Coffee or tea….candies?

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Two of my favourite things in the world are coffee and candy! So, why not put them together? I have made quite a few different varieties of candy over the past year. This winter, I made cough drops, that I really like using the same recipe, and I have also made a few different batches using the candy flavouring.

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I had a bowl of candy on my desk at work, but lately, I swear that people are coming by to “ask a quick question”, but really, they are just coming for the candy…that’s right, I am on to you! Anyways, my candy bowl is almost empty, so I thought I would make a couple more batches. Once you have everything out and set up, it doesn’t take that much longer to make another batch…
After a few batches of perfectly crunchy candy, cooked perfectly to the hard crack stage, I started getting a little cocky and started experimenting…which can turn out good, or bad…my first idea was to make a batch of candies using juice crystals instead of sugar, makes perfect sense, right? Well, I wouldn’t advise it, I tried twice and something in the powder burns before the sugar can reach a high enough temperature…doesn’t work.
But then I started thinking…this winter I made cough drops using really strong herbal tea…so really strong coffee should make fantastic candy! I figured it’s worth a shot.
I started with a pot of expresso (I used 1/3 of a cup), a cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of corn syrup.

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Dump everything into a small pot, and put on medium heat.

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While you are waiting for it to boil, dump a bag of icing sugar onto a cookie sheet, smooth it out, and use the back of a 1/4 tsp measuring spoon to make grooves in the sugar. This will be the mold for the candies. Wait until you see how amazing it works!

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By this time, the sugar should be boiling away. To make hard candy, the sugar has to reach a temperature over 300 degrees, which is called the hard crack stage. I have a couple candy thermometers, but honestly, I don’t even use them anymore. Here’s the best way to make sure the sugar reaches the hard crack stage…fill a shallow bowl with cold water and an ice cube. Add a drop of the boiling sugar into the bowl, then fish it out of the bowl, and take a bite. If your teeth get stuck, its not ready, but if your teeth can crack the candy, it’s done.

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Here is my favourite part…pouring it into the moulds. I have a candy funnel, so I pour the liquid candy into the funnel, and then fill the moulds.

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The cool part is how the candy beads off the icing sugar, and rolls into the divets made with the measuring spoon.
After the candy has cooled, I like to use waxed paper to wrap it. II cut the waxed paper into squares, wrap the candy…

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Then twist the ends…

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And repeat about a hundred times! Each batch makes on average about 90 candies.

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So, this week I got a little carried away and made over a dozen batches (I know, I know…) I made a bunch of fruity blends, and a bunch of coffee and tea blends… Anyways, I needed a way to label them so you could tell what flavour it is. I only used a drop or two of food colouring, if any, and the waxed paper makes it almost impossible to tell which flavour is which. So, I dug out some mailing labels, and printed 4 lines on each label, then wrapped the sticker around each candy.

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Now I need a cute little jar or bags to package them in….

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