Candy CanesNovember 11, 2007 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Candy | 8 Comments
Greg and I don’t have a lot of extra money this Christmas. We’re buying for our immediate families, but when it comes to my relatives (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins) Christmas is huge and since we’re married I feel like I can no longer only be listed on my parents gifts. As much as I’m still one of the kids, I’m not much of a kid anymore. In the interest of doing something nice, but not breaking the bank buying for 18 extra people I’ve decided to go for homemade goodies.
My marshmallows are an obvious choice, but I needed to find other things. Candy canes seemed like an appropriate second choice, but I’ve never made candy before so I knew there were going to be trial runs before they were good/pretty enough to give as gifts. Today was my first try.
Butttt … before I could make candy I needed to buy a few things, thus the “errands” I needed to run on Friday. The first thing I apparently needed based on my searches online was a marble pastry stone. Some recipes like the one below said I could use a well greased baking sheet, but if there’s an excuse to buy more stuff for my kitchen I’m the type that takes advantage 🙂 The only problem was that the cheapest ones I found online were $30 and they were going to take time to ship. Williams Sonoma has them, but they’re $80 and no matter how much I love kitchen splurges i couldn’t justify $80 when I wasn’t going to use it all that much. While I was looking in search of stones I ended up on chow.com where I found a post where people said they got theirs from Lowes/Home Depot or their local stone cutter. It makes perfect sense, the stones you get are made to be used on counter tops aka for cooking aka just what I needed. Woo hoo Home Depot here I come.
I got to Home depot Friday and was giddy as a school girl. There was just one problem. All the marble stones I could find needed to be ordered and would take a week. NOOOOOOOOOOO. I wasn’t going to give up, but I really didn’t feel like back tracking and going to Lowes or the other Home Depot I had already passed on my way home from work. I decided to look through the whole store, I didn’t feel like explaining that I needed one tile to use for cooking. I can just imagine the odd looks I would get. Then I saw it, the discount section. I saw granite and got excited, where there’s granite there’s probably … then my eyes saw it MARBLE! Success. The best part was that they were only $1.99 each AND they were a pretty pinky marble. I decided to get 2. I carried them up to the self checkout (I heart self checkout) and was on my way. One candy thermometer and a little bottle of peppermint oil later I was ready to go.
All in all the candy making process was really easy, but the shaping part was more difficult. I decided to just play with the candy today, I would deal with shaping it like candy canes and splitting it into a red and white batch later. Today I went for pink and it’s both pretty and tasty. It got hard quickly so next time I’ll plan on working faster, but like I said, today was play with the candy day so it was ok. I also should have oiled up the marble a little better because the blob that I never got to is stuck to my marble pretty good, but a little hot water should get it off so I’m not worried about my precious $2 marble. The clear candy is candy I just drizzled out of the bowl in weird patterns and the darker pink is the candy I pulled until glossy like I was supposed to.
So, now I have yummy candy and my apt has a wonderful peppermint scent.
Santa’s Victorian Candy Canes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/2 C. water
1/4 t. cream of tartar
3/4 t. peppermint extract
1 t. red food coloring
Mix the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture, and cook without stirring until the thermometer reaches 265° F.
Turn off the heat and add the peppermint extract. At this point the peppermint will bring a wonderful overwhelming scent to your home.
If you’re making candy canes you’re going to want to divide the mixture at this point. Leaving one without color and adding red food coloring to the other pan.
While waiting for the candy to cool, oil up your marble (or baking sheet)
Butter your hands, and use a buttered spatula to cut off a portion of one of the clear taffy. Have a helper do the same with the red taffy.
Pull and fold the pieces until they appear glossy, then either play with them and make them into whatever shape suits your fancy OR you can roll them into an 8-inch long coils and turn them into candy canes. If making them into candy canes give the head of the cane a twist before setting it aside to cool on the third greased cookie sheet.
Makes 6 medium sized Candy Canes