- Every kid loves candy, but not every kid can eat it. In addition, some children have allergies to red dye or corn, and these children cannot enjoy a nice commercially bought piece of candy. Below is corn syrup and a dye-free recipe to keep your little ones healthy. For this recipe, you will need a candy thermometer and a pastry brush in addition to typical kitchenware.
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil or extract
- Line and grease an 8-to-9-inch metal heatproof container with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Avoid using glass or ceramics as they can break from thermal shock.
- Place the sugar and water together in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Place on medium-high and stir together until dissolved.
- If sugar crystallizes on the sides of the pan above the waterline, carefully wash it down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water.
- Continue to cook medium-high until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage, which is 310 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from the heat and let it stop boiling. Add the peppermint oil and stir carefully with a clean heatproof spoon or spatula to mix the oil in.
- Pour the mixture onto the previously lined and greased baking sheet. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes, and then score the candy with a knife to make pieces.
- Let it cool completely before you break it apart, or you can be burned.
- If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can test to see if the mixture is at the hard crack stage by putting one drop into cold water. When the drop is removed, if it cracks between your fingers, then the candy is done. Another indicator is that the candy will turn a pale yellow when finished.
- You can coat the candy with powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking but be aware that cornstarch is in powdered sugar.
- Candy should be made on a dry day as a humid day will make it sticky.
- You can use any flavor, including cinnamon, butterscotch, lemon, cherry, and many more. Do not use essential oils as a flavoring for baking or cooking. Only use oils found in your baking or cooking oil labeled for baking or cooking.
- If you are adding lemon as a flavoring, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the sugar water mixture. This helps prevent sugar from sticking to the sides of the pan.
- Don’t use nonstick pans. A regular stainless steel pan is best.
- The syrup is very hot. Please do not leave the pan unattended and do not allow it to boil over. Do not touch or taste the hot sugar or candy. You will be burned if you don’t heed this advice.
- You can add peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or any nut you like to make it taste just a little bit different. Of course, dyes can always be added if your child is not allergic.
Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.