Honeycomb Candy

From the Food Network

Honeycomb Candy
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup corn syrup
4 teaspoons baking soda, sifted
In a large saucepan, gently combine the sugar and water then add the honey and corn syrup. Boil until amber colored and the sugar looks like caramel. Add the baking soda, and with a wooden spoon, stir in gently. It will foam up a lot. Pour the mixture onto a silpat or a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan, and let cool. Break into pieces.

Chocolate Toffee

From the Food Network

Chocolate Toffee
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand,
Notes about the recipe: I’m always searching for the perfect crunchy toffee that’s not sticking to your teeth once you bite into it, and I think I have it here! I serve this on my elaborate petit four cart as 1 of 12 treats at the end of the very long meal at my restaurant Tru. I have recently discovered (and become totally addicted to) the marvelous Marcona almond, the favorite of Spanish chefs and tapas-lovers. I nibble them with wine before dinner; I add them to salads; I serve them with cheese; and I stick them into every dessert I can ? sometimes all in one day! Marconas are tender and toasty, never hard and dry like some supermarket almonds: you can buy them online at www.tienda.com. This combination of almonds with crunchy toffee and bittersweet chocolate is fantastic. You’ll be amazed that you made it ? and so will any friends that you give it to. It makes a great holiday gift.
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 ounces salted butter (3 sticks), cut into chunks
1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Droste or Valrhona
1 cup whole blanched almonds, preferably Marcona, toasted and roughly chopped
Equipment: Silicone baking mat; candy thermometer

Line a sided sheet pan with a silicone baking mat, or oil it well with vegetable oil (or use a heavyweight nonstick sheet pan).
Pour the sugar into the center of a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Pour the water around the edge of the pan and wait to allow the water to moisten the sugar. (You can draw a clean finger through the center of the pan to allow some water to seep in.) Add the corn syrup and bring to a boil. Add the butter and boil until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F.

Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa; then stir in the nuts. Quickly pour the mixture onto the center of the prepared pan and let it spread out—it may not reach the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool at room temperature until hard. Using your hands (I wear gloves to avoid fingerprints), pry the toffee out of the pan and break into large pieces. Store in an airtight container. The toffee will keep well for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Sesame Candies

From the Food Network

Sesame Honey Candy
Recipe courtesy Wayne Harley Brachman
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (shelled)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
Non-stick spray
In a saute pan, toast the seeds over medium heat for 2 minutes until golden (the pumpkins will pop). Combine the water, honey, and sugar in a saucepan. Over high heat, bring the syrup to 240 degrees F. Add the seeds and bring the syrup to hard crack (250 degrees F). Spritz a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and pour the syrup onto it. After a few minutes, score the candy into 2 by 1/2-inch bars. Let harden, and then cut into bars.


Uncle Bubba’s Benne Candy
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
1 cup sesame seeds
1 (1-pound) box light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Heavily butter an 11 by 2-inch pyrex baking dish.
Wash sesame seeds and remove any debris that may be in the seeds and drain well. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until a drop of water bounces around the skillet. Pour seeds into skillet and stir constantly. Dry and parch seeds until light brown, approximately 2 minutes. Do not burn seeds.

In a heavy saucepan, combine and melt the sugar, butter, milk and vinegar. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until ingredients are dissolved. Cook over medium high heat to light crack stage. If using a candy thermometer, the temperature should be between 265 and 285 degrees F. Once it reaches the desired temperature, remove from heat and beat in the sesame seeds with your spoon. Pour immediately into prepared dish. Score candy while still warm and cut into squares when cool.

Homemade Ginger Ale and Candied Ginger

From the Food Network. I think I’ll have to try this one, and maybe I’ll dip the candied ginger in chocolate, hmmmm…

Homemade Ginger Ale and Its Candy
Recipe Courtesy of Ming Tsai
2 cups ginger slices, peeled (1/8 inch thick)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 quart soda water
1 lime cut in wedges
4 mint sprigs
Mix ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. Reduce mixture by 50 percent until a syrupy consistency is reached. Keep in mind that the syrup will thicken as it cools. Strain warm syrup. Allow to cool.
While syrup is cooling, make ginger candy. Take ginger slices that have been drained out of the syrup and completely coat in sugar. Spread on sheet pan and slowly dry out in a 225-degree oven for 3 hours. Ginger slices should be dried but still chewy.

