Christmas candy is a tradition in many families. Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen's Janine Washle is showing how to make stained glass candy, homemade marshmallows and English toffee.
Whether you learned at your Grandma's stove or from reading a cookbook, candy making can be a rewarding part of the holidays if you follow a basic set of guidelines:
1. Only make candy on a sunny dry day. Humidity will keep candy from setting up properly.
2. Heavy bottomed saucepans that evenly disperse heat will keep candy from
Cooking unevenly. Wooden spoons won't heat up and burn fingers. Lastly, a
candy thermometer takes the guessing out of candy making. The trick is determining if
the thermometer is accurate. The easiest test is to boil water. We know it boils at
212degrees. If that is the reading on the thermometer, you are on the road to success.
3. Every kitchen discipline has certain rules that are special to it. In candy making,
measuring accurately, never doubling a recipe and washing down the sides of the pan
to prevent sugar crystals will keep you in the game.
4. Testing for doneness is a bit tricky unless you have a candy thermometer. A
candy thermometer that has been tested to ensure accuracy will keep the candy making
an enjoyable adventure. If there is no candy thermometer then items like ice cold
water, small plates from the freezer are necessary to determine if candy sets up.
5. Cool candy mixtures to the proper temperatures as outline in the recipes. Stirring during
the cooling period will result in grainy candy. When pouring candy into molds, or
another pan, do not scrape the sides or bottom as this will introduce sugar crystals into
the mixture. These crystals will continue to form and ruin the candy even after it
6. Proper storage in an air tight container will keep candy fresh for at least a week. Or in the case of soft candies like fudge, up to 2 weeks.
With a little practice and some good recipes, you too can become a successful candy maker. The following recipe incorporates all of the guidelines listed above and will help build confidence.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ tsp salt
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely broken pecans, toasted
In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, sugar, water, and salt. Cook to 300 degrees (hard crack stage) stirring constantly and watching carefully. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water if sugar crystals start to form (grainy particles clinging to the pan sides). Immediately pour into an ungreased 13" x 9" pan. Cool until hard. Melt chocolate over hot water in a double boiler. Spread melted chocolate over toffee the sprinkle with nuts pressing them into chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 hours or chill 30 minutes. Break into bite size pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Just email Janine Washle, and she will share recipes for everything you saw on tv. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.