Welcome to my kitchen, where I’ll be sharing with you a beloved recipe from my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage – Clear Toy Candy. This traditional confectionery originated in the 18th century and has been especially popular during the holiday season. It’s a unique and visually stunning treat that has been passed down through generations of my family.
Clear Toy Candy, also known as Barley Sugar Candy, is a transparent, sugary crystalline clear candy that is often shaped into festive holiday figures like Christmas trees and snowmen. It’s a labor-intensive candy-making process that requires patience, attention to detail, and a few specialized tools like hard candy molds and a candy thermometer. But the end result is truly worth it.
In this recipe, I’ll be sharing with you the secrets to making this beloved Pennsylvania Dutch treat. I’ll walk you through the steps, provide tips for perfect results, and even offer some substitutions and variations to make this recipe your own. So, put on your apron, grab your ingredients, and let’s get started!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you are looking for a unique and delicious treat, then clear toy candy is the recipe for you! This Pennsylvania Dutch traditional confectionery originated in the 18th century and is especially popular during the holiday season.
Clear toy candy is a sugary crystalline clear candy that can be made into different shapes and colors, such as red and green for Christmas. Not only is it visually stunning, but it also has a satisfying crunch that will keep you coming back for more.
What sets clear toy candy apart from other homemade candies is the process of making it. The ingredients, including water, sugar, and corn syrup, are boiled together until they reach a specific temperature. Then, the mixture is poured into hard candy molds and left to cool. The result is a unique and delicious candy that is sure to impress your friends and family.
Clear toy candy is not only a dessert, but it’s also a fun DIY project that you can enjoy with your loved ones. You can experiment with different colors, shapes, and flavors to make it your own. Plus, it’s a great way to pass down a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition to younger generations.
So, why will you love this recipe? Clear toy candy is a classic treat that brings joy and nostalgia to any occasion. It’s a perfect addition to your holiday dessert table or a fun project to do with your family. And, most importantly, it tastes amazing!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this Clear Toy Candy recipe, a Pennsylvania Dutch traditional confectionery that originated in the 18th century and is especially popular during the holiday season.
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- Olive oil, for greasing the mold
- Food coloring (optional)
- Candy thermometer
- Hard candy molds (preferably made of metal)
- Cooking spray
This recipe uses a combination of cane sugar and clear corn syrup, which are boiled in water until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (around 300°F). It’s important to use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature, as it can affect the texture and clarity of the candy. The molds can be found in stores that sell candy making supplies or online, and they come in different shapes and sizes, such as animals, fruits, and Christmas-themed designs. Don’t forget to grease the molds with olive oil or cooking spray to prevent the candy from sticking. You can also add food coloring to the mixture to make it more festive and colorful.
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Before starting to make Clear Toy Candy, gather all the ingredients and prepare them. In a large pot, combine 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1 cup of corn syrup, and 1 cup of water. Make sure that the pot is big enough, as the mixture will bubble up and expand as it cooks. Have a candy thermometer handy and coat the inside of the candy molds with cooking spray.
Step 2: Cook the Mixture
Place the pot over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and let the mixture come to a boil. Keep cooking until the temperature reaches 310°F on the candy thermometer, which is the hard crack stage. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
Step 3: Add Food Coloring
Once the mixture reaches 310°F, remove the pot from heat and add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Stir the mixture until the food coloring is evenly distributed.
Step 4: Pour the Mixture into the Candy Molds
Carefully pour the hot mixture into the prepared candy molds. Let the molds sit undisturbed until the candy has completely cooled and hardened, which can take several hours.
Step 5: Remove the Candy from the Molds
Once the candy has cooled and hardened, remove it from the molds. If necessary, use a toothpick or thin knife to loosen the edges of the candy before gently popping it out of the mold.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Clear Toy Candy
Clear Toy Candy is a perfect treat for the holiday season or any time of year. Serve it as a standalone dessert or use it to decorate cakes or cupcakes. Store the candy in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a month.
Note: Clear Toy Candy can be tricky to make, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right on the first try. Keep practicing and experimenting with different recipes until you find one that works for you.
