Learn how to make candy with our handy homemade candy making tips! Also grab a copy of our favorite homemade candy recipes in our homemade candy recipes ebook!
HOMEMADE CANDY RECIPES
One of our favorite things about the holidays is the chance to make our delicious Homemade Candy Recipes. We are sharing the best candy recipes in our Homemade Candy Recipes eBook! You can enjoy them with your family this holiday season.
From Homemade Caramels, toffee, fudge, peanut brittle and more…there is something here for everyone! These candy recipes are easier to make than you might think.
HOW TO MAKE CANDY
There are a few tips you need to know before you start making candy. When you know these candy making tips, you will ensure that you can get the best results possible! Here are our best tips and techniques! They are some of the basic candy making tips to show you how to make candy!
HOMEMADE CANDY RECIPES EBOOK
This collection of candy recipes is the best of the best. We have recipes that we have used for years in our home that are family favorites. We also have a few recipes we have added over the years from friends and family that have become a part of our holiday traditions. We usually end up making several and then sharing them on Christmas Eve at our annual family get together! We also share some with friends and family!
The recipes included in the ebook are as follows.
- Homemade Toffee
- Chocolate Dream Balls
- Old Fashioned Divinity
- 6 Minute Caramels
- Chocolate Covered Coconut Bites
- Homemade Pecan Turtles
- White Chocolate Candy Cane Popcorn
- Peanut Brittle
- Cinnamon Sugar Candied Almonds
- Moose Munch Caramel Popcorn
- Homemade Peppermint Patties
- Pecan Log Roll
- Homemade Truffles
- Chocolate Covered Bear Paws
- Rocky Road Peanut Clusters
- Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
- Bite Sized Chocolate Scotcheroos
- Homemade Buttermints
- Homemade PayDay Candy
- Homemade Scotchmallows
- Homemade Big Hunk Bars
- Homemade Suckers
- Almond Roca
*We have a Holiday Cookie Recipe eBook too if you are interested! If you love cookies and need some great recipes for you holiday parties this year, you can check that out by clicking in the link below!
**And we have a really cute Printable Recipe Binder Kit available to add all your new holiday candy and cookie recipes too! Along with the recipes you already use as a family! To learn more about that, you can click on the button below!
CANDY MAKING TIPS
CANDY MAKING TOOLS
You might already have most of the tools you need to make candy in your kitchen right now. You may not need all of these for your recipe but these are the most common tools you will use when making homemade candy.
- Saucepan: Medium-sized with a heavy bottom and straight sides. It should be large enough to hold 3 to 4 times the volume of the ingredients; this will help prevent boil-overs.
- Large bowl: Large enough to hold the saucepan; lets you cool the candy while it’s still in the pan. Because the temperature of the sugar mixture continues to rise even after it has been removed from the heat, immersing the pan in cold water or an ice water bath stops the cooking at just the right time.
- Wooden spoon: Choose one with a long handle so you don’t get burned with hot steam or bubbles while the candy is cooking.
- Pastry brush: Set one aside exclusively for candy-making. Some recipes will call for brushing down the sides of the pan with water to prevent crystallization of the sugar.
- Candy thermometer: Although it is possible to make candy without one, a glass candy thermometer is a must-have for beginners. Even professionals use one. Choose a thermometer with a metal clamp that attaches to the side of the pan.
- Optional: If you make candy on a more regular basis, you may want to invest in a marble slab and a copper caramel pan.
CANDY MAKING INGREDIENTS
- Sugar is the most basic ingredient in candy, so quality matters. Use an unopened package of sugar; this will ensure that there has been no contamination from other ingredients commonly found in the kitchen, such as flour or salt.
- Unsalted butter is the fat of choice, unless the recipe specifically calls for salted butter. Here’s why: The salt content of salted butter can affect your final product. *Never use margarine (or other buttery spreads) in a recipe that calls for butter; margarine has a higher water content, which will significantly affect the cooking time and results.
TIPS FOR COOKING WITH SUGAR
Dissolve sugar into liquid ingredients over low heat, and then bring to a boil. Don’t stir once the sugar has dissolved, unless directed to by the recipe.
- Either clamp the thermometer to the side of the pan, or periodically place it in the syrup to measure the temperature.
- The bulb of the thermometer should not touch the sides or bottom of the pan, or you’ll get an inaccurate reading
- Always clean the thermometer after each testing, and keep it by the stove in a glass of warm water.
- Cook until the desired temperature is reached. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and cool the bottom of the pan in the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, unless the recipe says otherwise. For example, peanut brittle directs you to pour the hot candy onto a greased baking sheet or oiled marble without cooling.
- Be very, very careful when handling hot, melted sugar.
COLD WATER TEST
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, use the cold water method to test the candy.
- Drop a small amount of the mixture into a glass of cold water, and then examine it closely to determine if it’s at thread stage, soft ball stage, hard ball stage, etc. (See table below.)
- Remove the pan from the heat while testing to avoid overcooking the candy, which makes it taste burnt and bitter. Use a fresh glass of water for each test.
*This is meant as a general guideline; always follow recipe instructions.
TYPES OF CANDY
Here are recipes that use the various types of cooked sugar:
- Soft ball: Fudge, fondant, pralines
- Firm ball: Caramels
- Hard ball: Nougat, marshmallows
- Soft crack: Taffy
- Hard crack: Butterscotch, brittle, toffee, spun sugar
- Light caramel: Caramel sauce, flan
- Dark caramel: Caramel sauce, glaze
COOKING SUGAR AT HIGH ALTITUDE
As with most cooking at high altitudes, there are modifications you’ll need to make with candy recipes. For every 500 feet above sea level, decrease the temperature by one degree. If you live at an altitude of 3500 feet and the recipe calls for cooking to 234° F, cook it to 227° F.
TOP CANDY MAKING TIPS
- Check the weather. Clear, dry days are best for candy-making. On rainy or humid days, the cooking time can increase substantially or your candy may never set up at all. Sugar attracts water, so the humidity can adversely affect your recipe.
- Test your thermometer to make sure it is accurate. (You should do this every time you make candy.) Immerse it in a pan of water, and bring the water to a boil. The temperature should read 212º F. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to adjust your recipe to reflect this. For example, if your thermometer reads 215° F in boiling water, and the recipe says cook the candy to 250° F, you’ll need to cook the mixture to 253° F.
- Measure out ingredients before you start cooking. It takes a long time to reach 220° F, but after that the temperature rises quickly. You’ll want to have everything prepped and ready to go.
With all these little tips and tricks, you should be able to make some delicious homemade candy recipes your whole family will love! They might also become some of your new family traditions!
Happy Candy Making! We love to hear from you! Let us know if you end up making any and how you are enjoying the recipes! xoxo
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