Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homemade Candy Canes

Call me crazy, but I did it. I actually made candy canes. I've never pulled sugar before, so this was a whole new adventure! The husband was on hand to help me out, which is a good thing because I don't think I could have done it myself.

I started out with these instructions. Just as a note, I think their picture is a little misrepresenting.

First, we got the sugar up to 280 degrees. (After doing this and reading several other recipes, I don't think that's hot enough.)

Note: Instead of following the eHow instructions, we put all the ingredients in one pan.

When the sugar reached the required temperature, I poured it out onto two heat safe cutting boards with raised edges to contain the sugar. We added a generous amount of red food coloring to one cutting board before pouring the sugar on.

Then we let the sugar sit until it formed a thin skin. At that point, it will be still be hot enough to work with, but cool enough to stick together. The husband and I each pulled a color. The white is actually clear until you pull it.

We figured out the trick to handling hot sugar. While I'm not proud to admit this, we stole the kids winter gloves then wore latex gloves over those. The knit gloves helped keep some of the heat off our hands and the latex gloves, sprayed down with Pam, made the sugar easy to work with without sticking to everything! If you can see in the picture, the husband is wearing the purple gloves with the pink hearts on them!!

To form the candy canes, we pulled ropes out of each color then twisted them together. The husband finally gave up on the gloves and suffered through the scorching sugar.

Even I can admit that our candy canes certainly were not pretty. Many of them were almost unidentifiable as canes! In fact, after seeing these pictures on Facebook, one of my co-workers commented on how you could tell which ones the kids made. Blushing, I shamefully looked up and informed her the kids were the photographers in this adventure. All the candy was made by myself and the husband. We all had a good laugh!

All in all, they were tasty, but I don't know if we'll be doing those again anytime soon! I did figure out that a few pieces of candy canes dropped into some hot tea is excellent!
By the way, did you know Indiana ranks 4th in peppermint production? The soggy soils of northern Indiana are perfect growing conditions for mint.


Jent said...

Fun! Good for you for trying! I tried this a few years ago - the sugar gets HOT! Mine started to cool and we went down to the hog barns and got a heat lamp (new and clean) and that helped keep it pliable!

Lana said...

Looks like fun! As long as everyone is having fun, it's all good!

carmen said...

I must give you an applaud! I would never try these, and I thought I was stepping out of the box with homemade marshmallows! Ha

Megan said...

You are way too brave!

Cranberry Morning said...

This is a fun project to do with kids. unfortunately, my garden soil is also perfect for mint, which means that it wants to take over the whole garden. I started with one little plant and it's spread to about a 5' x 5' area. Next spring I'm going to have to contain it somehow!

Enjoy the candycanes. :-)

Miz Helen said...

Just stopping by today to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Wendy said...

I have never known anyone to make their own candy canes, so I have to say I am impressed with your enthusiasm!! I think adding the latex over the knit gloves was genius but I hope no one suffered any burns. Hot sugar is HOT!! I wonder if they make a "form" pan to make your own canes that might make that part easier... I'm from Indiana and didn't know that about Mint either!

Happy Holidays and thanks for sharing your experience!!


SM said...

Wow...I mean, WOW! That is some seriously crafty work (wait, is that considered crafting or baking...?) Anyways - they turned out awesome!

Stopping by from TFCT, hope you'll follow back :)
Single Mom Says...

Hello Kendra said...

Wow, you are much braver than I. I've seen the tutorial before but I've always been afraid to try it. You did awesome though!

Stopping by from TFCT.

Cara (aka Totally Temberton) said...

OK, I won't be trying that any time soon, but I totally applaud you for trying! LOL!

Laurie Harrison said...

Hi. I'm a new follower from the new comment Thursday hop!
Laurie from:
Cool! I do not have that much patience. I think I would have just made one big cane! Everyone could just sit on the couch together, put the cane across, and pick a lickin' spot! LOL.
Hey! I wonder if Guinness Book has the world's largest candy cane?
Thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

Wow, you are very ambitious!! I don't think I would ever think of trying to make my own candy canes! I bet they tasted good though! I came from Thirsting for Comments Thursday!

Crystal said...


Wow! What an experience! I don't know many people who can say that they have made candy canes or who would think of trying! I think it is awesome! And for the record, I think ALL of your candy canes look great. The odd look of them makes then neat!

Have a great day!