I am not a big fan of candy canes. I rarely ate them, unless they were broken in the box before I put them on the tree. Usually, I got the rainbow ones because they were colorful and tasted like cherry, but honestly I was indifferent when I was living in the United States.
Now, after 3 years of living in Bulgaria, I decided that I can no longer live with out these edible holiday decorations/treats. There was only one problem… where to get them? Thanks to Google, with in seconds my “candy cane recipe” search brought me closer to a solution. I read over the ingredients and it all seemed simple enough. You would think the digital candy thermometer, would have been my sticking point, but it was actually the corn syrup. Unlike the US, the rest of the world doesn’t make everything out of corn. Usually in these situations, I turn to Lyubov my “go to girl” for all Bulgaria food related inquiries, but she too had no concrete answer. Then out of desperation, I called Martha Stewart.
Yes, I actually called Martha Stewart’s Sirius radio show Ask Martha. 1.) Because I wanted to make candy canes and 2.) because I love her! Anyway, it was surprisingly easy to get on air, I guess the calling from Bulgaria thing did help. I asked Martha about possible substitutes for corn syrup, but she couldn’t give me any specifics, only that I need to corn syrup to make it edible, otherwise it would crystalize and it would be like sucking on shards of glass.
My determination did not waiver, I set out to find the what was the exact composition of corn syrup and it lead me to my solution… glucose, something I have seen in the diabetic section of my local grocery store.
Armed with my jar of glucose and the internet, I set to work on creating my peppermint treats. Things were looking good. I had all my ingredients in place, rubber gloves on and digital thermometer ready.
I dissolved all of the ingredients in a saucepan, till only fine crystals were visible.
Then I divided the mixture into to sauce pans, adding peppermint to one and red food coloring and vanilla to the other.
I waited to the mixtures reached the temperature of 280F (138C), then I poured them onto a oiled granite surface.
Here was the problem, the clear candy mixture reached the perfect temperature and was easy to work with, but I prematurely took the red candy mixture off the heat and it never hit 280f (138C). The result was a wickedly sticky substance. It was unusable and just a gloopy taffy-like mess.
I tried in vain to make some sort of candy canes, but the result was horrific. I left the girls snack on all the candy they could, just so I didn’t feel like I wasted the entire batch. Bad move on my part because they were jumping off the walls all night.
My first attempt was a bust, but I will try again. If you have any candy making tips please share.