What would Christmas be to the children — or even the grownups — without some of the special candies and good things appropriate to the holiday season?
Candies for Christmas
The variety of candies that can be made at home is infinite as to color shape and flavor. Here are a few good recipes:
French vanilla cream
This cream is the foundation of all the French creams.
Break into a bowl the white of one or more eggs as is required by the quantity you wish to make and add to it an equal quantity of cold water, then stir in the finest powdered or confectioners sugar until it is stiff enough to mold into shape with the fingers. Flavor with vanilla to taste. After it is formed into balls, cubes or lozenges, place upon plates to dry.
Candies made without cooking are not as good the first day.
Chop almonds, hickory nuts, butternuts or English walnuts quite fine. Make the French cream, and before adding all the sugar, while the cream is still quite soft, stir into it the nuts and then form into balls, bars or squares. Three or four kinds of nuts may be mixed together.
Maple sugar creams
Grate maple sugar, mix it in quantities to suit the taste, with French cream, adding enough confectioner’s sugar to mold into any shape desired. Walnut creams are sometimes made with maple sugar and are delicious.
Grate the rind of one orange and squeeze the juice, taking care to reject the seeds. Add to this a pinch of tartaric acid; stir in confectioner’s sugar until it is stiff enough to form into small balls the size of a small marble. These are delicious.
Stirred cream walnuts
Take two cupfuls of sugar, two thirds of a cupful of boiling water, and one half salt teaspoonful of cream of tartar. Boil until it begins to thicken. Stir in chopped walnuts and drop on tins.
Boil together four teaspoonfuls of vinegar and two cupfuls of brown sugar. Cook until the mixture becomes brittle when dropped into cold water. Grease gem pans with butter and cover the bottoms thickly with broken nut meats. Add to syrup one teaspoonful of soda, beat well and pour over the nuts. When cold and hard, remove from the molds and wrap in paraffin paper.
Soak two tablespoonsful of gelatin in one cupful of cold water for half an hour. Cook together two cupfuls of sugar with one-half cupful of water until brittle when dropped into cold water. Pour the boiling syrup over the soaked gelatin, boiling constantly. Add the mixture to stiffly-beaten white of an egg, flavor with rose or mint and beat until very stiff. Pour the marshmallow mixture into a pan well-dusted with a mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Cool, then cut in squares.
Honey molasses kisses
To one cupful of molasses, add three tablespoonfuls of honey, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, one tablespoonful of corn syrup, and two tablespoonfuls of butter with one-third of a cupful of water. Stir until well-mixed, then boil to a hard ball, turn out on a greased platter, and when cool enough, pull. Cut in inch lengths with the shears and wrap the pieces in waxed paper.
Put butter in the kettle, and when melted, add molasses and sugar. Boil until when poured in cold water, mixture becomes brittle. Add vinegar just before taking from fire.
Pour on well-buttered plate, and when cool enough to handle, pull until porous and light-colored, allowing candy to come in contact with tips of fingers and thumbs, not with palm of the hand. Cut in small pieces, using shears or a sharp knife, and arrange on buttered plate to cool.
Molasses walnut candy
Boil a quart of molasses for a half hour, then add a saltspoon of baking soda and boil until a little dropped in cold water will become brittle. Stir in shelled and halved walnuts and pour into greased pan.
Molasses stick candy
Boil together a pint of molasses, 2 tablespoons butter, a pound of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons vinegar. When it hardens in cold water, remove from fire. As it cools, pull into long light strips with tips of fingers. Lay on waxed paper to harden.