Homemade Confections: A Candy Shop in Your Kitchen
I grew up in a family where my grandmother Erna is known for her fabulous candy and confections.
Lucky neighbors and friends receive platters delivered to their doorsteps and far-flung relatives wait for her candy care packages to arrive. Inspired by her creations, I now do less baking at the holidays and focus more on making homemade candy and other confections. I prefer simple combinations with flavors and textures that I like to eat: good chocolate, salt, a hint of spice and something crunchy.
Most of these treats keep well in the refrigerator or freezer and make great gifts for almost anyone on your list. Enjoy!
Candy Making Tips
• Use a candy thermometer. This makes the process much simpler, especially as a beginning candy-maker.
• This may seem obvious, but be very careful when working with hot sugar. Remind others who are around the kitchen that you have very hot ingredients on the stove.
• Watch carefully as you transfer colder ingredients into hotter ones as the difference in temperature can make the hot liquid bubble up very quickly.
• Stay close to your stove as you work. The temperature can increase faster than you might expect, and you can quickly end up with a failed batch. If this happens, try again. As with any cooking process, practice goes a long way toward achieving a tasty result.
• Parchment paper prevents candies from sticking to the pan and to each other when you want to store them.
• Have everything ready before you start. Hot sugar and other ingredients can cool quickly, so you need to be ready once the cooking process is done.