I decided to hop into and make some food-gift boxes this year. I've never really made candy before, and I shy away from baking because things that require precise measurements are anathema to someone like me who measures ingredients in fistfuls and "oh a pile about as big as a golf ball."
I started out easy, with peanut brittle. I looked up a few recipes, wrote down half the steps and winged it from there.
For my first batch, I had raw Spanish peanuts, so I set about dry roasting them for a little flavor. I scorched them a little bit on one side, but extensive testing by both me and my canine assistants deemed them still delicious. The recipe I used was:
- 2c Nuts
- 2c Sugar
- 1c Light Corn Syrup
- 1c Sugar
- 2tb butter
- 2tsp baking soda
- dash salt
Mixed the sugar, syrup and water and brought it to 250, (thank God I did this at home, my mom owns a candy thermometer)then stirred in the nuts. Now, my first batch had a little deviation here, after I brought the nut and sugar mixture to 290, I was SUPPOSED to add in the baking soda and butter, but i kinda forgot and spread it to cool instead.
It turned out pretty tasty and hardened correctly, but I got nasty comments because it was pretty translucent.
For my second batch, I added a little bit of red and yellow food coloring, and remembered the baking soda and butter. This time it looked like actual peanut brittle, opaque and brown.
I'm going to finish up today with a batch of cashew brittle, and then maybe start in tomorrow on some fudge. Any idea on how to kick up the cashew brittle a little bit or some interesting fudge recipes? Now that I'm assured at least 2 solid batches of candy I'm ready to experiment a little.
Addendum: I started an experiment! roasted the cashews and dusted them with cumin, it might suck but here goes!
Results: It actually turned out pretty damn good, I only wish I'd used a touch more cumin. Try out a small batch if you dare, it's a pretty surprising candy but very good.