A plentiful supply of homemade sweets is an asset beyond price at the Hallowe’en party
KATHERINE M. CALDWELLOctober151929
WOMEN AND THEIR WORK
A plentiful supply of homemade sweets is an asset beyond price at the Hallowe’en party
KATHERINE M. CALDWELL
MAKING candy is a little like going to a circus —most grown-ups like to do it occasionally but they frequently claim that “of course, it is really for the children.” Incidentally, however, I am going to make these directions simple enough for youthful folk who have not had much cookery experience to follow without adult aid. In other words, there is no age limit, up or down, to either the making or the eating of these home-made sweets, other than that established by enjoyment and ability.
Plenty of excellent candy is made with no special equipment at all; but results are more certain and are achieved with less anxiety, if you are fortunate enough to possess a thermometer that you can immerse in your pan of boiling syrup. There are various types of thermometers that will answer the purpose, from the special sugar thermometer, made for use in cooking frostings, syrups for canning and candies of all kinds, to the type which is made to fasten over the rim of your saucepan and which will register the heat of such syrups, of fats for deep frying, and so on.
IF Y OU haven’t a thermometer, you can make certain simple tests as a guide to the right cooking-point for your candy. There are three of these points to which the syrup is commonly cooked.
The soft ball stage is reached when a few drops of the hot syrup, allowed to drip from the tip of your spoon into really cold water, will immediately form a soft ball when you test it between finger and thumber. The thermometer would show 238 deg. Fah. at this stage, and for a slightly stiffer ball, 240 deg. Fah.
The hard ball stage, useful for pull taffies and so on, means that a few drops of the syrup in cold water will form a hard ball; the thermometer would show 256 deg. Fah. for this type of candy. A syrup cooked to this point will spin fine threads when it is dripped slowly from the tip of your spoon.
Taffies are boiled to still a little higher point, and really brittle taffies, such as butterscotch and hard candies of the barley-sugar type, higher yet; this group will run from 270 deg. or 280 deg. to 300 deg. Fah. A few drops in cold water will become very brittle, if that is your test.
So much for the temperatures.
Another difficulty encountered frequently by the amateur candy maker is the graining of the candy, when it returns to a sort of sugary texture that is far from what is wanted. Without going into the technical reasons for this, let me tell you that the formation of little sugar crystals on the side of your saucepan as the syrup is cooking is a warning you should heed; a little brush like a pastry brush, or a small piece of cheesecloth which you can wet in cold water, should be kept on hand, and crystals like this forming on the side of the pan should be immediately washed down into the mixture. And when you are finally pouring your candy, never scrape out what clings to the saucepan; this again will cause that same unfortunate graining, if you do it.
THE candies shown in the illustration include several kinds made from one recipe—a creamy white fudge that is not at all difficult to make. It calls for:
2 Cupfuls of sugar 1 Cupful of rich cream Y Teaspoonful of cream of tartar
Y Teaspoonful of vanilla
Stir sugar and cream over the heat until it comes to the boil, add cream of tartar and boil, stirring to prevent burning, until a few drops in cold water will form a soft ball, 238 deg. Fah. Rub a large platter or an enamelled tray with a wet cloth and pour the candy on it. Do not work it until it is cold, then use a spatula or wooden paddle to fold and work the candy until it is creamy. This takes time and patience, but the result is worth it. Knead in the flavoring.
To make a variety of cream candies, separate the fudge into several portions before flavoring. Add different extracts; add pink or other coloring to some of it; work cocoanut into another part; chocolate (melted over hot water and combined with the mixture before pouring
it out, or dry cocoa worked in with the paddle) ; maple extract, candied pineapple and other fruits, nutmeats.
The candy may be pressed firmly into a pan lined with waxed paper, making it shallow or deep as you prefer; or it may be shaped with two spoons or with the hands, in individual pieces. Both of these treatments are illustrated.
Picture-wire on which to thread the candies, and a variety of gum-drops and fancy jellies, will fashion all manner of amusing little figures; the different colors as well as variety in shape will help you to get the effects. Features may be traced in with a toothpick dipped in icing. Marshmallows, dates, figs, raisins, nuts, are all useful for figure-making.
Molasses Peanut Crisp
Y Cupful of granulated 2 Tablespoonfuls of butter sugar Y Teaspoonful of salt
2 Cupfuls of molasses Yi Teaspoonful of baking Grated rind of Y orange soda 1 Cupful of shelled peanuts
Put sugar, molasses and grated orange-rind in a saucepan and boil until a few drops in cold water will become brittle—275 deg. Fah. Add the butter and salt, then the crisp roasted peanuts that have been shelled and their brown skins removed; cook a few minutes without raising the temperature, stir in the soda quickly, and turn the candy into buttered pans. When nearly cool, mark into squares. When quite crisp, break the squares apart. This amount will make two good-sized pans of candy.