Substitutions and Variations
Clear Toy Candy is a traditional confectionery that originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the 18th century. It has since become a holiday treat that is especially popular during Christmas time. While the classic recipe calls for water, sugar, and corn syrup, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can make to this recipe to put your own spin on this old fashioned candy.
One substitution you can make is using barley sugar instead of cane sugar. Barley sugar candy is a type of traditional confectionery that originated in England and was originally made using barley malt. Nowadays, it’s made using sugar and water, and it has a distinct, nutty flavor that is perfect for clear toy candy.
Another substitution you can make is using fruit juice instead of water. This will give your clear toy candy a fruity flavor and a colorful appearance. You can use any fruit juice you like, such as apple, grape, or cranberry.
If you want to make your clear toy candy even more festive, you can add food coloring to the recipe. Red and green food coloring are popular choices for Christmas, but you can use any color you like.
For those who are looking for a healthier alternative to corn syrup, you can use honey or maple syrup instead. These natural sweeteners will give your clear toy candy a unique flavor and a slightly different texture.
Finally, if you want to get creative with your clear toy candy, you can try making different shapes and designs using hard candy molds. You can also add different flavors and textures to the candy, such as crushed nuts or dried fruits.
Remember, candy making is a fun and creative process, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make your own unique version of this traditional holiday treat.
Serving and Pairing
Clear Toy Candy is a traditional holiday treat that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other desserts and beverages. The clear and sparkling appearance of the candy makes it a perfect addition to any dessert table.
One way to serve Clear Toy Candy is to place it in a decorative bowl and allow guests to help themselves. The candy can also be arranged on a platter with other homemade candies like potato candy or barley lollipops.
For a more elegant presentation, Clear Toy Candy can be individually wrapped in cellophane or placed in small candy boxes tied with a ribbon. This makes for a lovely party favor or gift for guests to take home.
When it comes to pairing Clear Toy Candy, there are many options to choose from. The candy’s sweet and delicate flavor pairs well with fruit cakes, hard candy molds, and other confectionery desserts. It also goes well with hot beverages such as tea, coffee, and hot cocoa.
For those who enjoy a classic touch, Clear Toy Candy can be paired with other Pennsylvania Dutch treats like Shoofly pie or Whoopie pies. The candy also makes a great addition to a Christmas cookie platter.
Overall, Clear Toy Candy is a versatile treat that can be enjoyed in many ways. Whether you serve it on its own or pair it with other desserts, this traditional confectionery is sure to be a hit with your guests.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Clear Toy Candy is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch candy that can be made ahead of time and stored for weeks, making it a great option for holiday gift-giving or for satisfying your sweet tooth throughout the season. Once the candy has cooled and hardened, it can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This will keep the candy fresh and prevent it from sticking together.
If you want to make the candy ahead of time, it’s recommended to do so no more than a week in advance to ensure the best texture and flavor. To reheat the candy, simply place it in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on low heat for 10-15 seconds or until slightly softened. Be careful not to overheat the candy, as this can cause it to become too soft and lose its shape.
When storing the candy, it’s important to keep it separate from other candies, as it can stick together and lose its clarity. If you’re making a large batch, consider using wax paper or parchment paper to separate the layers of candy in your storage container.
If you’re looking for a fun way to present the candy, consider using hard candy molds to create unique shapes and designs. You can also add food coloring to the candy mixture to create a variety of colors, making it a perfect addition to any holiday dessert table.
In summary, Clear Toy Candy is a great make-ahead treat that can be stored for weeks and reheated as needed. With a little bit of planning and storage know-how, you can enjoy this Pennsylvania Dutch tradition all season long.
Tips for Perfect Results
To make the perfect Clear Toy Candy, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve the desired results.
Firstly, it is important to use a candy thermometer to ensure that the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature. The candy thermometer should be clipped to the side of the pan, and it is important to avoid stirring the sugar syrup as this can cause crystallization.
Another important tip is to use a heavy-bottomed saucepan to cook the sugar syrup. A heavy-bottomed pan will distribute the heat evenly, preventing the sugar from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
To prevent the candy from sticking to the molds, it is important to grease the molds with cooking spray before pouring in the hot sugar syrup. It is also important to let the candy cool completely before removing it from the molds.
If you want to add color to your Clear Toy Candy, it is best to use food coloring specifically made for candy making. Regular food coloring may not hold up well in the high temperature of the sugar syrup, and may cause the candy to become grainy or discolored.
