Thursday, October 11, 2007

Making Candy Corn; Tips & Tricks!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

As Halloween nears many of you will embark on candy corn making adventures utilizing the recipe I posted. After some feedback from others & a bit of experimenting, I thought I'd extend some tips & tricks so you can successfully make your own candy corn this season!

Boiling temperature & time are very important to this recipe, too much heat & you'll have a rock of hard candy, too low & you'll have a soft candy. If you're right on, the texture of these are perfect.

If your dough is too hard:

  • The boiling temperature and/or time may have been off.
  • You may have added too many dry ingredients.

Unfortunately, I don't have a temperature to tell you to boil them at, but it's important that these boil for 5 minutes at a medium boil with occasional stirring. Sadly, there’s not much you can do with firm dough, besides try to cut it up & eat it as hard candy. It still tastes pretty good.

Be careful not to add too many dry ingredients. Often times, powdered sugar is compacted in its container, be sure to stir it up before measuring it & use a spoon to scoop it in to your measuring cup, versus pouring. These same guidelines apply to the powdered soy milk, as well as dry ingredients in all baking!

If your dough is too soft:

  • The boiling temperature and/or time may have been too low.

You can still make candy corn with soft dough, the color will be easier to knead in & they’ll taste good, but the texture will not be the same. An option with these is to put them in the refrigerator to firm them up, but they’ll have to be eaten cold or shortly after removal from the refrigerator, as they soften as they return to room temperature.

Candy Corn Storage:

To store the candy corn, put them in an airtight container, using plastic wrap to separate the layers, so they don’t stick together. Do not refrigerate or freeze these, as it could change the texture & is unnecessary, keeping them on a counter is ideal. These should keep for quite some time, so feel free to make them in advance for your shindig. Last I checked, my 3-week-old candy corn was perfectly tasty & they’ve been on my counter since being made.

Ingredients + other Tips & Tricks:

If you have an aversion to corn syrup or cannot find organic corn syrup, these can be made with brown rice syrup, although they will not taste the same. They’re close, but the texture as well as the flavor differs from traditional candy corn. Additionally, the dough will not be white for the white tips, so they may be best as pumpkins or “psychedelic candy rice”, like you see in the photos here. Nonetheless, you may be happy with the results!

My powdered soy milk came from my local co-op & was plain, not vanilla. I do think vanilla would be perfectly acceptable & maybe even a tasty addition! Don’t be concerned about good tasting powdered soy milk, I wouldn’t drink mine either! It’s a texture thing, not a taste thing. The recipe has enough sugar to kill any bad tasting powders anyway! If you can’t find a powdered soy milk product at your local grocer or health food store, Better Than Milk can be purchased online at Amazon.

The recipe provided has a very high yield, especially if you cut them as small as standard candy corn. You can easily make 1/4 of what I’ve posted & be perfectly happy.

When kneading the color in, gloves are the best option. Of course, most of us don’t have gloves! Another option I mentioned in the last post was plastic wrap, but another option is putting the dough & color in a plastic sandwich bag to squish & fold it in there, which may be easier & less likely to cause a food coloring stain somewhere undesirable.

An untested idea mentioned to me is adding the food coloring in to the wet ingredients after the boiling process. While it’s not possible to divide the wet mixture in to three & then add the dry, you could make three small batches & add the color in this way. The kneading is tedious & may be more time consuming than making three small batches!

The candy corn will be rugged & not very glossy when cut, to get the proper shape & finish, you’ll have to shape each one yourself! If the ropes of color are well pressed together & even flattened a bit with a rolling pin, they can be easier to shape with a roll between your fingers. Of course they taste perfectly good without any shaping, but I’m an aesthetic eater, so I couldn’t leave them alone!

Please continue to let me know if you're making the recipes posted here & how they're working out for you. I’m expecting reports of fun & successful candy corn making parties in the near future; I love what people have sent me so far! In fact, the awesome crocheted candy corn bear is by none other than "My Sweet Vegan" author Hannah Kaminsky! Isn’t he adorable?!

It's still early, but Happy Halloween everyone!

I’ll be in New York City for the spooktastic day seeing a Martha Stewart show taping! If you’re in the NYC area and would like to grab a bite, dance all night, or just hang out, get in touch, I’ll be around through November 8th!


Celine said...

