I conclude my Halloween candy week with a non-chocolate holiday favorite: candy corn!
This candy endeavor is the first one that’s actually a candy – aka it involves boiling sugar. Yikes!
I had to make two attempts at this one, but I’m glad I didn’t give up because I feel quite accomplished having made homemade candy corn! In my opinion this candy tastes much better than the packaged kind. It lacks that “honey” flavor and artificial after taste. I’m not an expert in candy making but I’d imagine you could add a little honey to the corn syrup mixture if you want that taste? Maybe?
After attempt one I decided to do a little more research and found a post on The Kitchn that went into the chemistry of candy making and how to know what went wrong. (In my case, I over cooked the sugar/syrup mix.) The ingredient list was the same (but halved) so I was content to give it another go. Attempt two involved sifting the powdered sugar mixture – I do not recommend skipping this step as it mixed into the syrup mixture much easier. Attempt two also went off of sugar temperature and not time. I think that’s the real key to candy making – if you don’t have a candy thermometer, I wouldn’t recommend attempting this recipe. Another difference was spreading the candy mixture out onto a baking sheet to cool – doing this ensured even cooling of the candy and easy division into three batches.
To be a little “different” I decided to make purple and green candy corn instead of the classic orange and yellow. I just love the addition of
purple and green to the classic Halloween colors – it feels more “wicked.” But honestly, you could do any color combination you want – perfect for tailgates, birthdays, and other holidays.
I only made 3/4 of the batch of candy corn, sacrificing the remaining quarter to the little boy who climbed up into my lap while I was cutting my triangles. Even still, I managed to fill three 4.25 oz jars with homemade candy corn. (I knew I saved those baby food jars for something!)
Homemade Candy Corn
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp powdered milk
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 C corn syrup
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- food coloring
- Sift together powdered sugar, powdered milk, and salt. Set aside.
- Place butter, corn syrup, and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until butter has melted, stirring gently a couple of times. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer measures 245 – 250 degrees F. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla extract.
- Working quickly, mix the powdered sugar mixture into the syrup mixture (I found this easy to do in batches) until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Spread mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or use a silipat mat if you have one). Allow mixture to cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Do not wait too long or the candy will become too hard to deal with, if this happens microwave the candy for 5 seconds to soften, if that doesn’t work you may need to start over. Note: For “trouble-shooting” please see the original recipe linked below.
- Cut the candy into thirds and knead desired food coloring into each batch. Like you would with Play-doh, create ropes from the candy. To make it easier to work with I created 4 ropes from each color. Again, microwave the candy as needed to work with easily.
- Line one of each color rope next to each other, press together, and flatten with a rolling pin. Cut triangles out of the trio-rope. Repeat until all candy is used up.
- Allow candy corn to harden at least one hour. Keep in an airtight container for several weeks – until the candy simply becomes too dry to enjoy.
*This recipe is adapted from Emma at http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-candy-corn-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-99717*
Here is another Pinterest recreation for my final candy corn presentation. When you slice a round pizza into triangles, you will find yourself staring at a delicious slice of candy corn pizza. Assemble the pizza by first rolling out your dough into a circle. Put shredded mozzarella cheese in the center and surround that with shredded cheddar. The yellow bottom of the candy corn is represented by the crust, so brush it with olive oil. If you wanted to you could dye the pizza dough with yellow food coloring.
Below are recipes for homemade pizza dough and homemade pizza sauce, but for a busy Halloween night feel free to take advantage of the grocery store with a jarred sauce and refrigerated dough – I will not judge.
- 1 pkg dry active yeast
- 1 C warm water
- 3 1/2 C flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- Dissolve yeast in the water, 10 minutes.
- In a stand mixer combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add half of the yeast. Mix in with your fingers. Add in the olive oil and remaining yeast.
- Knead dough with the dough hook of your stand mixer for 7 minutes. (Or by hand on a floured surface for 10 minutes.)
