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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.