Recipe and photo by Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) at Serious Eats
Homemade Candy Corn
- makes about one pound of candy corn -
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup*
1/3 cup salted butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
red and yellow food coloring
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the sifted confectioners' sugar and powdered milk. Set to the side.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce heat to medium and continue stirring for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from heat.
3. Add the confectioners' sugar and powdered milk mixture to the wet ingredients; stir well until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
4. Let the dough cool until it is firm enough to handle, about 30 minutes to an hour (I just let it cool in the saucepan).
5. Divide the dough into three equal parts and set each third into a separate bowl. Add 2 to 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one dish, one drop of red and two drops of yellow to another dish, and leave the remaining dish uncolored. Knead the dough to which you have added food coloring until the color is even (you may want to use gloves to ensure that you don't stain yourself). If the dough is feeling very soft or sticky, you may want to chill the dough for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator before proceeding with the next steps.
6. On top of a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper, use your hands to roll each color of dough into a long, slender rope. You can roll it out to your desired thickness: for larger candies, make each rope thicker; for smaller candies, make each rope thinner.
7. Line the three ropes of dough together: white, orange, and yellow. To ensure that they will stick together, lay a piece of waxed paper on top and give them a very gentle rolling with a rolling pin. You just want to adhere them, not to flatten them.
8. Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into triangles. Keep a damp cloth nearby so that you can wipe off the knife if it begins to get a candy residue. This method will result in half a batch of traditionally colored candy corn and half a batch with yellow tips (it's OK—they taste the same). Let the finished kernels sit for an hour or two (do not stack them on top of one another as they will stick together!) to become firm.
* Corn syrup substitute
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Dash of salt
Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often.
Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Makes almost 2 cups.