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Sugar Candy

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In most candies sugar is a fundamental ingredient; in fact, some candies are composed entirely of cooked sugar. Even though the candies below all rely on sugar or sugar syrups for their taste and composition, there is still an enormous variety among the confections, ranging from caramels and toffee to fondant, marshmallows, and lollipops.
  1. Working With Sugar
  2. Sugar & Hard Candy Recipes
  3. Caramel Recipes
  4. Toffee Recipes
  5. Fondant Recipes
  6. Fruit Candy Recipes
  1. Nut Candy Recipes
  2. Gummy & Gelatin Candy Recipes
  3. Marshmallow Recipes
  4. Marzipan Recipes
  5. Nougat Recipes

Working With Sugar

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Candies that are based on a sugar syrup (sugar and water boiled together) often give instructions to boil the syrup to a specific temperature. To make these recipes, you will either need a candy thermometer, or will need to be familiar with the "cold-water method" of temperature checking. The chart and pictorial guide below will explain how to use this old-fashioned method to determine candy temperature.

Sugar & Hard Candy Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Although most candies contain some sugar, the category of "Sugar and Hard Candies" is reserved for those whose primary ingredient is sugar. In most cases, these candies begin with a sugar syrup that is boiled to a specific temperature. When making these sugar candies, it is helpful to have a good candy thermometer, or to know how to test the temperature of candy using the cold-water method. Lollipops are the most familiar form of hard candy, but you'll find many familiar treats fall into this category.

Caramel Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Although caramels can be as simple as sugar and water boiled together, they are often enriched with butter or cream, and flavored with the addition of vanilla, honey, chocolate, or nuts. The texture of caramels can be soft, chewy, or firm, depending on the ingredients and length of cooking time. The following caramel recipes range from the most basic caramels to elaborate candies for the more adventurous confectioner.

Toffee Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Toffee is usually cooked to a high temperature so it has a crunchy texture and a deep, rich taste. Toffee is often enriched with butter or cream, and other common additions include roasted, chopped nuts and chocolate. Use these toffee recipes as a starting point, but feel free to expand on them. How will you spice up your toffee?

Fondant Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Fondant is a candy paste that is either made from a cooked sugar syrup or an uncooked powdered-sugar-based mixture. The resulting fondant can be formed into balls and dipped as a candy by itself, melted and used as a liquid cream center, or rolled thin and used to drape over cakes or other pastries.

Fruit Candy Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Fruit, with its inherently sweet flavor, is a natural ingredient for candy. Fresh or dried fruits can enhance chocolate and nut candies, and can also shine as the main flavor in candies ranging from hard lollipops to jellies.

Nut Candy Recipes

(c) 2006 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Nuts are a superb addition to many candies. Their slightly sweet, slightly savory flavor and crunchy texture add variety and balance to candy recipes, and they naturally pair well with with chocolate and fruit.

Gummy & Gelatin Candy Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

"Gummy" or "jelly" candies are made with a base of gelatin and are often flavored with fruit juices or extracts. The gelatin gives them a distinctive chewy texture that ranges from soft to very firm, depending on the amount of gelatin used.

Marshmallow Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc

If you've never made homemade marshmallows, you are in for a treat. Freshly made marshmallows are soft, pillowy, and subtly fragrant, while most store-bought marshmallows are more like chewy cardboard. Best of all, you can customize your marshmallows in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors.

Marzipan Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Marzipan is made primarily from ground nuts (usually almonds) and sugar cooked together, often with other additives. Marzipan can be eaten on its own, flavored with dried fruits, dipped in chocolate, or formed into intricate decorations for cakes and pastries. If you don't want to make marzipan, it is often available at grocery stores and cake decorating stores.

Nougat Recipes

(c) 2007 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Nougat is an aerated candy made from whipped egg whites and a boiled sugar syrup. It is commonly pressed with weights during the drying process, resulting in a compact, dense and chewy candy. Nuts, flavorings, and dried fruit are often added to the candy for variety.

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