2013-12-12 / From The Garden

Candy Canes

3 cups sugar
1 tsp. peppermint flavoring
1/3 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 tsp. red vegetable coloring
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Parchment paper
Heat retardant gloves
Bench scraper
Metal candy thermometer

Combine the sugar, water, salt, syrup and cream of tartar and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Place one-half of the sugar syrup into a second saucepan. Continue heating until the sugar reaches 305 degrees. The sugar is extremely hot. Add one half teaspoon of peppermint oil to each batch and add the red food coloring to only one batch. Oil the surface on which you place the molten sugar, oil the scraper, and oil your gloves. Turn the clear (white) portion of sugar onto the oiled surface and with the scraper (and gloves on) fold the sugar onto itself until it cools enough to be touched. Then with your oiled gloves pull the sugar back and onto itself like taffy. Pull it, twist it, and repeat. You must do all of this very quickly. When it turns a spun sugar white color, place it on a large piece of parchment paper. Turn out the red sugar and repeat the process. Pull the white sugar into the shape of a long rope. You can skip the kneading and pull part for the red sugar, but roll it into a long rope as well. The thinner your ropes, the finer your candy canes will be. At any time if the candy becomes hard and uncooperative, simply place it back into the oven on an oiled cookie sheet to soften. Cut two pieces of candy cane rope. Place them side by side and twist. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to harden. Before they harden form the “shepherd’s crook” at the top of the cane.

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