Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Candy

So I found this cute little ceramic Easter basket at Kohls and it inspired me to make some wonderful treats to fill it. Best part is, I had Kohls cash and it was on sale so I paid like $4 for this cutie. I was thinking about making more chocolates for the upcoming holiday, but I changed my mind. I like color schemes because it makes the gifts I make look so much more put together. So I decided that making pretty pastel candies would be just the thing. So...

I started with Green Apple Hard Candies. I tried to make swirled lollipops last weekend, but alas, pulling sugar is much harder than I had ever imagined. So needless to say, since you are not seeing pictures of the outcome...I failed miserably. But if at first you don't succeed...

The second try at hard candy went much better, other than my burned thumbs. So to make this wonderful candy opaque and get those lovely striations, you "pull" the candy before it hardens and AFTER it has cooled enough to work...

There must be some magic trick to this, or maybe its just takes a lot of experience, but this is definately not easy to do. I even studied my new cookbook Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner to try to learn how to do this properly. This book reads much more like a textbook than a cookbook even though it has recipes because it explains the science behind the process of making confections. In some ways that was very helpful, but it still didn't help me much with the "pulling" part.

Once you pull the candy and it is opaque and aerated, you stretch the candy into a long rope and cut it into peices with scissors. This was also problematic because it was cooling too fast and after the first 10 peices or so, they were breaking off instead of forming a cute little pillow shape.

I separated the batch into two since I was working alone on these. The second batch I left in the pan to stay warm since I didn't have a warming lamp. This batch was easier to work, but the color darkened to a sickly yellowish green.

Green Apple Candy

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cups water

3/4 cups corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon green apple extract

1/4 teaspoon citric acid

green food coloring

Cook the sugar and water over high heat until the sugar dissolves and the water starts to boil. Then add the corn syrup and cream of tartar and cook to 313 F degrees without stirring. Take the mixture off the heat and add the citric acid, extract and food coloring. Stir to combine. Pour into molds or onto a lightly oiled surface to set up.

So long story short, the candies are made and I am only burned a little. I individually wrapped the peices in cellophane because the outsides are still slightly sticky. They look so pretty in a glass bowl and they taste pretty good too.

I should point out that you do not need to pull the candy to make hard candy. They sell molds for this purpose, or you can just break apart the slab of candy after it cools. You can even make lollipops without too much trouble. It's just that I am the kind of person that doesn't do anything the easy way, even if ithe task requires bodily harm.

So, after this lovely batch was made and the hubby got home we made another batch that was watermelon flavored. I thought, it has to get easier the more you do it, right?


Now I have small burns on all my my conculsions are thus...

1) use gloves ( I have seen a variety of types recommended online from plastic to leather)

2) I think my kitchen has to be warmer because my marble countertops were too cold. The batch that cooled more slowly in the pan worked much better, making me think that the 60 degree spring weather inside my house is not conducive to candy making. (this is also true of chocolates)

3) Just buy Jolly Ranchers!!!

Just kidding...I really like to make things myself. There is nothing like giving someone something you've made yourself.

I had planned on making two more flavors....Pineapple and Black Currant. I'll let you know if I am brave enough to try it again!

Happy Spring

Sweet Charity ;-)


  1. I agree with you! I like making stuff myself and there's nothing like giving someone something you made yourself! You're my sugar hero....pulled sugar? I'm not worthy=).

  2. Myrna, Be glad you haven't tried pulling candy. I am not sure its worth the burns. I will have to try again sometime with gloves! Thanks for reading!

  3. I enjoyed reading about your first experience with pulling sugar. I have been learning and practicing pulling sugar for the past 4 months. I love doing it!!! It is indeed an "art of masochism" and requires a certain aspect of tenacity in attitude to work with it confidently. I am certainly not agressive, but am very passionate about furthering my skills.

    If you decide to do any more pulled sugar wear about 2-4 paris of gloves at the same time. it helps insulate your hands. also, latex I find has the best fit as it stretchs so well. Hope that helps for future reference!