6 c. sugar
3 c. cold water
2 T. light corn syrup
1/8 t. salt
1 t. cream of tartar
flavoring OIL (peppermint, etc., found at pharmacies and specialty stores) food coloring
Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a heavy 6/7 quart pan. Heat and stir until sugar crystals are dissolved, then stop stirring. Bring to a rolling boil and wash down the crystals, then add the cream of tartar. Boil rapidly to the hard crack stage. Pour two-thirds of the syrup out quickly onto a slab or greased flat pan. Pour the rest into a buttered glass pie pan. and do not move until partly set. Turn the edges in on each portion and add flavoring to each..about 6 drops of oil to the large portion and 3 to the small. Add food coloring to the small dish.
As soon a humanly possible, start to pull the portion in the large container until pearly-colored. (It will be really hot. .butter your hands and set it down when it gets too hot!) Form it into a ball. Meanwhile gather up the colored portion and form it into a rope and wrap it around the ball. With one person on each end, start to stretch and twist the ball in opposite directions to form a long rope with the traditional stripe. Cut into lengths as necessary. When the desired diameter is achieved, cut and form into canes (roll it on the board to get it smooth). If it gets too cold to work with, put on a wooden breadboard in a warm oven to soften.
Hints: I hate to suggest a temperature because of the problem of altitudes (and at this moment I can't find the copy of the recipe that has the temperature I use.) Even two degrees too hot can make it virtually impossible to work with. Too cool and it doesn't set up hard, although it's still good. My second batch is always better than the first one. Hope you like it!
Candy Cane Making Party
Here's the scoop on candy canes! Having made four batches of candy canes, I feel much more comfortable giving more guidelines. First, get everything ready before you make the candy because things move FAST once they get going. That means butter the slab or cookie sheet and one or two metal bowls (according to whether you want one stripe or two). Add a couple of drops of food coloring and about 4 drops of flavoring oil (some flavorings are stronger than others)to each of the bowls. Also butter a heavy duty spatula or putty knife, a spoon for each stripe color, and a couple of pairs of scissors. Next, cook the candy to exactly 78 degrees above where your candy thermometer reads when you put it in water and bring it to a rolling boil.
When it's cooked to the proper temperature, pour 1/3 of it into the bowls for the stripes and pour the rest of it slowly out onto the slab. Immediately stir the coloring and flavoring into the stripe(s), then leave alone while you get the white part ready. Drop 6 or 8 drops of flavoring onto the 2/3 part (white) and don't let it cool too long before starting to turn in the edges with the spatula or the edges will get too hard. As soon as it is humanly possible, butter your hands and start to pull it--we use tag team pulling with each person pulling it two or three times when it is really hot. Pull it until it starts to get pearly colored and begins to get hard to pull, then shape it into an egg shape. Meanwhile, scrape the colored part out onto the slab and shape it into a strip about 1" wide and long enough to go around the white part ONCE the long way. If you have two stripes, do the same with the other stripe. Lay the white part onto the stripe and turn it over so it goes all the way around. Turn it 90 degrees and do the same with the other stripe if you have another one. Twist and pull it carefully (rolling it on a wooden board or a vinyl tablecloth) until it gets about 18 inches long, then cut into two pieces and continue until you get the sizes you want. To make a nice shape, keep rolling it on the table. Cut into pieces and shape the hook. If you live in an area with high humidity, as soon as they cool, package in sandwich bags. Each batch makes about 35 or 45 medium canes.
NOTE: I think the perfect number of people to do this with is 6 and only one of them really has to know what they're doing. The ingredients are cheap--sometimes it takes two batches to get everything operating as fast as it needs to go to get real ly good canes. We had 3 adults and about 10 teenagers doing this yesterday and the kids were all commenting on how much fun it would be to do for dates.
Submitted by Chris