In a tall glass of ice, add mint sprig and a ratio of 1 part ginger syrup to 7 parts soda water. Squeeze lime wedge and add to drink. Use more syrup if desired. Stir and enjoy. Can also make drink with chilled soda water and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a tasty Ginger Ale Float.


From the Food Network.

Recipe courtesy The Cookworks, 2003
36 lollipop sticks
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon flavored extract, optional
Special equipment: 2 lollipop molds and lollipop sticks (available at kitchen specialty and craft stores)

Arrange the lollipop sticks in the lollipop molds and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
Combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and, without stirring, cook until the sugar is amber or until a candy thermometer reads between 300 to 310 degrees F (hard-ball stage), about 10 minutes (see Cook’s Note*). Promptly remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully stir in the flavored extract.

Work quickly, drop 1 teaspoon of the hot mixture into each lollipop mold. Reheat the mixture briefly over low heat if it starts to thicken. Let the lollipops cool for at least 15 minutes. Remove from molds and store in airtight containers or wrap individually.

*Cook’s Note: To determine hard-ball stage without a candy thermometer, remove the pot from the heat and dip the bottom of the pot in water to stop the mixture from cooking further. Carefully spoon a drop of the hot syrup mixture into ice-cold water. Remove the drop from the water after 5 seconds; when bent, it should snap easily and shouldn’t be sticky to the touch. The cooled drop should have a yellowish tinge.

Chocolate Potato Candy

Potato Candy was a family tradition of ours, until my dad sent me some while I was in college and it molded on the way and I didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be green and I haven’t liked it since. I may have to try this recipe, though, from the Food Network.

Chocolate Potato Candy
Recipe courtesy of Melissa Allen of Cedartown, GA, for FoodTV.com’s Chocolate Championship Cook-Off
This recipe was made every year at Christmas, without the chocolate, until my great grandmother passed away. I recently decided to add melted chocolate…just to spice it up a bit!
1 medium potato, peeled
1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup peanut butter

Boil potato until very tender. In small bowl, mash potato with fork or masher. Add 3 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar slowly until thick dough like consistency. Spread remaining sugar on flat surface and roll out dough evenly. Spread on peanut butter and chocolate.Roll into log and cut into 1 inch pieces! Yummy!
A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.

Kentucky Colonels

From the Food Network

Kentucky Colonels
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2000
8 ounces butter, softened
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
14 ounces semisweet chocolate
In a medium bowl cream together the butter and 1 pound of sugar with a mixer on high speed. Add the bourbon, remaining sugar and nuts and mix well. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator, covered, until firm enough to handle, about 2 hours.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and allow to cool to body temperature.

Form rounded teaspoons of the nut mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper. Dip the candy into the chocolate mixture 2 at a time. Using 2 forks, turn the candy, coating completely with chocolate. Tap the fork to eliminate excess chocolate, then place the coated candy on the waxed paper. Continue with remaining candies. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until firm enough to handle, then transfer to a bowl, cover tightly, and store refrigerated until ready to serve. (Can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

Pecan Pralines

From the Food Network

Pecan Pralines
Recipe courtesy Jessica Harris, “The Welcome Table”
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light cream
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup pecan halves
Place both types sugar and the cream in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the temperature reaches 228 degrees on candy thermometer, stir in the butter and pecans and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 236 degrees. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until the candy coats the pecans but does not loseWeight Exercise its gloss. Drop the pralines 1 tablespoon at a time onto a well-greased piece of aluminum foil or a slab of confectioner’s marble. Allow the pralines to cool. They can be eaten as is, stored in tins, or crumbled over vanilla ice cream for a New Orleans – style dessert.

Peanut Butter Cups

From the Food Network

Peanut Butter Cups
Recipe courtesy of Todd Wilbur
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 (12-ounce) package Hershey’s milk chocolate chips
In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, salt and powdered sugar until firm. Slowly melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. You may also melt them in a microwave oven set on high for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through the heating time. Grease the muffin tin cups and spoon some chocolate into each cup, filling halfway. With a spoon, draw the chocolate up the edges of each cup until all sides are coated. Cool in the refrigerator until firm. Spread about a teaspoon of peanut butter onto the chocolate in each cup, leaving room for the final chocolate layer. Pour some chocolate onto the top of each candy and spread it to the edges. Let sit at room temperature, or covered in the refrigerator. Turn out of the pan when firm.

