Candy Making Tips
Tips and Helpers
Making candy at home can be a fun and even a special event.
You can personalize candy, making it special for someone special! What says love more than something home made that is tasty, too!
In addition, making your own gumdrops, lollipops, fudges, truffles or taffy can lead to tasty candies that taste better than "store bought".
- Always use the recommended size saucepan. If you use a different sized pan you can negatively affect the quality and cooking time. If a size is not stated, then size is not important.
- Never double a candy recipes. When you try this, you change the cooking time specified in the recipe and this could result in a failed batch of candy - and quite the mess not to mention the waste!
- A cool, dry day is best for making candy. Heat, humidity and altitude can affect quality. If the best time for you is on a humid day, cook the candy to a temperature a degree or so higher than the recipe specifies.
- Always dissolve sugar completely over a low heat to prevent crystallization. In addition, use a heat-safe spatula to scrape down the sides of your pan to get any grains absorbed into the mixture. When the candy reaches the boiling stage, do not stir it until it is cool. Opposite the heating process, you never want to stir the candy during the cooling process.
- Always use a reliable candy thermometer, checking your candy thermometer for accuracy. Do this by placing it in water and bring it to boiling. The thermometer should read 212-degrees at the boiling point. To get an accurate reading, be sure the thermometer stands upright in cooking mixture and the bulb does not rest on bottom of pan. Read it at eye level; watch temperature closely. After 200-degrees, temperatures go up very quickly. If the reading is too high or too low, take the difference into account when testing your temperature while making candy.
- If you don't have a thermometer, use the cold water test. Using a clean spoon, drop small amount of cooking mixture into a cupful of very cold water. Test hardness with fingers. If candy does not pass test, continue cooking. Repeat water test with clean water.
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