Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade Candy - Irish Cream Caramels and Crystal Cut Candy

Irish Cream Caramels
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 tsp butter or margarine
1 tsp Watkins Irish Cream Extract
1 tsp Watkins Original Double Strength Vanilla
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Combine cream, sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a large heavy saucepan. Using a candy thermometer, heat to 245 degrees F, stirring constantly. Remove from heat at once. Stir in extracts; pour into a buttered 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan. Cool just until firm. Loosen candy around edges with a knife; invert on cutting surface. Cut into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife. Cool completely and wrap each in waxed paper. Store in a cool place.

Crystal Cut Candy
2 cups white sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
Dash of salt
Few drops food color
Watkins extract or flavor of your choice

Combine sugar, syrup, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook to 290 degrees F (soft-crack stage) on a candy thermometer. Add food coloring, choice of extract or flavoring, and allow to set for a few seconds before stirring. Mix well and pour into lightly greased 8x8x2 inch pan. Let stand a few minutes until slightly cooled and a film forms over the top. Mark candy into “puffs” ¾ inch square (because the candy is cooler at edges, start marking at the outside and work toward the center using spatula or pancake turner). Press a line across pan ¾ inch from edge. Be careful not to bread the film. Repeat around pan, intersecting lines at corners to form squares. If lines don’t hold shape, candy is not cool enough. Retrace lines, pressing spatula deeper but do not break film. When spatula can be pressed to bottom of pan on all lines, candy will be shaped into square puffs. Cool thoroughly and break into sections. Store loosely covered in a cool, dry place.

Makes approximately 100 candies.

Extract Suggestions
1 teaspoon Watkins Peppermint Extract
2 to 3 teaspoons Watkins Fruit Flavor Extracts
1 teaspoon Watkins Wintergreen Extract
2 to 3 teaspoons Watkins Anise Extract


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