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Old-fashioned candy recipes.

Everyone loves candy and old-fashioned candy can be fun to make at the holidays. Candy making is big at our house and we always love making the old-fashioned recipes. One tip, be very careful when making homemade candies. If you don't get everything on sale for a really good price then it can be more expensive than buying the candy pre-made. If you find the ingredients on sale it can be lots of frugal family fun for the holidays.

If you don't have a candy thermometer you can use these candy cooking tests instead.

When placed in a cold cup of water, candy will:

* Soft ball: 234[degrees]-240[degrees]F--form a soft ball that can be flattened

* Firm ball: 242[degrees]-248[degrees]F--form a firm ball that holds its shape until pressed

* Hard ball: 250[degrees]-268[degrees]F--form a ball that is pliable and holds its shape

* Soft crack: 270[degrees]-290[degrees]F--separates into hard but not brittle threads

* Hard crack: 300[degrees]-310[degrees]F--cracks easily

* Caramel: 320[degrees]-350[degrees]F--mixture coats metal spoon and forms light caramel-colored mass when poured onto a plate

For high altitude-lower candy temperature 2[degrees]F for each 1,000 feet of elevation.
Candied Orange Peel

Peels from 3 large oranges or grapefruits
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2-3/4 cups sugar, divided

Cut the peel on each fruit into
quarters. Pull the peel off in these
quarter sections. Slice peel into
1/4-inch-wide strips. Put them in a
3-quart saucepan (not aluminum)
and add water. Bring to a boil, reduce
heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain.
Boil the water, syrup, and 2 cups of
sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add
the peels. Simmer 40 minutes, stirring
occasionally. Remove the peels
with a slotted spoon. Then put on a
rack over a baking pan. Drain for 5
minutes, separate peels, and dry for
another hour. Toss the peels into a
plastic bag with the remaining sugar.
Allow to air dry 3 more hours, then
store in an airtight container. Keeps
one month or can be frozen. Makes
30-40 pieces.

Use the leftover syrup from the
candied orange peels on your pancakes,
waffles or French toast for a
gourmet taste.

Vinegar Taffy

2 cups dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vinegar
Food coloring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first four ingredients in
a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium
heat, stirring constantly until
sugar dissolves. Continue cooking
to 260[degrees]F. Remove from heat and stir
in soda, vanilla and a few drops of
food coloring. Beat until smooth and
creamy. Pour into a buttered pan.
When cool enough to handle butter
hands and pull until light in color.
Pull into long strips and cut into 1
inch pieces. Makes 8 dozen.

Vinegar Candy

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons butter

Combine ingredients in a saucepan
and cook to 275[degrees]F. Pour into well
buttered jellyroll pan, let cool, and
break. Makes 24 pieces.

Peanut Brittle

3/4 cup corn syrup
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup hot water
2 cups raw peanuts
1 teaspoon soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Grease 2 jellyroll pans. In a saucepan
add corn syrup, sugar, and water.
Bring to a boil and cook to a hardball
stage 260[degrees]F. Add peanuts and cook
to hard crack at 290[degrees]F. Add soda and
salt. Stir well and pour into pans and
spread thin. Cool quickly. I usually
make this for Christmas and don't
have room left in my refrigerator so I
just set it outside in the snow for a few
minutes until it has cooled. Makes 3-4
dozen pieces.

Sugared Nuts

3 cups walnut halves
1-1/2cups pecan halves
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix ingredients in a heavy skillet.
Cook until water disappears and nuts
have a sugary appearance. Remove
from heat and pour nuts onto a baking
sheet. Separate quickly with 2
forks. Makes 5 cups.

Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, available from the Countryside Bookstore. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries and get out of debt by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes visit
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Title Annotation:Countryside
Author:Cooper, Jill; Keelam, Tawra
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Oct 27, 2012
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