Nathan and I are pretty sure that we’re the only couple weird enough to show up to a party on Saturday night with homemade candy corn (to cries of “you MADE that?!”) By now you should know that we love to make homemade versions of grocery store favorites…the only problem with this being that people think we’re crazy… and maybe we are. We find it fun to do things like boil sugar to a dough consistency, color, roll, squeeze, and cut it and finally shape each piece into a tiny corn shape. This is quality time together, yo!
That being said, this candy corn is well worth the effort and lives in a totally different realm from the boring store-bought stuff of the same name. They have no wax or artificial fillers and the buttery, creamy, sweet goodness just melts in your mouth…the only problem with this being that the candy corns are soft and never totally harden… not that they will be around long enough for this to matter.
(based on this recipe)
4 ½ ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 ¼ cups
½ -ounce nonfat dry milk, approximately 6 ½ teaspoons
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 ½ ounces granulated sugar, approximately ½ cup
3 ¾ ounces light corn syrup, approximately ⅓ cup
2 ½ tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 drops yellow and orange gel paste food coloring
Combine the powdered sugar, dry milk and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2-quart pot. Put over medium heat, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the butter, clip on a candy thermometer, and bring the mixture to 230 degrees F, about 1 to 2 minutes. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F, take the pot off the heat and remove the thermometer. Add the vanilla and the dry mixture, stirring continuously with a silicone spatula until well combined. Pour onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat. Cool until the mixture is cool enough to handle, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Add 2 drops of yellow food coloring to 1 piece and knead the dough until the color is consistent throughout. Add 2 drops of orange to the second piece, and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Leave the third piece white. Roll each piece of dough into a strand, about 18-inches long. Cut each strand in half.
Roll 1 of the white pieces into a strand that is about ½ -inch thick and about 22-inches long. Repeat with a yellow piece and orange piece. Lay the strands side by side and press them together using your fingers. Cut the strand into 4-inch pieces. Lay the strands, 1 at a time, onto the silicone mat and press into a wedge shape, like a triangle. Use a wire butter slicer to cut the candies into pieces. If you don’t have a wire butter slicer, use a knife, metal bench scraper or pizza cutter to slice the dough into small pieces. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough. Lay the finished pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to dry for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.