When storing the Clear Toy Candy, it is important to keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing moisture from the air. The candy should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and shapes. Clear Toy Candy can be flavored with a variety of extracts, such as peppermint or vanilla, and can be molded into different shapes using hard candy molds. Let your creativity shine and have fun with this traditional Pennsylvania Dutch treat.
As we reach the end of this article, we understand that some questions may still arise about the Clear Toy Candy recipe. Therefore, we have gathered some frequently asked questions and answers to help you achieve the perfect result.
What is the history of clear toy candy?
During the 1700s in Pennsylvania, young ones would discover a delightful surprise in their holiday stockings – a special type of candy known as clear toy candy. This delectable treat, which was introduced by German immigrants, was aptly named for its transparent appearance. The candy was often crafted into various shapes such as trains, ships, and animals, providing kids with a playful activity before indulging in its sweetness.
Where did clear toy candy originate?
A classic sweet treat that hails from Germany, England and Scotland is the clear toy candy, which has become a favorite during Easter and Christmas celebrations. This hard candy is molded into whimsical shapes and is often dyed in vivid colors, with yellow, red and green being the most traditional hues.
What does barley sugar candy taste like?
Barley Sugar is a confectionery treat that is crafted from pure sugar and infused with barley extract. The resulting flavor is unique as it is not overwhelmingly sweet but has a subtle hint of citrus. Its traditional recipe involves boiling cane sugar in barley water to achieve its distinct taste.
Why is it called barley sugar?
Back in the day, there was a type of candy that was made from boiling sugar and water with previously boiled barley. This process resulted in a hard candy that had an amber color and was often used as a throat lozenge for its soothing properties. This candy was known as barley sugar and was sometimes referred to as barley candy or barley sugar candy, depending on who you asked.
In conclusion, Clear Toy Candy is a traditional confectionery that originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country and has been a beloved holiday treat for generations. With its sugary crystalline clear appearance and delicious flavor, it’s no wonder why this candy has stood the test of time. Whether you’re a fan of old-fashioned desserts or just looking for a unique candy-making experience, this recipe is definitely worth a try. By following the easy-to-follow instructions and using high-quality ingredients, you’ll be able to make your own Clear Toy Candy and impress your family and friends. So why not add this delicious candy to your holiday traditions this year? Give it a try and see for yourself why Clear Toy Candy is such a beloved treat.
Clear Toy Candy [pa Dutch Traditional] Recipe
- 1/2 cup clear corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- I try to use a ratio of two parts solid to one part liquid, but for your first batch use more liquid. It just takes longer and the liquid must boil off before it will reach the proper temperature so err on the side of too much liquid at first.
- In a pan put 1/2 cup of clear corn syrup, one cup of sugar, and put 1/2 cup of water on top of the sugar and make sure the sugar is thoroughly moistened. Stick in the candy thermometer and put the mixture on the stove.
- DO NOT STIR!
- Heat to 310 degrees and if you have the sugar thoroughly moistened it will look like boiling glass.
- If you have too much sugar for the liquid you used it will not be clear.
- When the mixture reaches 300-310 degrees, pour into molds generously coated with olive oil (any oil will work).
- Hold the molds together with heavy duty rubber bands and place the greased molds on a cookie sheet.
- If you don't have any molds, you can oil a cake pan and pour the mixture about 1/4 inch deep and score with a knife as it hardens so it will break into bite size pieces.
- Its takes about five minutes or so to harden in the molds and as it does I add sticks to make it easier to eat. I wrap them in small plastic bags which you can get wherever they sell candy making supplies.
- Remember you can't mess this up - if you put in too much corn syrup or water it will just take longer to reach the desired temperature. After your first batch, you'll never measure anything again.
- I should have pointed out that this candy seems to be one of the most traditional Pa. Dutch Christmas candies.
- NOTE the time is way off. This is going to vary depending on a lot of factors.
YOUR OWN NOTES
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Lucy is a mom who loves to cook up a storm. She enjoys discovering, collecting, and experimenting with delicious, healthy recipes for her blog. With her passion for cooking, Lucy is always coming up with her own unique creations to share with the world.