Thursday, October 27

MAKE IT: Festive Halloween Candy Mix

Halloween mix is a combination of three things candy corn, indian corn (candy corn with brown bottoms), and candy pumpkins. My other half loves the stuff and could probably eat an entire bag in under 30 minutes. So this year I decided to make it myself.

Although the finished product isn't as smooth, machine finished, it tastes just as yummy. And I will admit, this made a lot of dough-so be prepared to be shaping for a while. This is definately a labor of love, but very worth it!

This recipe will make roughly an equivalent of a large bag if Halloween mix.
Full time: Dough is ready in 30 minutes, shaping time/coloring time is anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours based on speed and amount of hands
Divide the dough as follows for you family favorites:

-For candy corn or indian corn only:
Divide dough into thirds
Candy: 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 plain
Indian: 1 brown, 1 orange, 1 plain

-For both candy corn and indian corn:
Divide dough into thirds, then divide one of the thirds in half
1 plain, 1 orange, the two halves 1 brown, 1 yellow

-For candy pumpkins only:
Divide dough into two parts 1 should be 7/8 batch the other should be 1/8 batch
Large is orange, small will be green

-For all of the above:
Divide dough in half. Then divide one if the halves into a batch of candy corn and indian corn. And the other half into a batch of candy pumpkins

You will need:

5 cups confectionary sugar
2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup butter salted (or unsalted with 1/2 tsp salt)
2/3 cup dry powdered milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
Candy corn: orange/yellow food coloring
Indian corn: orange/brown food coloring
Pumpkins: orange/green food coloring

Let us begin:

In a mixing bowl, shift confectionary sugar and powdered milk together. Move to the side temporarily.

In a small pot: mix butter, granulated sugar, and corn syrup

Bring to a boil over high heat, stir constantly

Once it boils, lower heat to medium and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stir frequently. It will become bubbly, foamy, and look as if it is full of air

Remove from heat and add in the vanilla extract

Quickly, Mix dry ingredients into the wet mixture saucepan. Stirring well to incorporate the two into a nice smooth texture. It will cool fast so you need to work with a little speed here

Allow to cool for 15 minutes until mixture has firmed up into a dough that is easy to handle.

It will be a little hard when you first remove from pot. Just knead it for a few minutes and it will be perfect!

Divide the dough as listed above.

Add in your coloring. Knead the colored dough to create an even color.

If you come across little clumps/balls that are hard, just pull them out. These are hardened pieces of confectionary sugar that is clumped.

Just remember that the dough will get stiff so you will need to work through all the dough in under 1 1/2 hrs

Spread out sheets of wax/parchment paper across your work surface

For Candy/Indian corn:
Roll each dough into long ropes roughly 1/4" thick. You will want to have more then one of each color. But keep in mind you need the same amount of ropes in each color

Now line up ropes with a plain and a yellow/brown sandwiching the orange. Aline them as close to each other as you can get them without squeezing them

Here is the hardest part of the whole thing: you need to adhere them to each other, but not to surface and not flatten them out too much.

To do so gently roll a rolling pin across the top side and the will squeeze together

Now, you just need to shape them. Using a sharp knife that gas been dipped in cold water (you will need to dip a few times if it gets sticky) cut into triangles*

For pumpkins:
Take your orange dough and roll into balls roughly 1/3" around.

Gently flatten the bottom by pushing onto wax/parchment surface. But try not to let it stick.

Roll green into very thin rope and cut of two pieces roughly 1/8"-1/4" long. Flatten between fingers

Okay here is your difficult part: you need to create the pumpkin shape and attach leaves at the same time.

To do so place leaves at center top of ball then using the back side of a chopstick or small dowel push down on top to create a small divot and adhere leaves into it.

If desired run a knife that has been dipped in cold water around edges to create lines but I do not do this

Allow to set-up for 2 hours before eating or moving into storage container. This will allow the outside edges of each peace to firm up and become un-sticky

Store in airtight container.

*okay side-note, yes half of the corns will now technically have a reverse color scheme with the tip being colored but, it is homemade and entitled to a little artistic change