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Candy Making Recipes - How To Make Candy At Home

From the Following Recipes and Formulae, Hundreds and Even Thousands of Candies Can Be Made.

Excerpt from the book:
Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada.

Candy Making at Home

The proverbial "sweet-tooth" is a characteristic of the American people. Hundreds of tons of candy are annually consumed, and fortunes have been made in the business. The range of price is from ten cents to a dollar a pound, with some specially wrapped and boxed bonbons exceeding the latter price, not because of intrinsic excellence, but because of the ornamental form in which they are presented. Cheap candies are adulterated and hence more or less detrimental to health. Good candies are not harmful, unless eaten to excess. Delicious candy may be made at home at much less cost, and some famous candies, like the "Mary Elizabeth" and others, had their beginnings in a home kitchen and grew into popular favor because of their known purity and uniform excellence. The cost of ten one-pound boxes of candies is estimated at $1.50 when materials are bought in small quantities; such candies, placed on sale at church fairs, bazars, etc., are sold at forty and fifty cents per box. Even at twenty-five cents a box there is a profit of ten cents on each box. Any girl can prepare bon-bons for a luncheon or a party at home, if she is willing to take the trouble,--which is, after all, a pleasure to many. She may save her own candy boxes and by getting a supply of paraffin paper, fill them again with candies quite as good as those they originally contained; or buy new boxes of the paper box manufacturers at two or three cents apiece. A box of home-made candy makes a nice Christmas or birthday gift.

Boiling the Sugar

Confectioners recognize seven degrees in boiling sugar for candy, only four of which, however, are practically important. The first of these is the "thread" at about 215 degrees, by the sugar thermometer, when a short thin thread forms when thumb and forefinger are separated with a drop of syrup between them. This passes very quickly into a second stage, known as the large or long thread, when it can be drawn out to a considerably greater length without breaking. In a moment more it can be extended as far as the thumb and forefinger can be separated. The next stage is the "pearl," shown when the surface of the syrup is covered with bubbles, and is the stage at which much candy is made. The "blow" and "feather" come next; then the "ball" or fondant stage at 235 to 245 degrees; this is the third important stage. To discover when the boiling has progressed to this stage, drop a little of the syrup on to ice water, or dip the tips of the thumb and forefinger into ice water and then into the syrup and instantly into the ice water again with the syrup between. One can use a small stick in the same way. If the syrup can be rolled into a soft, but not sticky ball, it is in the soft ball stage; half a minute more of boiling will convert it into the "hard ball," if tested in the same manner. For fondant, the "soft ball" is chosen. The next is the "crack" or brittle stage, at about 300 degrees; when testing as above the syrup remains dry and hard on the fingers. This is the stage for candy that is to be pulled. At the caramel stage the syrup begins to brown, and must be quickly taken from the fire or it becomes "burnt sugar;" dropped in water it crackles and snaps.

Making the Fondant

Fondant ("foundation") is the basis of all French bon-bons, so-called. An endless number of varieties may be made from it in combination with other material. There are two ways of preparing it. The easiest and simplest way is to add to the white of an egg an equal bulk of cold water and a teaspoonful of vanilla; beat until it froths, then add, gradually, one pound or more, of confectioners' XXX sugar; if the egg is large, one and one-half pounds may be required. Ordinary sugar will not do. Add sugar until the mixture forms a stiff paste; work this with a spoon until it is very smooth, then put away in a cool place for at least twenty-four hours, letting it stand in an earthen dish, and cover with a doubled napkin wrung out of cold water.

French, or Boiled Fondant

Put into a porcelain lined kettle a pint of the best granulated cane sugar, half a pint of cold water and a salt spoon of cream of tartar dissolved in warm water. Stir it till the sugar is dissolved and boil rapidly without stirring or moving the kettle. Without a sugar thermometer it is impossible to tell exactly how many minutes it should boil, but usually in about ten minutes a little of the syrup dropped into cold water will form a soft waxy ball between the moistened fingers. It should then be removed from the fire and put in a cool place until the hand can rest with comfort on the bottom of the kettle. If too hot, it will turn back to sugar; if too cold, it will not thicken properly. In either case it is not spoiled, try again; add boiling water, stir until dissolved, and repeat the boiling. A little experience makes one to seize "the psychological moment" when the syrup is in the right condition. When the syrup has cooled to the degree indicated above, begin to stir it, using a long-handled wooden spoon. It will turn milky at first, then thick and white, finally dry on the edge of the dish and get so stiff it is difficult to stir. Then take the mass out on a marble slab and knead as you would bread dough; if you have no marble slab you may work it in the hands.