2 Cupfuls of sugar 1 Cupful of pecan meats
1 Tablespoonful of or 1 Cupful of shelled butter peanuts
Use a heavy frying-pan of iron or aluminum. Put in the sugar, either brown or granulated, and stir it over the heat until it melts and caramelizes—that is to say, until it browns richly but is not cooked dark enough to give it that burnt and bitter flavor. Add the butter and the broken pecans, or if you are using peanuts, remove the brown skins and break the nuts, which may be roasted or not, as you please. Cook a few moments longer, stirring gently, then pour out on a large platter or a marble slab which has been flushed off with cold water;, spread the candy thin and mark in squares after it has cooled somewhat.
2 Cupfuls of brown sug'ar y Teaspoonful of salt Teaspoonful of soda 1 Cupful of boiling water 1 Tablespoonful of butter 1 Tablespoonful of vinegar y¿ Teaspoonful of vanilla
Blend all ingredients except vanilla, in saucepan, and cook until a little dropped into cold water will form a hard, slightly brittle, ball—260 deg. Fah. Add the vanilla and pour the candy out on a buttered platter or a marble slab. Let it cool until you can handle it comfortably; if the candy sticks to your hands, you may rub them with a little flour. Pull it until it becomes light gold in color, then twist in long thin ropesand cut in small pieces with scissors or a sharp knife; dust the finished candy with powdered sugar, and if it is to be kept at all, wrap each piece in wax paper.
1 Cupful of white sugar 1 Cupful of brown sugar y¿ Cupful of corn syrup ; y Cupful of butter , y Cupful of cold water iy Teaspoonfuls of vanilla
Bring all ingredients except vanilla to the boil and cook until a few drops tried in cold water will be brittle enough to crack —288 deg Fah. Add vanilla, pour into buttered pan and when partially cooled, mark in squares.
• Make the butterscotch as in the preceding recipe, and allow it to cool a little but not really stiffen. Have marshmallows ready and dip each one in the butterscotch; you can impale it on a skewer or a kitchen fork, or drop it in, turn it and then drain from the butterscotch on your fork. Place them on a buttered platter or pan or marble slab, until the coating is crisp. Strips of candied apricot may be pressed to the sides of the freshly-dipped marshmallows.
2 Cupfuls of brown sugar Juice of 1 lemon or 1 tablespoonful of vinegar y Cupful of butter y. Teaspoonful of vanilla y% Cupful of walnut meats or almonds
Put sugar, lemon juice or vinegar and butter in saucepan and heat slowly, stirring until the sugar is dissolved; bring to boil without further stirring, and cook until a few drops will form a hard ball in cold water—270 deg. Fah. Have the pans ready buttered and spread the nutmeats in them evenly; walnuts should be roughly chopped, almonds blanched preferably and chopped. When almost cold, mark in squares.
Chocolate Nut Caramels
2 Cupfuls of white sugar y Cupful of corn syrup ' 3 Tablespoonfuls of grated chocolate y¿ Cupful of milk y¡, Cupful of butter y¿ Teaspoonful of vanilla y¿ Cupful of nutmeats
Put the sugar, syrup, chocolate, milk and butter in a saucepan, stir a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to boil, and cook to the hard ball stage—250 deg. Fah. Stir very gently toward the end, to prevent burning." When cooked, add vanilla and pour over the chopped nutmeats in a buttered pan or in small buttered dishes, keeping the candy about one inch thick. When cool, cut in squares and wrap each in wax paper.
Apples On a Stick
10 Small red apples Skewers
1Vi Cupfuls of brown sugar y¿ Cupful of water 3 Tablespoonfuls of corn syrup
lx/2 Teaspoonfuls of vinegar Wash and wipe the apples, removing their stems and blossom ends. Thrust a skewer into each apple—your butcher will supply stubby wooden skewers. Put apples in refrigerator to make them very cold.
Put sugar, water, syrup and vinegar over the fire in a saucepan, and stir until mixture boils. Continue to cook slowly without stirring until a few drops in cold water will become brittle—270 deg. Fah. Set the saucepan in another containing boiling water, and dip the cold apples into it, dripping syrup over the top of the apple with a spoOn to coat well. Place on waxed paper or a slightly buttered platter to cool.
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