Caramel Sauce and Caramel Candies

From the Food Network

Build-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundae with Home-Made Caramel Sauce
Recipe courtesy Bob Blumer
Home-Made Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
2 or 3 different flavored pints ice cream
Some or all of the topping suggestions: chopped up Heath bar, toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips, fresh coconut wedges, fresh raspberries, mini bananas, mint, fresh raspberries, penny candy, etc
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add water and sugar. Stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes, or until sugar melts and turns a golden brown. (Keep a watchful eye on sugar because it will go from being golden brown to burning in about 1 minute).
Immediately remove from heat and whisk in cream* see Note. Stir constantly until smooth. At this point, caramel sauce will be very thin. After it cools, it will thicken to the consistency of, well…caramel sauce.
*Note: when adding and stirring cream, wear an oven mitt on your stirring hand. The heat of the sugar will cause a tremendous amount of scalding steam when it comes into contact with the cream.

To serve, set out ice cream along with caramel sauce and other toppings. Let guests build their own sundaes.


Golden Caramels
Recipe courtesy of Flo Braker’s Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle, 2000)
1 vanilla bean
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
24-karat gold leaf
Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper; set aside.
Split the vanilla bean in half with a small paring knife, and scrape out the seeds; discard the pod. Add the seeds to the cream in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan; scald the cream and keep the saucepan near the stove so that if the cream cools too much when needed, you can reheat it briefly. In a deep, heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over low heat, blend the corn syrup and the sugar, stirring occasionally until the mixture becomes more fluid and most of the sugar appears dissolved.

Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and gently boil until a candy thermometer registers 305 degrees F (hard crack stage), about 9 to 12 minutes.

Add the butter and salt to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Pour in the warm vanilla-flavored cream in a slow but steady stream without letting the boiling stop (be careful-mixture foams up and is steamy). Lower heat to medium and continue to boil gently until the thermometer registers about 248 degrees F, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, about 14 to 15 minutes.

Let the candy stand about 3 minutes to allow bubbling to subside, then pour into the prepared pan without scraping the saucepan; allow to cool at least 5 hours.

Invert onto a clean cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips; then cut across the strips to form 1/2-inch squares. To apply a patch of gold leaf to each square, use a small artist’s brush. With the brush, lift a tiny patch about the size of an oatmeal flake of gold leaf and deposit it on top of the caramels for decoration.

Cut caramels tend to stick together and not hold their shape unless individually wrapped, so for easiest storage wrap the block of caramels in aluminum foil and cut off portions as needed. Store cut caramels in layers, separated by aluminum foil in an airtight metal or plastic container in a cool place for up to 3 weeks.

Charlotte’s Caramels
Recipe courtesy Charlotte Albright, 2001
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds), apples
Spray bottom and sides of a 9 by 11-inch baking pan with vegetable oil or rub with 1 tablespoon butter. In a small heavy saucepan, combine cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk. Set aside to warm later.
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, water, and salt. Over high heat, cook until sugar is dissolved, about 6 to 8 minutes, brushing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals. Stop stirring, insert candy thermometer, reduce heat to medium and let come to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until temperature reaches 250 degrees F (hard-ball stage), about 45 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, place cream and milk mixture over low heat and stir until warm. Do not boil.

When sugar reaches 250 degrees F, stir in the warm cream and the pieces of butter. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thermometer reaches 244 degrees (firm ball stage), 45 to 60 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Immediately pour into prepared pan without scraping pot. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours without moving. This is the most difficult part, as you will want to eat it!

To cut into candies, coat a cutting board or marble slab generously with vegetable oil spray. Unmold caramel by turning upside down onto oiled surface. Cut into 1-inch by 1 1/2-inch pieces with a very sharp, heavy knife. Wrap with precut waxed paper squares, twisting ends to seal. If you don’t wrap them, the caramel pieces will stick together. Options: Add nuts to bottom of pan and pour caramel over nuts. Cut as above. Or, pour caramel onto pieces of cut up fruit such as apples or pears.