Frugal Candy Tips
No-fail recipes for candy are those that use
ingredients that are already cooked, like chocolate chips and marshmallow cream.
Candy freezes well. Freeze leftover
Halloween candy, or buy it on sale after Halloween and other holidays and use it
If you are making candy from boiling sugar, always cover the
pot, so the sides of the pot will keep wet and keep the sugar off the sides of
the pot. One "uncooked" sugar granule can cause a chain reaction and ruin
a batch of fudge. Running a little water down the sides of the pan at the
beginning of the cooking process, can help keep them moist so sugar won't get
trapped on them. Just wipe the top of the sides lightly with a brush and let the
water drip down.
Use the right size pot so the mixture doesn't boil over or
cook too quickly.
Be aware that making candy is a
science, not an art. You are breaking down the sugar and then causing it
to crystallize again. It must be done in a specific way, at a specific
temperature, and under ideal conditions. Don't get discouraged if your
first batch comes out tasting like the Arizona desert. (Yes, I lived in AZ when
I was first married. This is how someone described my first batch).
It takes time and skill to make candy from scratch. Don't be hard on
yourself if you have to use one of the "no-fail" recipes. It is still less
expensive then store bought.
Candy is usually not stirred while
it is boiling. This can cause it to crystallize and become grainy.
You can add a
little bit of an acidic product to try and stop your sugar from crystallizing.
These would include cream of tartar, lemon juice, or vinegar.
The most inexpensive method to make
candy is with granulated sugar, using a candy thermometer. With this
method you boil the sugar until it reaches a specified temperature. While this
may be the most economical, it is also the hardest.
Always use a candy thermometer
when making candy from granulated sugar. Follow the instructions
Your candy may fail for no other reason than there is too much
humidity in the air.