Makes 3/4 to 1 pound
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 2 to 4 drops flavoring of your choice
• 1 to 3 drops food coloring
• 2 tablespoons corn syrup
1. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook without stirring to the soft-crack stage, 290°F. With a pastry brush, continuously brush the sides of the pan with cold water to dissolve any sugar crystals.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand about 2 minutes, or until all of the bubbles in the candy have disappeared. Stir in the flavoring and coloring.
3. Pour the syrup onto a marble slab and let it cool 10 to 12 minutes, or until it is easy to handle. With a spatula, turn the edges of the candy into the center.
4. Tear or cut off pieces and pull them as you would taffy until they are light and satiny. Fold each piece back and forth like a ribbon, bend it around a finger or pen, or twist it into ropes. Let the candy cool completely and wrap it in plastic wrap.
Variation: Peppermint Sticks
1. After removing the candy from the heat, let it stand 2 minutes, then pour half of the syrup onto a marble slab. Add 2 to 4 drops oil of peppermint and 2 to 4 drops red food coloring to the syrup remaining in the pan.
2. With a spatula, turn the edges of the candy on the marble slab into the center. When it is easy to handle, pull the candy until it is white and satiny. Shape it into a rope 1/4 inch in diameter and cut the rope into sticks 6 inches long.
3. Pour the remaining syrup onto the slab, pull it, and cut it into 6-inch-long sticks. Twist the pink sticks around the white sticks, and let them harden at room temperature. (It is best to have two people make this candy, one to work each color. Time is of the essence as the candy hardens quickly.)
4. Wrap sticks in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
Jennifer Van Norman of Loveland, Colorado, is a freelance food developer and recipe tester. Besides frequent appearances in Woman’s Day magazine, her work is featured on the recipe cards packaged with Perdue chicken.
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