Smita MishraMarkets are flooded with candies, chocolates and goodies in attractive shapes and colourful wrappings. To gift them to a friend all we need to do is to step out of our homes and buy them. So why enter into the tedious task of making them at home? But the charm of making candies with your own hands is supreme! It not only adds a special touch to the gift, but also fills you with a sense of achievement, besides bringing the family together, in case you choose to involve other family members too. Who would not desire to receive a box of homemade chocolate truffles in their stocking?It does not require being a seasoned confectioner or an expert cook to make attractive and delicious candies. Even a beginner or novice can easily make them. Just a few rules and a couple of tricks and lo! You became an expert in making mouth-watering candies!
RECIPESTOUGH ORANGE CANDYIngredients:3 1/2 cups white sugar 1 1/2 cups corn syrup 1 cup water 1 tablespoon orange extract1/4 cup confectioners` sugar for dusting Procedure:In a saucepan, stir together the white sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Without stirring, heat until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and stir in flavored extract and food coloring, if desired. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet, and dust the top with confectioners` sugar. Let cool, and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CANDYIngredients :1 cup butter4 cups confectioners` sugar2 cups peanut butter1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs1/2 cup butter1 cup semisweet chocolate chipsProcedure :Melt 1 cup butter or margarine over low heat. Remove from heat and stir inconfectioners` sugar, peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs. Spread mixture in ajelly roll pan. Pat down evenly.To Make Topping: Melt together 1/2 cup butter or margarine with 1 cup chocolate chips.Spread this mixture over peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Cut into squares.COCONUT CANDYIngredients:5 ounces sweetened condensed milk1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 cups confectioners` sugar14 ounces flaked coconut4 cups semisweet chocolate chipsProcedure:Blend the condensed milk and the vanilla together in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar alittle at a time, blending each time until smooth. Stir in the coconut. You shouldhave a firm mixture. Pat the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and chill untilfirm.Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high 1 minute at atime, stirring after each minute, until melted. Remove the pan from the refrigeratorand cut the coconut mixture into 1 x 2 inch bars.Set each bar on a fork and dip into the chocolate, completely coating the bar. Letexcess drip off, then set on waxed paper. Repeat for each bar. Bars will take severalhours to air-dry; if you are in a hurry you can refrigerate the bars for about 30minutes. MARSHMALLOW CANDYIngredients:1/2 cup butter 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch chips 1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips 1 cup chopped pecans 1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Procedure:In a saucepan, combine butter and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips and butterscotch chips until melted. Stir in nuts, marshmallows and vanilla. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.PECAN TOFFEEIngredients:1 cup sugar1/4 tsp. salt1/4 cup water1/2 cup butter1/2 cup chopped pecans12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips1 cup milk chocolate chips1-1/2 cups chopped pecansProcedure:In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, salt, water and butter. Bring to boiling and cover for 2-3 minutes to wash sugar crystals down sides of pan. Uncover, reduce heat, and clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook to light-crack stage (280 degrees). Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans, remove from heat, and stir well. Pour onto a well-greased jelly roll pan (carefully, this mixture is super hot!) and cool. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or heavy small saucepan. Spread half of the chocolate on top of the toffee and sprinkle with half of the 1-1/2 cups of nuts. Cool in refrigerator until chocolate is firm. Turn toffee over using several large spatulas, (good luck!) spread other side with melted chocolate, and sprinkle with rest of nuts. Cool in refrigerator until chocolate is firm. Break toffee into pieces when cooled and store in air-tight container. And don`t drop it! PACKING TIPS:Ensure that the candy is cooled first before you pack or it would stick to the sides of the paper.Wrap the candies in glazed paper, transparent cellophanes or colourful gift wrapping papers.You can make a small pretty card, write the candy recipe and stick to the candy box. To make an attractive candy box, clean coffee cans and decorate them. You can either paint them in attractive colours or stick papers, parchments or Christmas card bits over them. Transparent glass jars that once contained kitchen stuff can be recycled and used as storing and gifting candies. You can remove the plastic cover and tie and attractive cloth with shiny strings over it.
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