I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, I hope it’s a beautiful day filled with laughter and happiness. Stay safe and warm.
I also want to thank you so much for your friendship and support as I learn the “ins and outs” of blogging. It means so much to me that you are here. Truly.
It’s Christmas Eve…my most favorite day of the year. This is my de-stress day. By now, my shopping is done, and the majority of the gifts are wrapped. I still have a few to wrap, but now I’m forcing myself to sit and relax for a few, and make a list of the things I need to prepare for tonight, and tomorrow. By tonight, things will be in order, and everything will be settled down for our big tradition tonight.
Our traditional Christmas Eve started when Katie was a little girl, Jessica was a baby, and Mike was still a couple of years away.. and I decided that I wanted one quiet evening at home with my little and very young family. So we respectfully declined all of the party offers; I went out and bought new pajamas for the girls; and made a small batch of our favorite appetizers. We stayed in that night, the girls wearing their new pajamas, and snuggled in to eat the appetizers and watch the movie. We have done that every Christmas Eve for the last 21 years. I have my appetizers just about ready for tonight. The pajamas and a bone for Sophie are all wrapped and under the tree, and the movies are sitting next to the TV ready to be watched after we get home from church. This year we’re watching “The Heat” and “Red 2”.
As I was preparing the appetizers, I wondered what I’d be doing if we didn’t have our tradition. Probably preparing a dish to bring to whichever party we were going to tonight…and then I wondered what type of hostess gift I’d bring. Most likely, I’d bring a bottle of wine, and a basket of Christmas cookies and candies that I’ve made.
I think I love making Christmas candy the most, and if you’re still looking to make a quick sweet treat to take with you to a party tonight, or in the next few days, this is the perfect one for you. Put it in a pretty bag, a jelly jar, or even a paper bag…this candy is sure to impress. It is simple and beautiful..and it looks like you would have worked hours making it!
A quick note: I usually make cinnamon flavored every year. To change it up, I made orange this year, and it was just as delicious. In fact, I think I like it even more than the cinnamon! You can make it any flavor you’d like, make a variety of flavors to give as gifts! I recommend that you use oils rather than flavorings though. The oils give it a deep flavor, and I’m afraid that flavorings would dissipate after a while.
I found my oils this year in the bulk section of my beloved Wegmans, but in years past, I’ve bought them at our local pharmacy like CVS.
A couple of things to remember when making this candy. First and most obvious…use caution when handling this candy. It’s very hot, and could cause very serious and painful burns if it accidentally spilled on you or a child. I’d feel terrible. Second… when you pour the oil into the boiling sugar mixture, make sure you keep your head away from the pan, and try not to breathe in as it mixes into the mixture. The fumes can burn the inside of your nose. I’ve done that, and it’s not pleasant.
The good news is that the scent of the candy goes through the whole house, and lingers for a few days!
3 – 3/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups corn syrup
1 cup water
.125 oz bottle oil flavoring
your choice in food coloring
Prepare three cookie sheets with powdered sugar to a depth of 1/4″ to 1/2″. Make channels in the sugar with your finger.
In a heavy saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and continue to boil until it reaches 300 degrees, hard crack stage.
Remove from heat, and immediately add food coloring (as much or as little as you wish) and the bottle of oil flavoring. Pour the hot mixture into the channels that you prepared earlier. Cover them by raking the powdered sugar over them with a fork.
While the candy is still hot, but cooled enough to handle, cut it into little squares with kitchen shears. Work quickly, because it cools quickly. It can be cracked by hand when it becomes too hard to cut with shears.