Licorice, lollipops, brittle, and bon bons. You know candy when you taste it. But do you know how people make it?
The candy maker’s toolbox includes:
- a double boiler (to keep sugar from burning)
- a candy thermometer (to get sugar precisely the right temperature and texture)
- a sifter (to shake cocoa or powdered sugar)
- molds (to make shapes)
- hands (for everything!)
How well do you know your candy?
Caramel, Toffee, or Butterscotch?
Gather sugar, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream. What are you making?
It depends. Caramel uses white sugar. Toffee and butterscotch use brown sugar. Are toffee and butterscotch the same? Nope! Toffee is cooked longer until it turns hard enough to crack.
All Things Gummy
Now grab sugar, butter, corn syrup, pectin, flavoring, and food coloring. What are you making? Gum drops, gummy worms, or gummy bears. You can also make gummies by combining gelatin, mashed fruit, and honey.
Combine melted chocolate, cream, and butter. Let the combo cool and re-harden in the fridge. Roll a spoonful of the mixture into a ball. Get sticky! Now roll your ball into toppings (cocoa powder, sprinkles, nuts, crushed peppermints). Repeat.
People have come up with countless ways to make candy unique—far more than we have space to describe. But don’t forget the most famous candy of Christmas. German-Swedish immigrant August Imgard first decorated a tree with candy canes and paper ornaments back in 1847. Peppermint sticks were invented much earlier. The J-shape became popular because people needed a convenient way to hang it on trees. Candy canes are made of sugar, water, corn syrup, peppermint extract, and food coloring.
Does your family make candy at Christmastime? Snap a photo of the recipe (unless it’s a family secret!) or the finished product. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.