Fudge

cook to 235° F–240° F

 

CARAMEL CANDY

Ingredients
****************
2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup butter
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Grease a 12x15 inch pan
2. In a medium sized pot, combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter. Monitor the heat of the mixture with a candy thermometer While stirring. When the temperature reaches 250 degrees F remove the pot from the heat.
3. Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and let cool completely. When cooled, cut the caramel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.
 

Butter CARAMEL CANDY

5 cups sugar
1 cup water
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup cream, warmed if possible

Place sugar in a clean dry saucepan. Pour the water around the wall of the pan to avoid any splashing of sugar crystals onto the sides of the pan. Bring to a boil and continue cooking on high until amber colored. Turn heat off and with a wooden spoon, stir in the butter and then the cream. Pour into an 8 by 8-inch pan that has been lined with foil and well-buttered and let the caramel cool and set until firm. Once firm, cut into squares. Wrap in decorative clear plastic. Store at room temperature.

CARAMEL CANDY
    3         cups          Sugar
    1 1/2  cups          White karo
    2         cups          Cream
    1 pinch                 Salt
 
Cook 1 cup cream with sugar and Karo, until soft ball stage (235-240 F).  Add last cup of cream very slowly, not to stop boiling.  Cook to hard ball stage (250-265 F).  Pour on buttered plate and cut in squares.  Wrap in oil paper.
 

Old-Fashioned Taffy (skip)

Mix all ingredients except milk in heavy saucepan over low heat.  
Stir often until sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat and bring mixture to boiling. VERY slowly add the evaporated milk in a thin stream so boiling does not stop.

Put candy thermometer in pan; continue stirring. Cook and stir constantly until mixture reaches 248° (firm ball stage).  Dip pastry brush in water and gently brush sides of pan to wash crystals from sides of pan.  Do this a few times while candy is cooking.  When candy has reached desired temperature, remove from heat, remove thermometer and WITHOUT scraping sides and bottom of pan, pour mixture onto large platter which has been greased with margarine.

Let mixture cool until it is cool enough to handle.  Grease your hands with margarine; take a small portion of the candy and begin pulling.  Use only the tips of your fingers to pull.  Candy should be white in color and no longer feel sticky when it has been pulled enough.

Twist each pulled strip slightly and place on waxed paper.  When all the candy is pulled, cut each strip into 1-inch pieces.  Wrap each piece in waxed paper and twist ends.  You can get special colored paper for this. Store in a container with a tight fitting cover.

Makes about 8 dozen 1-inch pieces.
 

Toffee

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Boil to brittle stage, 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) without stirring. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour nuts and chocolate chips into a 9x13 inch dish. Pour hot mixture over the nuts and chocolate. Let the mixture cool and break it into pieces before serving.

Chocolate Almond Toffee

1 1/2 cup Whole almonds, blanched or unblanched
1/2 lb Unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoon Clear corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar
1  pinch Salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 To 5 oz. semisweet chocolate (To be safe & prevent burning, melt chocolate and pour over cooled toffee.)

  1. Spread almonds on a pastry sheet and place in a 160 degree F. oven for about 2 hours. They must dry out and become crisp, but they should not be toasted.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt in a heavy 2-quart or even larger saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan for 3 or 4 minutes to allow the steam to dissolve the sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Keep wiping the sides of the pan with a brush that has been dipped in boiling water to remove the sugar crystals or, better still, use a brush that has been dipped in melted butter.
  3. Boil, stirring gently, until toffee registers 300 F. on a candy thermometer. (If at any time the toffee seems to be darkening too fast, place it over a flame tamer to prevent it from burning.)
  4. Remove the toffee from the heat. Allow the boiling to subside a second or two, then stir in the vanilla or brandy.
  5. Pour toffee over the almonds, stirring them about to cover them thoroughly with the syrup; spread it out over the pastry sheet. Allow toffee to cool. When the toffee has set, brush it with melted chocolate. Cool and break into jagged pieces. Store in a tin.

 

Homemade Marshmallows I

These were made by our neighbor lady in the 1950's for Halloween treats, and they're delicious! Try dusting them with confectioners' sugar."  Original recipe yield: 1 9x13 inch baking dish.

  1. In small bowl, stir together gelatin and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Set aside to set up.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine sugar and remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, over low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool.
  3. Combine gelatin and sugar water, and beat with electric mixer until foamy. Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish and let set. Cut into squares and serve.

 

It sounds so simple -- to make caramel candy or sauce, crystalline table sugar and sometimes a liquid (usually water) are boiled to a high temperature on the stove sometimes with extra ingredients added such as butter and/or cream to create different recipes. The principals of candymaking are the same: under high heat, the sugar's crystalline structure breaks down and undergoes several chemical processes called caramelization as it is heated, stirred and cooled where it rearranges itself to produce different recipes.

