Dandy Candy Recipes

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Traditions are built on tried-and-true, old-fashioned family recipes. Year after year, the same items are offered at the holidays. It just wouldn’t be the same without them. In researching old-fashioned candies, I came across recipes that offer rich stories, and tracing heirloom recipes led to a few tall tales.

Family recipes can be a bit convoluted in origin. Sometimes no one knows which great aunt began making which traditional item. But that doesn’t stop the storytellers! With great confidence, we pass down recipes. “Oh,” we say, “that recipe came from the old country. My mother’s mother’s mother made it every Christmas.”

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Homemade Marshmallows

For example, my sister claims to have invented homemade peppermint marshmallows. You cannot convince her otherwise. She takes full credit. However, marshmallows have been around since ancient Egypt. The marsh mallow plant produced a sap that candy-makers now substitute with gelatin.

In developing my own homemade marshmallow recipe, I discovered that the corn syrup (fructose) in marshmallows reacts similarly to honey, so honey can be used in place of the corn syrup. I call these Honey Clouds, as a subtle honey flavor comes through and adds a layer of complexity. (If you want to try my sister’s version, add 1 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract when the mixture is already very fluffy and light.)

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