Honey Comb Candy

We have a nut allergy in our house, so we are always looking for a good nut free candy to munch on for the holidays. This year we found a winner! Try this quick and easy recipe for an addicting little treat!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup corn syrup, light
1 Tablespoon(s) baking soda

Directions:
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a large sauce pan. Heat to 300f with out stirring. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Immediately pour onto large greased baking pan. (do not spread, just let it do it’s thing)

Let sit until cool. Break into little pieces and enjoy.

You can also dip in chocolate for an extra sweet treat!

Kitchen Terms:Candied

Candied is a process that is done to Nuts, Fruits, or Citrus Peelings.  The items are usually dipped or cooked in a sugar syrup and then left to drain and dry.  This creates a super sweet version of the items prepared.  Typically these items are bought already candied for use in recipes.

Sweet Birthdays

You are making the best Birthday Cake, but the problem that you are having is with the candles. They don’t want to stand up in the cake on their own, and you have to push them so far in that not very much of the candle is left sticking out.

The solution is on the candy aisle! Pick up a roll of regular life savers. There are so many flavors out there right now that you can easily find a color that matches your cake. Gently place a life saver where you would like to place each candle. Now gently press a candle in the center of the hole. Your candle now stands up like a champ!

Krafty Kisses

Little kiss candies have some special uses if you use them the right way.

If you are serving sugar cones, grab a kiss and drop it in the bottom to help keep the ice cream from leaking out.

If you have a few wonton wrappers left over, place a kiss in the center of one and use a touch of water to seal. Drop in the deep fryer and fry at 375 for 2-3 minutes.

You can make a batch of brownies and pour into muffin cups. Place 2-3 kisses in the center and bake according to recipe. Serve immediately and you have an instant lava cake.

Chocolate Challenge

You are making up some chocolate and it seizes up on you and becomes an unusable mass. This happens don’t throw it away. Place it onto a piece of wax paper until it cools, then transfer it to an airtight bag.

Now when you have a recipe that asks for a bit of crushed, grated, or chopped chocolate for garnish, break off a piece and have at it. You can also break into smaller pieces and use in place of chocolate chips.

Microwaved Nutty Brittle

Here is a simple and easy recipe to make some great treats for your friends! Please remember when working with any candy that it is VERY hot in it’s liquid form. If you spill it on your skin it will burn very quickly and bad. (I still have a scar on my thumb from pouring it out of a bowl when I was a teen)

1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup LIGHT Corn Syrup (not light as in better for you, light in color)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt (may be omitted if using salted nuts)
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 1/2 Cups Nuts of Choice (peanut, pecan, cashews, pistacios, or a mixed blend)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Grab a large jelly roll pan or baking sheet with a rim going all around it and spray well with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine the Sugar, Corn Syrup and Salt (optional) in a 2 quart Microwave Safe Measuring cup that has a pouring lip and handle. Stir well until all of the sugar is moistened by the syrup. Place in the microwave oven and microwave uncovered on high for 4 minutes.

Remove from the microwave (using the handle) and add the butter and nuts. Stir using a wooden spoon to blend the ingredients just a bit and return to the microwave. Microwave on high heat uncovered for 5 more minutes. Remove from the microwave (using the handle). The syrup will be hot and bubbling. The sugar will also have changed color from clear to a light brown.

Using the wooden spoon stir in the vanilla and the baking soda. Upon adding the soda, the mixture will change color a bit again and will foam up. This is normal, but be careful as it is still very hot and can burn.

Once the ingredients have all been mixed in, carefully pour onto the baking sheet, you can use your wooden spoon to gently scrape the sides once most of the brittle is out of the bowl. Using the wooden spoon spread the mixture evenly across the pan.

Now just set the pan aside for about an hour to let the brittle harden. While the brittle is setting up, place your bowl and spoon into the sink and fill with hot water and a bit of soap to start cleaning it off. It is best to clean it off immediately instead of waiting for it to cool off and harden.

After about an hour gently start breaking the brittle apart by hand. Try not to break in into too small of pieces. Store in an air tight container and gift or eat within a week.

 

Almond Roca Candy

This is one of my favorite recipes and I use for gifts around Christmas time, to take to meetings, or just to snack on when feeling a little indulgent!

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 1:00

3/4 lb Butter
1 lb blanched almonds; chopped
2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup walnuts; crushed
1 1/2 cup Melting/Candy Chocolate

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and add sugar. Boil for 5 minutes with out stirring in a large skillet. Add almonds. Stir constantly, cook to hard crack stage or 300°F.

Pour into a square buttered 9″x9″ pan. When the candy is still warm and almost hard, use a sharp knife to score the top into squares and break.

Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the candy has cooled, melt the chocolate according to package directions in a bowl.

Place the walnuts into a large flat bottomed bowl.

Take each candy and drop it into the chocolate and coat all sides of the candy with chocolate.

Immediately roll each chocolate covered candy into the crushed walnuts.

Place on a piece of waxed paper until the chocolate sets, then store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

The next time that you have some fresh strawberries have a bit of fun.

Buy some white and milk chocolate for melting.

Melt them into 2 separate bowls. Dip your strawberries about 2/3 of the way down into the white chocolate, then place onto a piece of wax paper and let sit in a cool place until firm.

Now take your strawberry and dip into the milk chocolate about 1/3 way down.

These make a very festive and unique looking fruit.

Crystallized Sugar?

You are making candy and when you pull the sugar mixture off the stove you notice that little crystals have formed in it.

To help prevent this from happening, heat the sugar in a non-reactive pan (Steel, Aluminum or Glass), over low heat without stirring it.

Watch carefully until all of the sugar is dissolved.

If you see some sugar that is still stuck to the sides of the pan, simply place a lid on the pan for a few more minutes.

As the mixture continues to cook steam will build up inside the pan dissolving the sugar.

Melting Chocolate 2

There are several methods for melting chocolate. Each one is good in it’s own, and it is just up to you to decide which method that you would like to use.

Stove Top (Good) – Place a small saucepan over low heat on the stove. Measure the desired amount of chocolate into the saucepan. Using a spatula slowly stir the chocolate constantly. It should begin melting after 3 minutes or so. Once about 80% of the chocolate has melted, remove the pan from the heat. Continue to stir until all of the lumps are gone.

Microwave (better) – Melting chocolate in the microwave is a bit tricky. Depending on the wattage of your oven, this can spell disaster if you are not careful. Measure the desired amount of chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and place back in the microwave oven. Cook for 10 seconds then stir again. Repeat this process until the chocolate is almost completely melted, you will still see some chunks floating around. Continue to stir until all of the lumps have melted. DO NOT CONTINUE TO COOK until all of the lumps have melted, they will melt on their own once about 90% of the chocolate is melted.

Double Boiler (Best) – Place the bottom double boiler over medium heat. Fill the bottom pan with water and place the top pan in place. Measure the desired amount of chocolate into the top pan. Stir occasionally until all of the chocolate has melted