truffles 1 Tbsp. sugar 1/4 cup whipping cream 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 2 Tbsp.
desired liquor (optional) – (brandy, amaretto, kahlua, rum etc.) or any flavoring (orange, mint, raspberry, coffee) 1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder* Combine the sugar, whipping cream and butter in a 1 quart saucepan. Cook and stir until butter is melted and mixture is very hot but not burned. Remove from heat. Stir in semi?sweet chocolate until melted and well blended.
Stir in liquor. (If desired, halve the batch at this point and stir 1 Tbsp. of 2 different liquors into each portion.) Cover and chill 1 hour or until mixture is completely cool, stirring often. Drop mixture from a rounded teaspoon onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. or silicone baking mat.
Chill 30 minutes or until firm. Roll balls into nuts or unsweetened cocoa powder. Store in a cool, dry location. Makes 15-20 pieces. *You may roll truffles in coconut, sprinkles, powdered sugar or dip in melted white, dark or milk chocolate. Marshmallow Bonbons Recipe 38-40 large marshmallows 1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips Coconut Sprinkles Nuts, chopped Place marshmallows on a pan that is covered with wax paper and place in the freezer.
They will be ready by the time you need to dip them. Pour coconut, sprinkles and nuts on squares of wax paper. You could use a bowl but wax paper saves time and effort in clean up.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for a couple of minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Place frozen marshmallows on a skewer or toothpick and dip in chocolate. Then in roll in your choice of ingredients (below).
Use a fork to slide them back on the wax paper. Chill. Tasty topping ingredients that work well for Marshmallow Bonbons: Coconut, toasted Sprinkles Nuts, crushed Graham cracker crumbs (like s’mores) Peppermint sticks, crushed Candy, crushed Candy bars, chopped Dried fruit, chopped Sweetened cereal, crushed Once chilled, you can package in clear cellophane bags. Homemade Jelly Candies (called Applesauce Candy in Dining on A Dime) 1 cup applesauce* 1 cup sugar 1 sm. pkg. fruit gelatin (3 oz.) extra sugar for coating Combine applesauce and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Dissolve the gelatin in the applesauce mixture. Pour into an 8×8 inch pan. After 24 hours, cut into 1 inch squares and roll in sugar. Roll in the sugar a second time 24 hours later.
Makes 64 pieces. *Puree fruit cocktail, peaches or pears instead of applesauce Homemade Peanut Brittle Recipe 3/4 cup corn syrup 2 cups sugar 3/4 cup hot water 2 cups raw peanuts 1 tsp. baking soda 1 1/2 tsp. salt Grease 2 jelly roll pans. In a saucepan, add corn syrup, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and cook to a hard ball stage, 260 degrees.
Add peanuts and cook to hard crack at 290 degrees. Add baking soda and salt. Stir well. Pour into pans and spread thin.
Cool quickly. I usually make this for Christmas and I don’t have room left in my refrigerator so I just set it outside in the snow for a few minutes until it has cooled. Makes 3-4 dozen pieces. Homemade Peppermint Patties (Party Mints) 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 egg white (meringue powder may be substituted) 2 Tbsp.
butter, melted 4 small lids peppermint flavoring (try 1/2-1 tsp. then add more to taste if you need to) 1 pkg. (12 oz.) almond bark OR chocolate melting wafers Mix the powdered sugar, egg white or meringue, butter and peppermint flavoring.
Make into small balls about the size of a quarter and then flatten on a cookie sheet. Put in the freezer. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. When the chocolate is melted, take the mints out of the freezer. Put a toothpick through the center of a mint and dip into the chocolate.
If the mints on the cookie sheet begin to soften and thaw, refreeze because they are easier to dip when they are frozen. Put the dipped mints back on the cookie sheet and let the chocolate harden in the freezer. Wrap each mint in a piece of 5×5 inch foil.
Makes twenty 2-inch mints. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups 2 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup butter 1 cup peanut butter 1 tsp. vanilla 1 pkg. (12 oz.) chocolate candy wafers or almond bark Cream the butter. Add the peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe dish and melt.
Microwave until melted, stirring frequently. Pour a small amount of melted chocolate in the bottom of paper holders. Place the filling inside and then pour more chocolate on top until the filling is covered.
Let the chocolate harden before serving. Makes 2 dozen. *When this homemade peanut butter cups recipe was originally written, you couldn’t buy dipping chocolate or the wafers. If you prefer, you can use something like that in place of the chocolate chips and paraffin. Peanut Butter Balls Shape peanut butter into small 1 1/2 inch balls. Dip the peanut butter balls into chocolate and place on wax paper to harden.
Grandma’s Million Dollar Fudge 4 1/2 cups sugar 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk 1 Tbsp. butter Mix ingredients. Then boil 5 minutes. Add: 2 1/2 large Hershey’s candy bars, crushed (about 6 oz. total) 1 (12 oz.) bag semi sweet chocolate chips 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream 1 tsp.
vanilla nuts Beat until well blended. Pour into 2 greased 9×13 pans for thicker pieces and add another 8×8 pan for thinner pieces. Candied Orange Peels Peels from 3 large oranges, grapefruits or lemons* 1 teaspoon salt 3 cups sugar water Cut the peel on each fruit into quarters. Pull the peel off in these quarter sections. Slice peel into 1/4 inch-wide strips.
In a saucepan add orange peels and salt, cover with cold water and stir. Boil 15 minutes, pour off water and add fresh water. Boil 20 minutes. Change water again and boil another 20 minutes. Drain and cover with 2 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Simmer, stirring constantly, until all the syrup has boiled away.
Do not let the peels scorch. Spread on wax paper. Roll peels in the remaining sugar. Let dry. Store in an airtight container.
These will keep one week or can be frozen. *If non-organic fruit is used, wash the peels thoroughly before peeling. Easy Spiced Nuts Recipe 1 egg white, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon water 3 cups walnuts, pecan halves, almonds (alone or mixed) 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional) 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional) In a small bowl, beat the egg white with the water. Stir in nuts, mixing until well blended. In a another small bowl, mix together sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the moistened nuts.
Spread nuts on a pan lined with foil or silicone baking mat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Do not burn the nuts. Peppermint Bark Recipe 1 lb. white almond bark 1 cup crushed peppermint candies* 1/4 tsp.
peppermint flavoring (optional) Melt the almond bark in the microwave according to the.