Monday, December 5, 2011

Culinary IQ: Monday, December 5, 2011; Candy

What Could Be Sweeter

Who doesn't have a favorite candy? While candy is eaten year round, there is no time like the holidays to talk about the confection. There are a variety of candies that have become synonymous with the holidays, the candy cane or anything peppermint is probably the most celebrated. Making candy at home can be a fun and rewarding project and the results make excellent holiday gifts.

Where did candy originate? Well as far back as ancient man people were eating honey to satisfy their sweet tooth. Later fruits and nuts were dipped in honey, becoming possibly the first composed candy. Many of the ingredients used in candy including sugar and chocolate were at one time to expensive for anyone other than the wealthiest to afford. As sugar became more readily available and affordable, hard candies started to become prevalent. Then as chocolates prices started to come down it was added to the candy making process. Further development of technology which allowed preservation of candies made from dairy products allowed softer candies to become widely available.

This week I am going to discuss my favorite varieties of candies to make and give you some of my best recipes for gift giving. 

I will discuss truffles, marshmallows, brittles and my most favorite, fudge. All of these involve simple basic ingredients and procedures and can be beautifully packaged for holiday gift giving. After all you can give a sweeter gift than candy!

Tomorrow I will discuss the process of making truffles, don't miss it.

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