I made candy canes!
A friend challenged me a while back to make candy canes this year, and I finally took up the gauntlet this morning.
It was actually quite a bit easier than I expected, although I think they have a little more of a hard candy texture than traditional candy cane. You basically heat sugar (2c), corn syrup (1/2c), water and a pinch of cream of tartar to 168, color part of it, add peppermint then make canes.
Ok, it's not that easy.
I scooped out less than a quarter cup of the hot sugar and moved it to a ramekin to color it red, and another scoop green. Of course, it hardened on the ramekin, but I was able to scrape it out and basically knead it until it was shapable. It was pretty sticky until it cooled down, so I ended up with a lot of butter on my hands (and presumably in my candy) I made two longish stings of red and one of green, then put them on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. This was not a good decision.
I dumped about half of the "white" sugar on my silpat, and smoshed it around with a spatula until it was cool enough to handle, then kneaded and pulled it until I got tired, shaped it into a big-ish log, and pulled out the colored strings which had completely melted. I scooped up the melted color, and just laid the green on one side of the white, and red on the other. I then cut off a chunk, and set the rest on the warm cookie sheet - which worked much better. I had a hard time rolling it like a snake, so I basically twisted the colors together until I had ropes thin enough to shape.
They're a little funky, but definitely candy canes!
Anyone else take the candy cane challenge this year? Or ever?
I applaud your courage.
I've done a few things with sugar cookery and it is always way more work and WAY more likely to result in personal injury that any other task I have undertaken in the kitchen. Hot sugar is pretty much as close to Molten LAVA as I want to be.
BTW the only time I've gotten any appreciation is when I the sugar turns out "pretty" and as you've stated this stuff rarely turns out like the stuff from a factory!