Flavor and Color

At this point add the flavoring. Make little holes in the fondant with the fingers and put in each a little of the flavoring, working it through the mass. The essential oils are better than extracts. Three or four drops of any of the oils will flavor a pound of fondant. Three cents worth would be sufficient for a number of pounds. The flavor should not be strong. About a teaspoonful of any extract will be sufficient. If it is desirable to have two or more flavors, divide the fondant into the required number of portions, and have an assistant take up the kneading of each. Work the fondant until it is creamy. The pure food laws discourage the use of colorings, and it is difficult for the amateur to procure them in economical quantities. Cochineal can always be had and provides any number of shades of pink. Spinach heated over steam, and the juice expressed, gives a pretty green which is perfectly harmless. Work into the fondant as you used the flavoring oil or extract. The above ingredients will make one pound of fondant, all the beginners should undertake at one time. It may be kept for some time by packing it in glass cans and sealing tightly. The fondant should "mellow" for at least twenty-¬four hours before being used, especially as centers for chocolate creams, etc.; and these in turn should stand as long before being dipped. It is also advisable to let the bon-bons stand a day at least before being wrapped and packed. Choose a dry, clear, quiet day to make fondant, and do not attempt to work with it in wet weather; it is very sensitive to atmospheric conditions.

Making the Bon-bons

After the fondant has stood the required interval it is ready to make up. Here comes in play the ingenuity of the candy maker in the employment of various accessories. Candied cherries, candied violets and rose petals, angelica, dates, figs, hard jel¬lies, raisins, white grapes, crystallized ginger, cocoanuts, marshmallows, nuts, all are employed, while chocolate is used in so many forms that it gives rise to an entire class of candies. When ready to make up the bon-bons, roll the fondant out evenly and cut in squares of equal size; shape these with the fingers. The hands must be frequently dipped into ice water and wiped dry, but never greased. Roll the fondant into a ball; while still in the hand, press into the top an English walnut meat, or whatever decoration is desired, and lay on paraffin paper to harden. Another class is made by using a nut meat, say a blanched almond or pecan meat, a raisin, etc., as center, and rolling the fondant round it. The ball may be rolled in beaten white of egg and then in coarse white sugar. By using various centers, and ornamenting the tops differently a great variety of bon-bons may be made; in fact, hundreds or even thousands can be worked out by changing the flavor, nuts, coloring, etc.

Chocolate Candies

If the American girl had to be restricted to one class of candies, there would be little doubt she would profess a preference for those prepared with chocolate.

Chocolate Cream Recipe

To make chocolate creams, roll the fondant into balls of uniform size; let them stand on paraffin paper twenty-¬four hours or more. Also coat nut meats, raisins, candied cherries, etc., with fondant. In making a small quantity of chocolate dipped candies, get a small bowl that will fit into the top of the teakettle; into this cut half a pound of unsweetened chocolate and a lump of paraffin as large as a black walnut, and let them melt; when smooth and well mixed let cool a little, and then set on a hot soapstone. Have ready a colander and a long darning needle. Cover the bottom of the colander with paraffin paper, stick the point of the needle into the piece to be dipped, immerse in the melted chocolate, let it drip a moment, then push the eye of the needle through one of the holes in the colander, reach the other hand under and pull out the needle. There then remains no disfiguring hole in the bottom of the cream. When the colander is filled, lift the paper very, very carefully, and put in a cool place to harden. Unless the colander must be used again it is best to let the creams stand in it to harden. Nut meats, white grapes, candied cherries and the like, may be dipped in the melted chocolates and coated like the creams. If the chocolate gets too thick, thin it with a little olive oil or unsalted butter; not with water which will make it grain.

Chocolate Cream Recipe No. 2

Put two cups of granulated sugar into half a cup of sweet cream. Boil five minutes from the time it begins to boil hard. Set the pan into cold water and stir in the flavoring, a teaspoonful of vanilla, usually. Stir until the candy is so stiff that stirring is difficult; drop from a spoon on waxed paper; as it hardens, mould into balls, and dip in chocolate as above.

Chocolate Candy Recipe, Plain

Melt a square of unsweetened chocolate and stir into plain fondant, flavoring generously with vanilla.

Chocolate Caramels Recipe

Put together over the fire one cup of molasses and two teacupfuls of sugar. Add a quarter of a pound of grated chocolate and a piece of butter the size of an egg. Boil, without stirring, fifteen to twenty minutes; pour into flat buttered dishes to a depth of one-third of an inch, and when nearly cold cut into squares. Wrap each in a square of paraffin paper.

Chocolate Nut Caramels Recipe

Boil together a cup of molasses, a cup of sugar and half a cup of sweet milk until a little hardens in cold water. Cut into it a piece of butter the size of an egg and add a cup of chopped nuts. Proceed as above.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Put into a porcelain lined pan two cups of granulated sugar, four sections of unsweetened chocolate, grated, one cup of milk and two rounded tablespoonfuls of butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for twenty minutes. Dip out a little of the mixture, put on a cold plate, and if it is done it will form a soft pliable paste. Flavor generously with vanilla, beat hard for a few minutes, then turn into buttered pans and cut into squares while warm.

