Friday, November 10, 2006

I Want Candy!

Something I've always wanted to try to do is to make hard candy. But I've always had a fear of the hot sugar. I decided to order some sucker molds recently, as well as some flavorings, and last night I decided to give it a whirl.

Sugar, corn syrup, and water. That's it. Boiled over high heat to 300ºF. Flavorings and color get added, and the hot syrup gets poured into molds. It was ridiculously easy. The recipe I followed said it made about 10 suckers. I had a lot more syrup than that. I used a spoon to transport the syrup from the pan to the molds and filled all of them up, and added the sticks. It was kind of fun to watch the syrup thread as the spoon made it's way from pan to mold. And those threads cooled rather quickly, so it wasn't long before I got to give it a taste, and I was pleasantly surprised. Here are the sucker molds setting up:

The lesson learned last night? Spray the molds with a nonstick spray before filling with hard-candy sugar syrup. I managed to pop out the larger snowflakes so the kids will be able to sample them after school today, but I doubt I'll be able to get the smaller ones out, so they may just get rinsed down the drain. We'll see though, I have a couple tricks in mind for sucker removal.

After my molds were filled, I had quite a bit of syrup left, so I poured that onto a cookie sheet lined with Reynolds Non-Stick Foil. I was worried about the kids walking up and touching it, so I kind of hovered over it while it cooled. It just kept calling to me, and I kept thinking of those Food Network challenges with the sugar sculptures. I wanted to play with it! So when I thought it had cooled enough, I threw on my rubber gloves for dishes and very carefully, picked at the candy. With the gloves on, I was able to handle it and pull it, and the kids had fun watching Mommy make little candy curly-q's. It didn't take long for it to harden completely, but I did tell Andy last night that I want some good rubber gloves and a heat lamp... I think that playing with that candy was pretty fun, and considering how easy it was to actually make the syrup... there may very well be more candy in my future.

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