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Why Candy Is Fun

Aug 18, 2007
From the first lollipop at the first children's party to the gold-wrapped cherry cordial at a golden anniversary all of the festive occasions of a lifetime are associated with candy.

There is no holiday that is not enhanced by candy and if it isn't a holiday, candy will make it one. There are the candies that set off every holiday throughout the year: candied popcorn stars and marzipan.
strawberries at Christmas time, pink and red hearts on Valentine's Day, chocolate-covered eggs at Easter time, marshmallows to roast at the Fourth of July picnic and candied fruits and nuts on Thanksgiving Day.

To make candy is to assist at a miracle. Starting with sugar and water you can make fondant, white taffy, lollipops and barley sugar merely by boiling the syrup to higher and higher temperatures and adding flavoring. The change that takes place with each degree is the miracle.

It's important to read through an entire recipe before you begin to make your candy. Then you will know just what equipment to use, how long the process will take, how much attention you need to give it at each stage, and whether you can take time out to peel the potatoes for supper. In making candy, timing is as important as it is in a comedy act. Doing the right thing at the right moment according to the readings of your thermometer is what will ensure consistent success for your efforts.

Equipment for candy making need not be elaborate, but must include a candy thermometer if you expect good results.

There are really only three essentials for becoming an expert candy cook - a candy thermometer, a willingness to do precisely what must be done if the sugar and chocolate in your batches are to stay under control, and recipes that are detailed enough so you will know what must be done and how and when to do it. The following recipe is an example of why candy making is such fun!

CANDIED POPCORN IN FANCY SHAPES

1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup water, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 quarts popped corn

Measure 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup light corn syrup, 1/3 cup water and 2 tablespoons butter into a saucepan and blend well together. Place over low heat and stir until mixture boils. Now put in the candy thermometer and continue boiling without stirring until thermometer registers 270 degrees. Remove from heat and add 14 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Have ready a bowl of freshly popped corn - about 8 cups will be sufficient for the amount of syrup cooked. Pour the hot syrup over the popcorn stirring well and quickly so that all the kernels are covered.

Popcorn balls can be formed if desired. Moisten the hands with cold water and quickly take a small amount of the candied corn and gently press into a ball. If other shapes such as Christmas trees, stars and wreaths are to be made, molds or cookie cutters may be used.

Press the candied corn into the mold, making sure that the corn is in all the small parts of the design. While the candied popcorn is still warm, place small pieces of colored candies to resemble the ornaments on a tree. Red and green colors are most effective and will make the popcorn Christmas tree a gay centerpiece for a children's holiday party.

For wreaths and stars the candied corn is pressed in the cookie cutters. The points of the stars must be well filled to have the formation distinct. A doughnut cutter is good for the wreath, with colored pieces of candy added for holiday festiveness. If the candied corn becomes too hard to work into the molds, it may be placed in a warm oven and softened. For caramel corn use any preferred caramel recipe, cooking only to 242 degrees. This will be stickier and is not good for molding into shapes.

This recipe is delicious and easy to make. Enjoy!
About the Author
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