Christmas Cheer but first: Harried Merry Christmas

17 Dec

In the spirit of “gotta get stuff done,” the next few posts will occur over the next few days. That oughta be enough to get you through to the New Year and show you how to make those goodies everyone thinks you have oodles of time, talent, and resources to create. Your emergency plan: show everyone these posts, tell them it’s your blog, and explain how the dog/cat/kids/horrific dropping or freezer accident destroyed them all. I gotcher back on this one.

 Goody #1: Stained Glass Candy AKA Hard Candy.

Ingredients and Tools:

 Yes, that is a hammer.

Ready? Lettts go!

Begin with putting the candy thermometer in the pan. It should be near, but not touch, the bottom of the pan.  Yeah, I know, those clips are handy as all get out, ain’t they?

 Measure and pour the sugar, corn syrup, and water into the pan.


Give it a stir. Do NOT whack the thermometer. Turn the burner on medium and stir until the sugar dissolves. After that, don’t touch it. DO NOT TOUCH IT. Don’t do it. The instructions say so. Do too. Right here:

While you’re waiting, begin the “clean as you go” method. We’ve got a lot to make today and we’ll be reusing our utensils because we don’t have a big commercial kitchen with unlimited utensils and such.

Other things to do while waiting and NOT TOUCHING IT:

Go through the stack of mail that’s been piling up for 2 weeks.

Wash the other stuff that’s been waiting during the contest-of-wills-to-see-who-will-clean-it-first. Sure, in effect, you lose the contest, but your candy will be all the better because you won’t be touching it.

Time to check on the creation without touching it.

Kinda yeller looking. I hope it’s not burning.

It reaches 200 fairly fast but then slows down like time on Christmas Eve when the kids are waiting for the morn. However, it does have a tendency to suddenly rise at the end.

If you are making 2 batches at the same time, start your second batch about 10 minutes after the first. At the end, you will not have enough hands or enough time to do what needs to be done right away. Plan on soaking the thermometer, pan, and spoon for a long time to dissolve the candy. In other words, don’t plan on mashed potatoes for dinner because your pan will not be ready in time.

It looks like we still have some time, so let’s get stuff ready for the next step. Take your hammer (yes, hammer; for Hammer Time, of course), put the top of it into the baggie, and wrap a rubber band around the baggie thusly:

Necessity is the mother of invention and all that.

Spray your cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Aaannd that’s it. You’re ready. But the candy is not.

Lordy, that’s looking orange. Please don’t burn, please don’t burn, please don’t burn.

*Siiiggghh*  Back to whiling away the time while not touching it.

I guess we should keep cleaning. Shoot, the only thing left is the dreaded pearl dusting brush. I love the dust, hate the clean up.

Is it done yet?

Is it done yet?

Is it done yet?

Yes! It’s almost to 300 so take it off the burner and let it sit until it stops boiling. Do not stir it yet.

While that’s happening, take the caps off the flavoring and the coloring because you’re going to move quickly here. Also remember to put a hot pad under the cookie sheet before pouring this time, k? You’ve been lucky before, but don’t count on it this time.

Four hands is better than two in a moment, so either grow more hands or call someone in to help. It can be done with 2 hands, but it’s tricky.

We’re going to move faster than a naked toddler in the yard in front of the neighbors, so take a breath before we start. They won’t be time to breathe during.

Pour in the flavoring and coloring. It will spit, sizzle, and steam (wink, wink) so stand back as far as you can and plan on clean up time.

Stir it all together but don’t bump the thermometer. If your memory is better than mine, you will have removed it before this step. If not, just don’t bump it.

Since the heir to the throne eats most of the candy, it’s his choice of flavors. This year: coffee and strawberry. Yeah, I know. If offered whipped cream on top to make his cuppa complete, but he declined.

Once it’s combined, suit up your spare hands with mitts, and have s/he start pouring it onto the pan while you scrape the remainders.

That’s haute couture. Small town on Christmas break from college Haute Couture.

Tilt the pan as needed to spread it around a bit and then let it cool and harden. While you’re waiting for that, soak the first pan, spoon, and thermometer.

Second batch is ready, so repeat.

Looks much more appetizing, doesn’t it?

After half an hour, it should be ready to crack. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top, and grab the hammer ‘cause it’s Hammer Time. Woo hoo!

Gently but firmly whack the bejeebers out of it until the pieces are the size you desire.

The pieces will be sharp, which is why I prefer the name Stained Glass Candy. Glass is right in there so you know it may be sharp.

Gently toss the pieces to coat them with the sugar.

Package as you like.

Yeeeaaaah, I’m not touching the coffee ones. Go ahead. You enjoy. I’ll stick with Strawberry.

Let’s clean up the mess and move on to the next project: Fudge!

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