Candy Canes

This is a fun thing to do for a group gathering. It takes fast work to get the canes made before they get too cool so be sure to gather everything together first before starting.

6 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Cold Water
2 Tabelspoons Light Corn Syrup
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
6 drops Essence of Peppermint (found at pharmacies)
6 or 8 drops Red Food Coloring
Confectioners' Sugar

Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a heavy 6/7 quart pan. Heat and stir until sugar crystals are dissolved, then stop stirring. Bring to a rolling boil and wash down the crystals, then add the cream of tartar. Boil rapidly to the hard crack stage on the candy thermometer. Pour two-thirds of the syrup out quickly onto a marble slab or greased flat pan. Pour the rest into a buttered glass pie pan and let rest in pan on warm stove (but with heat off), do not move until partly set. Turn the edges in on each portion and sprinkle peppermint flavoring to each.....about 6 drops of oil to the large portion and 3 to the small. With a buttered spatula, begin folding all sides into the center; continue to turn and fold until glassy and cool enough to pick up Add food coloring to the small dish stirring well.

As soon a humanly possible, start to pull the portion in the large container until a pearly-colored opaque, creamy and holds a shape at the ends. (It will be really hot, butter your hands and set it down when it gets too hot!) Form it into a ball. Meanwhile gather up the colored portion and form it into a rope and wrap it around the ball. With one person on each end, start to stretch and twist the ball in opposite directions to form a long rope with the traditional stripe. Cut into lengths as necessary with oiled scissors. When the desired diameter is achieved, cut and form into canes (roll it on the board to get it smooth). If it gets too cold to work with, put on a wooden breadboard in a warm oven to soften.

Roll in mixture of confectioners' sugar and cornstarch and let dry overnight. Shake off excess sugar and starch in the morning.

Makes about 1 pound of candy.

Happy Holidays:)

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