We have been busy in the kitchen, getting ready for the Christmas Season. Every year, the girls and I make candy and cookies to pass out to neighbors, the mail lady and the numerous truck drivers that deliver packages. We take trays to friends, to employers and to the local gas station.
Making goodies together has become a wonderful family tradition. We put on our favorite Christmas music (Amy Grant's Tennessee Christmas) push up our sleeves and have a blast. This year, we found that we could make our treats as easily on our wood cookstove as we could on the gas and electric stoves of our past. The work is a little hotter (the wood stove has to be REALLY hot to get that candy to 300 degrees!), but we just take turns stirring and then stepping outside in the sub-freezing temperature to cool off.
We have made a couple of our favorites. We will make numerous batches throughout the month so this is only the beginning!
Enola Gay's Peanut Brittle
1.5 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Water
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1.5 C Sugar
1 C Water
1 C Caro (corn) Syrup
3 T. Butter
2 C Raw Peanuts (I used cocktail peanuts)
- Butter 2 cookie sheets and warm in oven (at about 250 degrees).
- Combine baking soda, water and vanilla in a small bowl - set aside.
- In pot, combine sugar, water and corn syrup.
- Heat to 240 degrees.
- Stir in butter and peanuts.
- Stir constantly until 300 degrees.
- Take off heat.
- Pour previously combined mixture into the pot with peanut mixture. Stir vigorously.
- Quickly pour onto cookie sheets.
- Let cool. Break into pieces.
Heating the Peanut Brittle to 240 degrees
Pouring in the peanuts and butter. We just
plop the butter on top of the nuts and
pour them in at once.
Vigorously stirring in the baking soda, water
and vanilla extract (off the heat)
Pouring onto cookie sheets
Breaking it into pieces
Better-than-York Peppermint Patties
1 Egg White
4 C Powdered Sugar
1/2 C Light Corn Syrup
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. Peppermint Extract (to taste)
Cornstarch for dusting
1 12oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Beat egg till frothy, but not stiff.
- Slowly add powdered sugar.
- Add corn syrup and peppermint extract. Knead until it has the consistency of dough. Add more sugar if necessary, until mixture is no longer sticky.
- Roll out peppermint dough with cornstarch dusted rolling pin to 1/4 inch.
- Cut out rounds with cookie cutter.
- Put on cookie sheet in fridge for 45 minutes.
- Melt chocolate chips (thinned with a little Crisco).
- Dip patties in chocolate, turn to coat.
- Chill patties until firm (30 minutes).
I keep these peppermint patties in the refrigerator and serve chilled. Yummm!
Peppermint Patty dough dusted
Miss Calamity cutting peppermint circles
Melting the chocolate chips with Crisco
Peppermint dough swimming in a sea of chocolate
I put them on tin foil to chill (on a cookie sheet)
Ready to serve!
One of the beautiful things about candy, is generally, it is made without fresh ingredients (I would add more corn syrup and ditch the egg white in the peppermint patties in a survival situation). Although, not the best use of resources, making candy for Holidays would be a wonderful gift to those enduring life after the balloon goes up. It would provide a moment of normalcy in an entirely non-normal world!
And yes, you can make candy on your wood cookstove!