Monday, December 21, 2015

Recipe Advent Calendar - Day 21 - Candy

We're nearing the end of this Advent Calendar, so I thought I'd post a few of the candy recipes that I tend to make for Christmas giving.


1 cup butter
1 lb brown sugar (2 1/4 cups)
1 cup light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 15-oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

Butter a 9x9 square baking pan.  Melt butter in a 3 qt saucepan or dutch oven.  Add sugar and salt; stir thoroughly.  Stir in corn syrup, mix well.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage (245 degrees on a candy thermometer,) about 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.  Pour into pan, cool and cut into squares.

Chocolate Caramels - add two 1 oz. squares of unsweetened baking chocolate with the milk.
You can also add chopped nuts at the end, if desired.

Wrap individual caramels in squares of waxed paper or dip them in chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Caramels - Place 1 - 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir with spoon.  Microwave in 15 second intervals, if needed, stirring each time, until chocolate is melted.   Drop caramels into melted chocolate and lift out with a fork.  Place on waxed or parchment paper, or a Silpat, to cool and harden.  Store in airtight container.



2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Place egg whites in bowl of mixer and set aside.  Place sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Then cook without stirring to 252 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage?)  Pour syrup in a very fine line over egg whites, beating constantly.  Do not scrape the bottom of the pan.  Continue beating until mixture is dry and holds its shape.  Beat in vanilla and nuts by hand.  Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper.  Makes about 1 1/2 lbs.


Rocky Road Candy 

This is by far the easiest candy I've ever made, but people request it every year and just love it.

2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter (I choose Jif. LOL)
3 Tbsp butter (can leave out, but it makes it creamier and at this point, saving calories is a moot point)
1 pkg. mini marshmallows

Butter a 9x9 square cake pan.  Melt peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring often.  A double boiler works well, too.  When melted, remove from heat and  stir in mini marshmallows until you can't stir anymore.  It generally takes between half and 3/4 of a package.  Spread into the buttered pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Cut into squares.  Keep refrigerated if it lasts longer than 30 minutes. :)


Butter Mints

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
7 cups sifted confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
food coloring
peppermint flavoring

Cream butter and salt together until smooth.  Blend in milk.  Add confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time until it's no longer sticky to the touch.  Knead in your choice of food coloring and peppermint flavoring.  Shape into small balls less than 1 inch in diameter.  Press down onto waxed or parchment paper and press a fork onto the top to make a design.  Mints will dry and stick slightly into place.  Can sand them with granulated sugar if desired.  Keep the rest of the dough covered while not working with it.


Easy Uncooked Fondant

This is what is in the filling of Cadbury Easter Eggs, so it can be colored and then dipped in chocolate to make them yourself.  (Take a small piece of yellow, rolled into a ball, then wrap with an oval of white.  Dip in chocolate.) It's also what's wrapped around maraschino cherries, then dipped in chocolate to make chocolate covered cherries.  As it sits, the fondant melts to make the gooey syrup surrounding the cherries.  I've colored it, flavored it with all kinds of flavors, shaped it many different ways and dipped it in dark, milk or white chocolate to make all kinds of chocolates.  It looks impressive but is incredibly easy to make.

1/3 cup white Karo syrup
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla or other extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb. box powdered sugar

Mix first four ingredients together, then gradually add powdered sugar.  Fondant will be stiff and the sugar may take a while to work in, but do not add more liquid.  After mixing thoroughly, divide fondant into pieces, according to the number of flavors or colors desired.  Flavor according to taste.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Take out of refrigerator and work fondant into shapes for dipping as desired.

Melt 1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips in microwave or in double boiler until melted.  Dip candies in melted chocolate and set onto waxed or parchment paper, or on a silpat, to harden.
Store in an airtight container.

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