There are literally hundreds of different caramel recipes, each producing a different variation on the same theme depending upon how to what stage the sugar and water are boiled to and extra ingredients used. For example, soft caramels are a candy made with caramelized sugar, butter and cream. They can be easily formed into lengths and cut into desired shapes. Caramel apples, gooey candy bars and caramel popcorn (with chocolate) or peanuts often come to mind when adults remember first encounters with caramelized sugar. When it is cooked to a high heat, boiled sugar becomes the base for nut brittles or can be crushed and used a topping for ice cream and other desserts. Many custard desserts use caramel as a sauce. Caramel can also be found in numerous desserts as well as a component in entrees and side dishes

Sometimes these sugars are naturally occurring, such as the case with onions -- when gently sautéed in butter, onions will turn brown and quite sweet and are called caramelized onions. Other times, the caramelizing is man-made by combining sugar and water with cream and butter to create a sinful sauce.

Light and Dark Caramel: Color is important when making caramel; recipes are separated into two types, light or dark because each has it's own attributes. As caramel is cooked, it develops an appealing flavor and aroma, getting more intense as it darkens, and more pliable in texture, resulting in different types of candy. As the color and flavor become more intense, the texture becomes softer when cooled. For most recipes, amber is the desired color. It has a rich, sweetly mellow flavor and hardens to a perfect texture.

The just-melted sugar syrup is called light caramel. As the sugar syrup continues to cook, it reaches the golden stage, followed by the slightly darker amber stage and then the dark stage. If the color becomes excessively dark, the caramel will be bitter and can quickly burn. If you undercook it, it won't have enough flavor.  Light caramel tastes very different from dark, and behaves differently for caramel work, such as caramel cages or pulled sugar. Light caramel will harden into a very hard, glasslike sheet. Dark will harden into a softer texture; the darker the caramel, the softer it will be when it hardens with the most caramel taste. 

Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (make sure no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. It is essential that all sugar completely dissolves before the sugar comes to a boil. This includes the sugar crystals that cling to the sides of the pan, otherwise the mixture will crystallize once it boils, turning the caramel gritty. When dissolved, clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. 

Thread Stage
230° F–235° F
sugar concentration: 80%
Syrup, fruit liqueur and some icings At this relatively low temperature, there is still a lot of water left in the syrup. The liquid sugar may be pulled into brittle threads between the fingers. Or, take a small amount of the syrup onto a spoon, and drop it from about 2-inches above the pot. Let it drip into the pan. If it spins a long thread, like a spider web, it's done. 
Jelly, candy, fruit liqueur making and some icings Pearl: 220 - 222 degrees F - The thread formed by pulling the liquid sugar may be stretched. When a cool metal spoon is dipped into the syrup and then raised, the syrup runs off in drops which merge to form a sheet. 
Delicate sugar candy and syrup Blow or Soufflé: 230 - 235 degrees F - Boiling sugar creates small bubbles resembling snowflakes. The syrup spins a 2-inch thread when dropped from a spoon.
Soft-Ball Stage
235° F–240° F
sugar concentration: 85%
Fudge,
Fondant
, pralines, pâte â bombe or Italian meringue, peppermint creams and classic buttercreams
Soft ball: A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand. 
Firm-Ball Stage
245° F–250° F
sugar concentration: 87%
Caramels Firm ball: Forms a firm ball that will not flatten when removed from water, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed.
Hard-Ball Stage
250° F–265° F
sugar concentration: 92%
Nougat, marshmallows, gummies, divinity, and rock candy Hard ball: At this stage, the syrup will form thick, "ropy" threads as it drips from the spoon. The sugar concentration is rather high now, which means there’s less and less moisture in the sugar syrup. Syrup dropped into ice water may be formed into a hard ball which holds its shape on removal. The ball will be hard, but you can still change its shape by squashing it.
Soft-Crack Stage
270° F–290° F
sugar concentration: 95%
Taffy and butterscotch Soft Crack: As the syrup reached soft-crack stage, the bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and closer together. At this stage, the moisture content is low. Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard but pliable threads. They will bend slightly before breaking.
Hard-Crack Stage
300° F–310° F
sugar concentration: 99%
Toffee, nut brittles, hard candy, and lollipops Hard Crack: The hard-crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. At these temperatures, there is almost no water left in the syrup. Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard, brittle threads that break when bent. 
CARAMELIZING SUGAR:   If you heat a sugar syrup to temperatures higher than any of the candy stages, you will be on your way to creating caramelized sugar (the brown liquid stage)—a rich addition to many desserts.
320 - 356° From flan to caramel cages, etc.  Caramel: Syrup goes from clear to brown as its temperature rises. It will form a hard brittle ball in cold water. All the water has boiled away and the sugar concentration remains at 100%.
320° F Barley sugar candy Caramel - Clear Liquid: The sugar liquefies. All the water has boiled away. The remaining sugar is liquid and light amber in color.
338° F Light caramel Caramel - Brown Liquid: The liquefied sugar turns brown. Now the liquefied sugar turns brown in color due to carmelization. The sugar is beginning to break down and form many complex compounds that contribute to a richer flavor.
Caramelized sugar is used for dessert decorations and can also be used to give a candy coating to nuts.
356° F Praline, spun sugar, caramel cages, nougatine Caramel - Medium Brown Liquid: The liquefied sugar darkens.
374° F Coloring agent for sauces. Caramel - Dark Brown Liquid: The liquefied sugar darkens further.
410° F None Black Jack: The liquefied sugar turns black and then decomposes.