Like baking, candy-making is an exact science. Unlike baking, though, it isn’t nearly as popular. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one seems to be that it is more difficult. Many tools are required; measurements and temperatures must be precise; and the high temperatures necessary for some recipes can be very dangerous.
However, there are some candy recipes that are somewhat easier to make. The recipes listed below do require tools and supplies such as candy thermometers, pots and pans, and baking sheets, but they generally use ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. These recipes do require a bit more care than baking, and may require exact temperatures and the knowledge necessary to temper chocolate, but they are great recipes to follow at home or in the kitchen of your dorm.
This candy recipe is a great way to use citrus peels that would otherwise be thrown out. It can be used with most citrus fruits, but the most popular one to use is the orange peel.
This recipe requires four oranges, four cups of water, four cups of granulated sugar, and one-fourth cup of light corn syrup.
Cut the peels into long, thin strips. Remove any fruit or white pith that may be stuck on the peel. Then, place the strips in a saucepan, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat this at least two more times to lessen the bitterness of the peel.
After that, combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in a large pot, then put over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Afterward, reduce the heat and add the peels.
Simmer the peels for about 60 minutes until the strips become translucent. Avoid boiling them, since this could ruin the texture.
Remove the pot and peels from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Then remove the peels and allow them to dry on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
After this, you can roll the peels in sugar to coat them. Let them dry overnight.
Candied peels are great plain but they can also be used in other recipes, such as in cakes and cookies.
Easy Chocolate Fudge
Fudge is a very versatile candy to make since almost anything can be added to it: dried fruits, nuts, seeds and other candies, among other things. It is also a great treat to make for holidays.
For basic chocolate fudge, you’ll need one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, a one-fourth cup of unsalted butter (cut into pieces), three cups of chocolate chips and a cup of chopped walnuts.
The ingredients can all be mixed in a double boiler or even a microwave. Heat the chocolate until it is melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat or from the microwave, stir in the nuts and pour them into a greased, eight-inch square dish.
After that, refrigerate the fudge for about two hours or until it has set. To serve it, you can cut it into small squares.
This recipe is super easy, but you can use it to impress and please your friends and roommates.
Chocolate Pretzel Toffee Bark
Chocolate bark is also a very versatile candy recipe. For this specific recipe, you will need a one-half cup of chopped hard pretzels, one cup of chopped toffee and 18 ounces of chocolate. Salt may also be used to top this chocolate bark.
You will also need a baking sheet and aluminum foil or parchment paper to cover it with.
Melt and temper the chocolate, then add 1 ¼ cups of pretzels and a three-fourths cup of toffee. Spread the mixture in a thin layer onto the lined sheet. Then, sprinkle the rest of the pretzels and toffee onto the top of the spread.
The bark can rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. For quicker results, you can also refrigerate it for 15 minutes. After the chocolate has set, you can use a spatula, rolling pin or another tool to break up the chocolate slab into smaller pieces.
Candied nuts are a great study snack as well as a great gift. To make them, you will need three cups of sugar, three tablespoons of cinnamon, a one-fourth teaspoon of salt, and 1 ½ cups of water. You will also need seven cups of any nuts you would like to use, such as almonds, walnuts or pecans.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.
Put a large pot over medium heat and then add the water, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir occasionally. When the mixture begins to bubble, stir constantly for about ten minutes. When the mixture thickens and darkens, use your candy thermometer to make sure it reaches 238 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it is at that exact temperature, remove from heat and add the nuts. Stir the nuts into the sugar mixture, coating them evenly. After that, remove them from the pot and place them onto the baking sheet. Let them cool completely before breaking up any clusters.
This candy recipe requires a three-fourths cup of condensed milk, 1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract, four cups of confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar, three cups of chocolate chips and two teaspoons of shortening.
To make the peppermint filling, combine the condensed milk and extract. Then, begin adding in a little of the sugar at a time until a dough-like ball is formed. Roll into small balls and flatten on a piece of wax paper. Let the patties dry at room temperature for about two hours.
To make the chocolate covering, combine the chocolate chips and the shortening. Use a utensil to dip the patties in the chocolate mixture. Then set them aside on wax paper and let them cool until they set.
Like fudge, peppermint patties are great candies to make for the holiday season.
With its golden coloring, this candy bears a resemblance to the honeycomb that bees produce. This candy recipe calls for one cup of sugar, a one-half cup of water, two tablespoons of honey, a one-fourth cup of corn syrup and two teaspoons of baking soda.
Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
Add the sugar into a saucepan, and then add all other ingredients except for the baking powder. Combine the mixture and heat it until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. Then pour it into the prepared pan. Let it cool until it hardens. Then, break up the slab to create pieces of honeycomb candy.
This recipe requires one pound of chocolate and 16 water balloons.
Blow up the balloons, but be careful not to overinflate them. Temper the chocolate and dip the balloons until they are evenly coated on all sides. Place the balloons on parchment paper and hold them upright until it sets.
Once you’re sure that the chocolate bowl has completely set, slowly let the air out of the balloon. Deflating too quickly could crack and ruin the chocolate. When the balloon has deflated completely, remove it from the chocolate.
Chocolate bowls are a fun way to serve ice cream, fruit or even the other candies on this list.