Candy corn is one of those Halloween treats that you either love or hate. We happen to enjoy those stratified orange triangles, and have been excited to try out hand at making them at home. But we quickly realized, making candy corn at home it is a great deal like art class in 3rd grade: a little messy, a little fun, but mainly......boring!!
Now we're sure most of you are saying, "Hey! I liked art class in 3rd grade!" and to be quite honest, we did too. But we also felt bound and restricted by the "projects" our teacher always had us make, when all we wanted to do was make grand creations from our own imagination. So in that way, this trial run in candy corn making is exactly like 3rd grade art class. Sure you can make the designated project, but the real fun happens when you get creative.
The recipe below makes enough dough for... well... we don't really know how many candy corns per se, because after we rolled and cut our first length (roughly 1/16th of the dough) of dough we were done with the adventure. There's some things to be made at home, but unless you are REALLY into making candy corn, this isn't the project for you.
On that same note, we greatly applaud those home cooks who have knuckled down to create and photograph their own work that so inspired us. Our hats are tipped to you on this one! As you can see above, we didn't have the same attention span all of you did!
Not all was lost, however; the dough that is created can be dyed, shaped and formed into whatever shape you so desire. It would be a blast for a group of children or other little hands helping you along the way. Kids like repetitive things right? This recipe, even if you don't end up making candy corn with it, has a wonderful texture that is perfect for making quick adornments for cupcakes or traditional cakes and sweets. It takes slightly less sweet than storebought candy corn, but in a good way. Also, it's only tasty when the dough has cooled (trust us on this one).
Ready to make some yourself? Here's how.
Homemade Candy Corn
yields aprox. 300 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10-40 drops red and yellow food coloring
Heat white sugar, corn syrup and butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir until all ingredients are dissolved. Turn heat to high until mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let bubble (uncovered) for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and remove from heat. Allow to cool until warm to the touch. 15 minutes should do the trick.
In a large bowl sift powdered sugar, powdered milk and salt. Add cooled mixture from sauce pan and stir until you can no longer do so. It will be cool enough to work with your hands at this point (which we highly suggest, a spoon will get you nowhere) , work dough until all traces of powdered sugar have been absorbed. If there is some left in the bowl, it's not the end of the world.
Divide dough into 3 sections, make a dent in 2 pieces and add 20 drops of yellow food coloring to each. In one of those, add 9 drops of red food coloring to create orange. Mix each until colors are even throughout. You can wear gloves, but honestly, we didn't need them, just wash your hands well when finished with the entire activity.
To make candy corns, eyeball 1/8th of the dough from each piece. Roll each color into long "snakes" and press together. Cut with a bench scraper or knife and allow to cool and air dry. Trust us when we say you want to start small or else your kitchen will look like the snake pit from Raiders of the Lost Ark. As you're rolling out your dough, if it gets too long, no worries, just chop it off and throw it back in the pile and continue rolling remaining dough.
Once dry, keep your pieces in an airtight container.
If you'd like to make a vegan version, check out The Urban Housewife as hers has some great results around the web! Have fun!
Related: Trick or Treat! What's Your Favorite Halloween Candy?
(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)