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Make your candy bowl a holiday memory

What is a holiday without candy?

I know my grandmother nearly always had a bowl of candy around, but especially during the holiday season.

Peppermints, candy canes, assorted mints and chocolates, all were a staple of the holidays. “The candy bowl” is one of those things you just never think about until your hand is in it, or until it’s empty.

Even at our house, we have a candy bowl. Of course with small children, ours is on top of the fridge.

You don’t have to go all out for your candy bowl. A few bucks worth of mints go a long way. But, for just a little trouble, you can make a big splash by filling yours with homemade treats.

Here’s an easy recipe for a candy bowl staple:

Caramels

3 cups of granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup cream

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

More butter

In a pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, cream, butter (or margarine) and salt. Put in probe or candy thermometer about 1 inch from the bottom. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring until sugar boils. When sugar boils stop stirring. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sides if any sugar that starts to crystallize on the side of the pot. Gently swirl the boiling sugar throughout the boiling process. Cook to a hard ball – between 250F°-266F°. Add in vanilla. Pour immediately into buttered dish. Allow to completely cool.

When cooled, cut into squares with oiled pizza cutter.

You can also roll your candy into logs, which makes them easier to wrap. Wrap them in wax paper and store at room temperature.

You can even use these caramels in baking!

They probably won’t last that long but they’re there if you need them.

Just think about how wowed your holiday guests will be – friends and family – while they munch down on some homemade candies while sipping eggnog or some other awesome holiday treats.

 

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at tiffany@2ate9.com