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Clear Toy Candy

2 cups granulated cane sugar (don't use beet sugar)
2/3 cup light corn syrup (preferably Karo red label)
2/3 cup water
good-quality olive oil
paper towels
rubber Bands
few drops of peppermint, wintergreen, or
cinnamon extract
few drops of red or green coloring
wax paper and parchment paper
wooden sticks (optional - for lollipops)
100 8- or 9-inch lengths of plastic fishing line (optional - for sugarplums)

heavy saucepan
candy thermometer
candy molds
cookie sheet (optional)

In a heavy saucepan, preferably one with a good pouring lip, combine
the sugar, syrup, and water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring
constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved and you can
see that the mixture is getting hot. Insert a candy thermometer,
and do not stir after the candy reaches 200F.

Meanwhile, prepare the molds. Brush each liberally with olive oil
and turn them upside down for a few minutes on paper towels to
drain off any excess oil. Turn them right side up and fasten together
with rubber bands. Place them in a row, closely together, so they
prop each other up. Cook the candy to 290F if it is a clear day,
and to 300F if it is the least bit humid. (This took nearly 40
minutes on my stove over medium-low heat.) When the candy is within
10 degrees of the desired temperature, add the flavoring and
coloring. Do not stir in - the bubbling of the mixture will do the
combining. No color is required for yellow candy.

If making molded candies, quickly pour the candy into the molds;
the mixture might foam up a bit in the molds, so be careful. Allow
the candy to stand for approx 15 minutes. The candy should not be
allowed to cool completely in the molds or you won't be able to
get it out. if you take it out too soon, the figures will bend;
keep checking them, and you will soon be able to discern when it
is time to remove the candy. Remove the rubber bands and, with a
screwdriver, pry the molds apart. With a small knife, carefully
lift out the candy. The little pieces with be quite firm, the larger
pieces a tad soft. For very large molds, such as a ship or train
mold, allow the candy to set in the molds for a few minutes longer.
Store unwrapped on wax-paper-lined plates.

To make lollipops, arrange wooden sticks (available at hobby and
food specialty stores) in rows on parchment-lined or greased cookie
sheets. Pour the hot syrup in a thin stream over each stick,
forming rounds of candy as large or as small as you like. Let cool.

To make sugarplums for handing, make loops of the fishing line on
parchment-covered or well-greased baking sheets, or in miniature
muffin cups. Drop the candy mixture from the tip of a teaspoon over
each loop. Let cool.

Makes about 10 molded candies, 20 lollipops, or 100 sugarplums


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