REVIEW w/ Pics: Handmade Candy Cane Making at Logan's Candy in Ontario
Logan's Candy is a small candy shop that has been in Ontario for over 70 years. It's currently owned by Jerry Rowley, who with a little help, skillfully pulls, twists, cuts and hooks more than 75,000 candy canes by hand every holiday season. In fact, between November and December, there are even candy cane making demonstrations to the public or by group appointment.
I was actually able to attend one of these demonstrations, so read on below to see how it gets done. First, a sugar and corn syrup mixture is heated to a temperature of 340 degrees in a copper kettle. One batch will make about 400 standard-sized canes that are 10-12 inches long.
Once properly heated, the contents from the kettle is poured onto a marble board. Initially, Jerry uses a spatula to "knead" the sugar mixture together. After a period of time, the sugar mixture was halved into two sections and individually kneaded further by hand.
A few drops of blue food coloring was added to one of the sections since for our demonstration, blue and white candy canes were being made for a special order. More kneading occurred until the blue sugar mixture was set aside next to a gas heating element to keep it warm and soft.
To the remaining sugar mixture, peppermint oil is added. Still more kneading until the sugar mixture is stretched and hung on a hook. Once on the hook, a lot of pulling, tugging, twisting happened similar to the pulling of taffy. It's the manipulation that helps the color turn to the recognizable white.
The ensuing all white, peppermint flavored candy block is covered with a wide strip of blue candy on one side and a blue and white stripe patterned candy section on the other. Then it's all twisted and pulled out to make all sorts of goodies via a people-powered assembly line, including traditionally shaped candy canes, candy cane hearts, candy cane sticks and even candy cane pieces.
Don't think that candy canes are the only thing you'll find at Logan's. You can also find vintage candies, gummy candies, licorice and more. Also keep a lookout for taffy, gumballs, hand-dipped chocolates and other hand-dipped items like chocolate covered oreos and potato chips as well as caramel-dipped apples.
They also make their own of ribbon candy in assorted flavors like Sweet Abby Pie (a personal favorite), Pink Lemonade, Root Beer, Sugar Plum, Green Apple with 13 other assorted flavors.
In an age where everything is manufactured by machines, I think it's cool that Logan's Candy still takes the time to make their candy canes by hand. Given how intensive the whole process is, it truly must be a labor of love and for that, I hope Logan's Candy will be around for another 70+ years and beyond.
125 W. "B" Street
Ontario CA 91762
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125 W B St, Ontario, CA 91762