- Shape dough into a ball and put in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
- Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F. Divide dough into 4 separate pieces and roll out on a floured surface.
- Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza paddle (or edgeless cookie sheet). Place pizza dough on the paddle and assemble.
- Bake pizzas on pizza stone 20 minutes until pizza crust is crispy and cooked through.
*This pizza crust recipe is adapted from a recipe that came with a friend’s pizza stone*
- 1 can (28 oz) tomato puree
- 1 1/2 C water
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients.
*This pizza sauce recipe is adapted from Lynn at http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2009/01/homemade-pizza-sauce.html*
I saw this one floating around on Pinterest. It’s actually what prompted my candy corn theme for the week. You only need 3 ingredients, yogurt, apple juice, orange juice. Or you can follow the Pinterest version using orange juice and pineapple juice. Because I have Simply Apple apple juice it’s darker than the from-concentrate counterpart.
You can feel comfortable giving these popsicles to your kids before sending them off Trick or Treating for mountains of candy because there is zero added sugar, and depending on the brand of juice and yogurt you buy, you could be tricking them into a sugar-free dessert!
Here’s the How-To for Candy Corn Popsicles:
Using a tiny spoon put some white yogurt (plain, vanilla, Greek or regular) in the bottom of your popsicle mold. Place the mold in the freezer, covered with plastic wrap, until hardened.
Put apple juice on top of the frozen yogurt. Put in the freezer, covered with plastic wrap, to let solidify just enough so that the third layer won’t mix. If you let it harden completely it’ll be near impossible to put the popsicle stick/handle into the mold.
Top off the popsicle with the orange juice. Put the sticks into the mold and freeze.
When you go to remove the popsicles from the mold run it under cold water first. Doing so will loosen them from the sides of the mold. Or you can set the mold in a bowl of cool water.
Disclaimer: There were no candy corns harmed in the making of these fajitas.
I wanted to bring my candy corn theme to Mexican Monday and I felt the best way to do this was with bell peppers and onion and the best way to showcase the candy corn colors was through fajitas. Using this platform, the white, orange, and yellow aren’t hidden within closed tortillas or underneath melted cheese.
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided use
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
- 1 tsp adobo sauce (from can of chipotle peppers)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 tsp cumin, divided use
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder, divided use
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 lb flank steak, sliced on the bias into strips
- 1/2 large white onion, sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- Make marinade: combine 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, onion powder, garlic, Worcestershire, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.
- Season steak with S+P and toss in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- Toss onions and bell peppers in 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, S+P. Saute vegetables in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When tender remove from skillet and keep warm.
- In the same skillet, cook the steak to desired doneness.
- Serve with sour cream and cheese.
*This recipe is modified from Rachel at http://www.thestayathomechef.com/2013/05/flank-steak-fajitas.html*
So You Think You Can Cook will be taking on the Candy Corn theme leading up to Halloween this Thursday. I have been very excited about this theme and the week is finally here where I can show you what I’ve been up to.
I’m starting off with a sewing post. A pillow. This craft is incredibly simple, you only need 3 different fabrics. (I was able to find everything I needed out of my stash.) And you only need to sew 5 seams!
Here’s the How-To for a Candy Corn Pillow:
Note: My pillow form is 14×14″.
Cut fabric. You will need 2 3 1/2 x 15″ rectangles of white fabric, 2 7 1/2 x 15″ rectangles of orange fabric, and 2 5 1/2 x 15″ rectangles of yellow fabric.
Your finished squares should be 15×15″, sew on a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Attach white to orange and orange to yellow. When you press each square, iron the seams in opposite directions.
Put right sides together. Pin. Leave a 4″ gap on the yellow edge of the pillow. Sew all around the pillow, keeping that gap, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Pull pillow inside out. Poke out the corners. Iron the unsewn 1/4″ flat on each side of the gap.
Stuff your new pillow case with your pillow form.
Close up the gap with your preferred method: hand sewing, buttons, Velcro, machine sewing, etc.