It is the end of October and Halloween decorations are everywhere. There are three things that always come to my mind when I think about Halloween: Pumpkins, scary movies and candy corn.
Admittedly, it’s never been my FAVORITE candy but it has always been a necessity. It just doesn’t quite qualify as fall/Halloween if, at some point, I don’t grab a handful of candy corn to satisfy my sweet tooth. So, because October 30 is National Candy Corn Day (yes, it’s a real thing), I came up with the brilliant idea to make my own candy corn and share, with all of you, the recipe and beautiful photos.
If I had only bought the candy thermometer.
I had never made candy corn before. Actually, I hadn’t made any type of candy and was not aware of this thing called a candy thermometer, which apparently is pretty important. So being the ‘stubborn-do it-myself’ person that I am, I read “one candy thermometer” on the ingredients and said, “naah.”
(If you are planning to do this recipe, GET THE THERMOMETER! They are $5 at any grocery store, which I found out later.)
Let’s just say if I would have heated the candy mixture to the right temperature as directed, all would have turn out great and I would have photos for you now. Alas, I still have the recipe for you (which is adapted from a Food Network recipe), right here:
Home-Made Candy Corn
1 ¼ cup Confectioners’ sugar
6 ½ tsp. nonfat dry milk
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 ½ tbsp. water
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature.
½ tsp. vanilla extract
yellow and orange gel paste food coloring
extras you will need: food processor, candy thermometer, silicone spatula, silicone baking mat or parchment paper, clean ruler.
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, dry milk and salt in a food processor. Run until smooth and well mixed (about 30 seconds-1 minute.) Set aside.
Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot. Place over medium heat, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add butter and clip on a candy thermometer. Bring the syrup to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and take out thermometer.
Add vanilla and dry mixture, stirring continuously until well combined. Line baking pan with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Pour onto a lined baking pan and let cool for 15 minutes (until mixture is cool enough to handle.)
Divide dough into three equal pieces. Leave the first ball of dough white. Add 3 drops of yellow food coloring to second ball of dough and knead until color is consistent throughout. Wash your hands. Add same amount of orange gel coloring to third ball of dough. Knead until color is consistent throughout.
Roll each ball into a strand about 18 inches long. Then cut each strand in half and roll each piece into a ½ inch long strand.
Lay all three side by side in the order of orange-yellow-white and press them together using your fingers. Cut into 4-inch pieces. Then, using a ruler, press each piece into a wedge. Keep the orange section wide and form the white so it comes to a point. Using a knife, cut each wedge into individual candies. Lay the candy pieces on a piece of parchment for at least one hour. Store in an air-tight container.
Makes 80 to 100 pieces of candy corn.
So, since I had nothing to show for my elaborate candy corn plans, I decided I needed to find something candy corn related to bring into the office. Luckily, I found these awesome giant candy-corn-shaped sugar cookies from The Upper Crust (located in Columbia) and we all celebrated my candy-making failure! So I encourage you, on this wonderful day of candy corn love, to go out and make your own, or maybe just grab a bag (or find that cookie) and celebrate National Candy Corn Day!
Sweets aren’t your thing, but you still want to celebrate Candy Corn Day? There are numerous corn mazes in Missouri and right now is the perfect time to go. Get your last-minute pumpkins and enjoy getting lost in a maze of one of Missouri’s largest agricultural products, corn.
A Few Missouri Corn Mazes:
Liberty Corn Maze– Liberty
Fischer’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze– Jefferson City
Shryock’s Callaway Farms– Columbia
Beggs Family Farm-Sikeston
Written by Elise Eimer, content management assistant for the Missouri Division of Tourism.