Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hand Made for Christmas

Writing about making and giving away "Come Back Sauce" yesterday made me think about more "home" gifts for the holiday.

Baking as an activity has always escaped me. I can't bake worth a damn. It's too precise -- leveling off the dry ingredients with the back of a knife blade? Puh-lease! "Yeah, more onion/garlic/pepper" is more my speed -- dishes that do not require Exact Amounts of whatever.

So this recipe for Cinnamon Hard Candies sounded good to me -- few ingredients and no stirring!

1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 T light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 T cinnamon extract OR 1/2 teas. Cinnamon Oil
1/4 teas. red food coloring

Line an 8 x 8 in. metal pan with parchment paper and grease the paper.
Heat the sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a boil, cover it and let it boil for 3 minutes. Then take the lid off, insert a candy thermometer and leave it there until it reaches 300 degrees. Don't stir!

At 300, remove it from the heat and, using a long-handled spoon, add the cinnamon and food coloring -- apparently it may splatter so be careful. Stir it, pour it into the pan and let it cool until it's pliable. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut it into half-inch squares.

Peel the candies off of the parchment and sprinkle them with a mix of 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 teas. ground cinnamon - optional.

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