Candy-making…. Nowadays, we can easily come across candies of all kinds all throughout the year. Candy shelves line the check-out lanes at the grocery stores. Quarter candy machines stand beside the doors of barber shops, restaurants, and big box stores. We even have entire stores dedicated solely to candies and confections. It’s not often, anymore, that we get into our kitchens and actually cook candy. And, often, when we do, we mix up a concoction of almond bark, cereal, and nuts: melt, mix, harden, break. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some “white trash” candy, as it is often called, but there is something about standing over a pot of bubbling sugar and milk with a thermometer that really makes a person feel as if they have conquered the kitchen. If baking is an art, candy-making is a science. That sugar and milk has to boil at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, or the candy won’t set properly when it is finished. And then, there’s the waiting for it to set up or harden. (Of course, we are blessed with refrigerators and freezers, so we can speed that process up a bit, these days.) Now, I do not say all of this to scare you away from candy-making. By no means! Get in there, and make some candy. The funny thing about candy, even if it doesn’t set up right, it often tastes just fine, even if you have to eat it with a spoon. 😉
Happy candy-making and Merry Christmas!
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. butter (or coconut oil)
- 12 oz. (1 pkg.) chocolate chips
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Butter a 4-quart saucepan.
- In the pan, combine: sugar, milk, evaporated milk, corn syrup, and salt.
- Over medium heat, cook until boiling.
- Once it’s boiling, cook until you reach soft ball stage (238-degrees). Stir only to prevent sticking. The mixture should boil gently over the entire surface.
- Once it has reached the soft ball stage, remove the pan from the heat. If you have an electric stove, this means moving the pan entirely off the burner because the coils will hold heat for quite some time after you’ve turned the burner off.
- Add chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla. Stir only enough to melt and mix in the chips. Don’t worry about the mixture being lumpy; you will beat it later.
- Allow the mixture to cool, without stirring, until it is lukewarm (about 110-degrees.)
- If you have a hand mixer, use that for the next step. If, like me, you only have a stand mixer, then butter the bowl, and transfer the fudge to the bowl.
- Now, beat the fudge vigorously for about 10 minutes or until it becomes very thick and loses its gloss.
- Spread into a buttered 9×13 pan. Allow to cool for several hours on the counter or 2-3 hours in the fridge.
***Every time this recipe called for using butter, I used coconut oil, and it worked perfectly.
***A recipe by my step-mom and sister Deanie Y. and Dawn R.