29 December, 2012

Christmas Candy Making

What is more fun than candy making? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing at all!

This year I wanted to give some homemade gifts from the kitchen and I set to work a week before Christmas making some of my favorite candies to give to my loved ones.

The first thing I made was Pam Corbin's Candied Orange Peel. This is one of those epiphany moments. Between the intoxicating smell that wafts through your home to the sweet and chewy texture of the finished candy, it is addicting. An added bonus, the left over syrup can be jarred and saved for champagne cocktails. Dipped in dark chocolate, these are a a homemade treat that will always impress.

The second chocolate I set out to make is the one chocolate that I always get when I visit a chocolate/candy shop, the coconut cluster, also known as the coconut haystack. I use unsweetened coconut and I toast it and mix it with some really high quality chocolate, milk chocolate is always a favorite with coconut. So easy and so super delicious.

The third and fourth chocolates I made were because of a bit of a mishap in the kitchen with an attempt at salted caramels. My candy thermometer is broken and the caramels didn't cook to the proper temperature and thus never fully set. I tried to wing it, but it was didn't work out in the end. I was left with a fair amount of gorgeous tasting caramel that I didn't have the heart to throw away. I decided to make these marvelous little dark chocolate salted caramel filled cups with half the caramel. With the other half I made milk chocolate salted peanut turtles. Those turned out brilliantly.

Although I hit that one bump in the road with the caramel, it turned out alright in the end. A labor of love created dozens of chocolates I was proud to give away to the ones I love. A fun new adventure into something different.

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