Christmas Challenge 2: September, Another Candy Flop?

Good morning!  I sooo wanted September’s Year Round Christmas post to be candy:  different flavors of creamy fondant dipped in chocolate and all ready to store for the holidays.  But, even though I can make yummy caramels and delicious toffee, I need to take Christmas candy off the idea list for Year Round Christmas posts- that or change the blog name to Christmas Candy Flops!

Happily bubbling away- wish I could stir it

I will share the September candy, but I also promise to try fondant again soon. 

Even though it was a food flop, it was also a fun afternoon experimenting with candy.  It was almost as fun as experimenting over the campfire.

The frugal fondant recipe is from my vintage Christmas book (yes, the vintage cookbook with a divinity recipe).  But the fondant recipe had lots of variations and only 3 ingredients for the main fondant recipe, so I was really excited to try it.   

Thankfully, I started with the basic fondant recipe, and I didn’t waste homemade maple syrup on a candy food flop!

I’m sure the spatula is not supposed to stand by itself!

It was easy to bring sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and water to a boil.  Lightly washing the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan was also easy.  I just used the husband’s BBQ brush.

Cooking, without stirring, until the candy reached 238-240 degrees, was not so easy. 

My favorite part of making caramels is the stirring!

Stirring, smelling and watching as the candy darkens to become caramels is wonderful. 

The fondant recipe said to let it cook and bubble by itself, so I did.  I also, unfortunately, left the room.  And I didn’t set the timer.  You would think I would have learned after boiling over our maple syrup last year, though I can’t use the cute grandbaby for an excuse this time.

It was fun pulling and twisting the candy

When I finally remembered the fondant-it was still happily bubbling away–10 degrees over temperature!

I thought maybe it would be ok. 

After the candy cooled, I tried to stir it in a figure 8 motion, according to the recipe-but the spatula stood up instead.

The candy did make fun crackle and pop noises- maybe it was taffy now?  Since I’ve always wanted to make taffy, I worked in butter, coloring and flavoring with my hands.

Pretty-I just wish it had not been a food flop!

While it was fun to twist and pull the candy, it never firmed up.  

It changed and got creamy looking as I pulled and twisted it, but it still wasn’t taffy. 

The fondant and taffy recipes are similar, but 2 tablespoons of corn syrup for fondant is not the same as the 1 cup of corn syrup in the taffy recipe. 

The temperatures are different also- my candy flop was 10 degrees too hot for fondant, but still 10 degrees too cool for taffy.  Oh, well.

I’m glad I finally tried a fondant recipe, even if it didn’t turn out. I was also was able to try pulling and twisting a candy similar to taffy, and it was fun! I have been worried about pulling the hot candy, but it was fun to pull after it cooled. Soon, I will try both fondant and taffy again, maybe I will have some holiday candies ready before Christmas- and not another food flop!

Happy Camping (or setting a timer!)

Frugal Campasaurus

About the Author: Cathi

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