CHOCOLATE CANDIES. Cocoanut Cream Bars

Boil three pounds of granulated sugar, one cup of cold water and half a teaspoon¬ful of cream of tartar until thick--or in the "ball" stage. Let cool slightly, then beat until creamy. Have ready a large cocoanut, grated; mix and stir well, then pour into shallow tins covered with buttered paper. When cold, cut into bars. Let stand a day or two before using.

Cocoanut Caramels Recipe

Three pounds of granulated sugar, one cup of milk, a tablespoonful of butter and two teaspoonfuls of lemon extract. Put into a kettle, stir till dissolved; add one grated cocoanut and boil to the "pearl" stage. Pour into buttered pans, after it has cooled a little mark off into squares, and when cold break apart. Use when quite fresh.

Cocoanut Snow Balls Recipe

Knead dessicated cocoanut into fondant; make into balls, and roll in grated cocoanut. Dessicated cocoanut may be used but is not as good as grated cocoanut.


Beat thoroughly one cup of the best maple syrup and the while of one egg. With XXX confectioners' sugar, make it into a stiff fondant or paste. Use as the centers for bon-bons, or make into balls to be dipped into chocolate.

Maple Creams No. 2.

To two pounds of maple sugar add a cup of water and a quarter teaspoonful cream of tartar. Shave the sugar, and stir till dissolved. Boil without stirring to the soft ball stage; let stand in the kettle until cool, not cold; beat until creamy and pour into a shallow buttered pan.

Maple Balls Recipe

Boil without stirring, two cups of shaved maple sugar and a cup of water. At the hard ball stage add a heaping table¬spoonful of good butter. Beat till creamy. As soon as it can be handled form into balls and press the half of an English walnut or pecan on one side.


To make wafers, boil without stirring two cups of granulated sugar, a half cup of water. When it will "spin a thread" set the kettle in cold water and beat till creamy. Flavor with pepper¬mint, wintergreen, cinnamon, or any flavor you choose. Squeeze through a pastry tube upon paraffin paper in quantities that will spread to the size of a quarter dollar.

Chocolate Peppermint Wafers

Take some of the fondant prepared as above, flavor rather strongly with peppermint and dip in sweet chocolate.


Nothing pleases children more than a "candy pull." Turn them loose in the kitchen and let them make molasses taffy.

Molasses Taffy Recipe

Boil a cup of good Porto Rico molasses, a cup of brown sugar and a piece of butter the size of an egg until a little will harden, in cold water. Cool on buttered plates, and as soon as it can be handled grease the fingers and pull till hard and light colored. To prevent boiling over, grease the edge of the pan or kettle in which it is boiled.

Molasses Taffy No. 2

Four cups of sugar, two of molasses, half a cup of vinegar. Boil till it hardens in cold water, then add a table¬spoonful of soda dissolved in a little water. Pour into buttered dishes and pull when sufficiently cool to handle.

Butter Scotch

One cup of each of sugar and molasses, half a cup of vinegar, one tablespoonful of butter and a quarter teaspoonful of soda.

Nougat Recipe - Homemade Nougat Recipe

Nuts intended for nougat should be blanched, skinned and dried. Melt in a porcelain lined vessel, one pound of fine white sugar with two tablespoonfuls of water, stirring continually with a wooden spoon. Heat the nuts in the oven, after chopping them, add to the syrup, and stir for five minutes. Remove from the fire and add a little grated lemon rind. Oil a flat pan; place it in a warm place on the range and pour the candy into it. When brown, turn out of the mould, cut in cubes and wrap in oiled paper.

Nut Bars Recipe

Chop any kind of nutmeats you prefer, or a mixture of nuts, moderately fine. Butter a shallow pan and spread the nuts evenly over the bottom. Boil one pound of granulated sugar with half a cup of water and a pinch of cream of tartar till thick, but not too brittle. Pour over the nuts and set aside to cool. When it begins to harden mark into bars with a sharp knife. Let stand several days, when it becomes soft and delicious.

Nut Loaf Recipe

Chop nutmeats into small pieces and work into fondant. Make into a roll, and after standing a day or two, cut into slices. Chopped dates, figs and raisins may be used in the same way.

Peanut Candy Recipe

Carefully remove the shells and brown skins from roasted peanuts. Put them an inch thick in a buttered pan. Boil a pound of crushed loaf sugar with three gills of water and a salt spoon of cream of tartar (to prevent graining) dissolved in water, to the caramel stage. The instant the sugar reaches that point, shown by its beginning to brown, it must be removed from the fire and the pan set in cold water to check the boiling; then pour over the nuts.

Pop Corn Candy Recipe

Boil two cups of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of butter and a cup of water until it threads. Stir in four quarts of nice popped corn, rejecting all hard kernels, take from the fire and stir till cool. Make into balls.

