Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Attack of the Peppermint Blob!

Every year, I like to make and give away cookies and goodies that I make. I started a little too early, I think, this year, because the fudge I made a few days ago is nearly gone! I need to remind myself that I have 3 little ones who don't realize they are sneaking pieces of someone's gift!! Well, Hubby and I are guilty of eating the fudge, too. It's so good! I can't help myself!

I made a batch of peppermint hard candies with a recipe I spotted in a Southern Living magazine. It looked so good in the picture and after a quick check in the pantry to make sure I had all the ingredients, I set about to make it. Looked simple enough, with basic sugar, corn syrup, flavoring and food color. I followed the directions and boiled as long as it said I should, then quickly poured it out onto a greased cookie sheet to cool. It should have broken easily with a mallet and then we would have the pleasure of eating homemade peppermint candies!

Should've, would've... it didn't end up at all like the picture!

After breaking, it was kind of like hard taffy and as soon as it touched the heat of your mouth it warmed and melted to your teeth and felt like it would pull a tooth out if you tried to open your mouth!! The pieces that I broke apart and tossed into a bowl, later all "melted" and formed into one solid mass of red peppermint blob even though it was kept in the fridge. Even overnight, it still retained it's taffy-like hardness and I wouldn't dare give a piece to the girls for fear of yanking a tooth out. So it went into the trash.

I found another minty candy recipe I'll try later once I get all the ingredients I need and this one seems more idiot-proof for me to try. Nothing more frustrating than wasting food when it doesn't go right or the cook gets careless and forgets something in the oven too long. We all have our kitchen mishaps, but every once in awhile, those mishaps turn into something yummy!

What are you doing in the kitchen for the holidays?

**if you're interested, here's the link to the peppermint candy recipe: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1687573


mishkazena said...

Can you share that first recipe? I love taffy peppermints!

jenny said...

Mishazena-- Check the current issue of Southern Living magazine.. On the cover is a cake with clear and red candies. Thats the peppermint candy I was trying to make. It wasn't supposed to be taffy-like. And it really wasn't like taffy at all: soft and chewy? No no this was like BAD taffy: hard and stuck to your teeth. I already tossed my magazine since that was the only recipe I wanted to try. Hope you find it!

jenny said...

Mishkazena-- here's the link to the recipe on the internet: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1687573

DJ Kirkby said...

Hi jenny
I was going to ask for the toffee recipe as Chopper loves it but I see you've already left it for Mish so I will follow that link thanks. I've posted my wordless Wednesaday today, no speech I promise! xo

The HOR blogger said...

Jenny? HI!! Do you have a good recipie for sugar cookies (to frost) ??

I've been scouring the internet and have found in about 1 minute flat 30 different ways to make ONE PLAIN COOKIE and I'm freaking out. I've always used school fund-raiser cookie dough in the past but this year I want to do it from scratch. But I'm freaking out trying to find a decent recipie!! HHHEEEEELLLLPPPPP

And what else am I doing for Christmas?

(Sugar Cookies)
*White and Regular Chocolate Haystacks
*Pretzel/Rollo/Pecan things
*Spritz Cookies
*Oreo Cream Cheeze Balls
*Rice Crispy Treats
*Rollo/almond thingies
*Chocolate covered pretzel sticks
*Penut Butter Cookies

YAY YAY YAY for baking and melting!!

mishkazena said...

Many thanks, Jenny

I've made hard candy few times. From what it sounds like, further cooking is required to prevent 'taffy' candy. They may have given you the wrong temperature or the wrong timing. I drip a little in cold water.. If it solidifies to a hard blob, it's ready.. If it remains taffy-like, it needs more cooking.

I'll let you know how this turns out :)

jenny said...

Dj-- I hope you have better luck than I do with this recipe!

Hor-- Well what a coincidence!! I just made sugar cookies yesterday!! Hope you like 'em. These are the easy ones with no decorating afterwards with frosting and stuff. If you want the frosting type cookies, I have another recipe up my apron that my sister and I used to make. No fun making by myself so I haven't made them in awhile. Now that Oldest is old enough... maybe this'll be the year I make it again.

Misha-- I should invest in one of those candy thermometers. I'm more of a fudgy or caramel maker and this was my first attempt at a hard candy so I never had need for a candy thermometer. Thanks for the tip, I never thought about testing a drop into cold water first. I'll try that next time! Do let me know how it goes for you!

The HOR blogger said...

Ooooo Jenny Those look delicious all by themselves!!

I'm looking for a good one that I can use with cookie cutters (and I do love to frost cookies so I was hoping to find one MMMMMmmmm buttercream....)