Popcorn Baskets Recipe

Prepare the corn as above, instead of making into balls, butter the bottoms of tumblers and press the candy around them to form little baskets, in which ice cream may be served or which may be filled with candies.

Sour Drops Recipe

Strain the juice of three or four large lemons into a bowl, and stir in powdered loaf sugar till it is quite thick. Put into a pan and let boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Drop from the end of a spoon upon writing paper, and when dry keep in tin cannisters. Tartaric acid is generally used by commercial candy makers, but is much more injurious to health.

Crystallized Fruits.--Other Candies

Boil two cups of granulated sugar with two-thirds of a cup of water until it hardens in cold water, do not stir. When it is brittle without being sticky, it is ready to use. Dip the fruit to be candied, sections of oranges, white grapes, cherries, squares of pineapple, etc., into this, and lay on paraffin paper. Dip a second time after the first has hardened, to ensure a good coat. Use the same rule for the syrup to glace nuts.

Cream Dates

Remove the stones from nice dates. Replace them with the roll of flavored fondant. Or roll a blanched almond in fondant and stuff the date with it.

Hoarhound Candy Recipe

Boil the hoarhound in a little water till the strength is extracted. Make a sugar syrup, adding the hoarhound to it; let it boil up and stir against the sides of the pan until it thickens. Pour out on paraffin paper dusted with fine sugar, and cut into squares.

Marshmallows Recipe

Dissolve over a slow fire eight ounces of best gum arabic in three gills of water. Boil one ounce of marshmallow roots in a little water for half an hour. Strain, and boil down. Put this and the gum arabic solution with half a pound of loaf sugar, let it cook slowly till it makes a paste that can be rolled between the fingers to the "soft ball" stage. Then add the beaten whites of two eggs; when well mixed pour in a pan which should be lined with white paper, with enough projecting over the sides so that as the mixture cools it can he lifted out and cut in cups with a sharp knife, then rolled in powdered sugar.

Marrons Glaces Recipe

Remove the shells from a quart of large Italian or French chestnuts. Let stand fifteen minutes in boiling water. Drain; rub off the skin; cover again with boiling water and simmer gently half an hour or till tender, but not soft. Drain in a sieve. Boil together one cup of granulated sugar and one cup of water; add the nuts and simmer until they begin to look clear. Make another syrup of one pound of granulated sugar and one cup of water; boil till it will spin a thread, add a teaspoonful of lemon juice and set aside till it cools a little; then beat till it begins to turn white. Set in a basin of hot water, flavor with vanilla, and when melted to a syrup, dip each nut. When coated, lay on paraffin paper to dry. These sugared chest¬nuts are highly esteemed as a sweetmeat and are expensive to buy.

Stick Candy Recipe

Three pounds of granulated sugar, two cups of water, one teaspoonful of cream of tartar dissolved in a little warm water. Stir over the fire till the sugar is dissolved; cover the kettle while the syrup is boiling and skim carefully a few drops. When it will harden in cold water, take from the fire and add the flavoring and coloring, then pour on well buttered plates. When cool, pull, and make into sticks or mark off into squares.

School Girl's Delight

Two cups of white sugar, three-fourths cup of golden color corn syrup and a quarter cup of water. Put into a granite sauce pan and boil till a little will crisp in cold water. Beat the whites of two eggs very stiff in a large bowl; pour the syrup very slowly into the bowl, beating the while, and beat and stir until it begins to harden. Then add one teaspoonful of vanilla, half a cup of chopped nutmeats, and five cents worth of dates, cut up with the scissors. Pour upon oiled paper in a flat pan and cut in squares. Those who eat this candy will ask to have it made again.

A Few Hints

Many candy makers consider coffee A sugar, better than the granulated, as being purer. Choose a sugar that is dry, uniform in quality and with hard, sparkling crystals. Cane sugar is greatly to be preferred over beet sugar. When you can, let the sugar and water stand together for some time. The syrup may be stirred until it reaches the boiling point, but not afterward. Unless otherwise specified, cook over a hot fire. The syrup passes quickly from one degree to another and must be tested often and carefully. Cream of tartar must be dissolved in a little warm water before being put into the syrup. So also must soda. If you use nuts, be careful to remove every particle of shell and skin before putting them into the syrup. Almonds are blanched by letting them stand in boiling water for a few minutes and then nipping off the skins between the fingers. They should be warmed in the oven before being put into the syrup. Dessicated cocoanut should be steamed a few minutes before being used; put in a dish in a colander over boiling water. Use the fresh cocoanut if you can get it. Bonbons made of fondant are probably the easiest form of candy making for the amateur to attempt, and the most interesting on account of the variety possible through the use of other materials in combination.

Excerpt from the book:
Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada.

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