Hannah's the best and so are you!
I wish I could tag along to NYC.

Anonymous said...

Wow, candy making? never done that, the candy looks really cute! I'm inspired. Say hi to Martha for me!

Unknown said...

Those look delicious! I need to track down that book I think. :) Thanks for the great tips.

Unknown said...

I love the new batch! I want to see more pictures....little marching candy corn!


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Thank you so much for the candy corn tips - love the festive colors!!

Hannah is one of my dear friends - it's so nice that you know her too! "My Sweet Vegan" will undoubtedly be a hit.

Too bad I won't be in NYC when you are - have a lovely time!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, love the new color scheme! I'm so happy that the candy corn-loving bear will never go hungry.

And what unfortunate timing for your trip, since I'm usually very close to NYC, but now I'm at school and without means of transportation... Drat! Hope you enjoy the city though.

Anonymous said...

hey lady :) i tried these last night, and the first time wasnt successful, mainly because of both of the reasons you posted. too much dry ingredients, and too high heat.

i reduced the amount of powdered soy, and boiled over low heat... and it worked that time!

i'll post my results tomorrow, probably :) thanks again!

TB said...

I love this idea, it's so genius, but I think I'd need someone willing to have a candy corn-making party to have the nerve to try it... Someone to help with all that kneading! I especially love the pumpkins because they're so perfect for topping Halloween cupcakes! Hmm, maybe I'll have to make these after all...

urban vegan said...

How utterly cool!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Those colored candy corns are so rad.

I just finished up the ones you gave me (I'm slow!) last night and I am so appreciative to your hard work and creativity!

Anonymous said... :)

bazu said...

So excited that you're coming to the East Coast- I wish you could come up to Syracuse for my Halloween partay!

Guess what- I bought soymilk powder last week thinking of these candy corn... but I'm still too chicken to make them. I've never made candy before and I'm bad at detail work! I'll try to gather up the courage...

bazu said...

zikes- all this time I thought I had your blog linked on mine- but I didn't! Problem fixed.

Gigi said...

Tell Martha I said "hello" and I love the new candy corn colors!

JENNA said...

I can't tell you how much i've alway's hated candy corn but your post and pictures of them make me want to make them and eat them up. Now you post candy corn with awesome new colors! I have to make them now!

Wes said...

Success is mine! Thanks!

vko said...

okay, you & I are going for some vegan eats in NYC...

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"That sounds pretty reasonable. Yes, we'll see you Saturday! If you want, we could do some sort of sourdough starter for votes scam, assuming this is a voting event."

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Celine- I wish you were coming to NYC too! That'd be awesome.

farhan- Thanks!

v stiletto- Hannah's book will be awesome, totally worth a pre-order.

kittee- Thank you! I'm so bad about getting enough photos!

veggiegirl- Isn't Hannah amazing?!

Hannah- Darn! I really wish we could meet up. I try to get to the East Coast a few times a year- maybe next time?!

Kristen- I'm glad it worked out for you! xo.

textual bulldog- I would LOVE to see the pumpkins as cupcake toppers!

urban vegan- Thank you!

Jess- Thank you! No worries, I still have a few hiding in my house as well! It's better to savor them.

bazu- MAKE THEM! hehe. Try a 1/4 batch, the dough comes together easily & it still yields a lot. I'm excited to meet you soon!

gigi- Thanks & I will!

b36kitchen- My candy corn hating husband likes these! They're a bit more refined, less shockingly sweet.

Wes- I'm so glad! Enjoy!


joel- A voting scam sounds amazing! Wait.. there's voting?!

Jody from VegChic said...

Thanks for the tips. These are still on my list to make. I've been pretty swamped with work and doing cleanup and donate stuff at home.

The new colored ones are uber cute.

Anonymous said...

mmm... they look so awesome! you rock!

Pink Theory said...

yesss! I love the new colors. I'm so tempted to try this recipe but have had very, VERY, bad experiences with candy making...but your pics are so very tempting.

Olivia H. said...

WOW! Thanks for posting these! I am SO going to get my Mom to help me make these!

Anonymous said...

yes!! i love this blog. :) thanks for the comment on my "hecka" tattoo.. and i wasn't allowed to say hella either. when i moved to the south, everyone was like "hecka????" what the hell is that!


Anonymous said...

I agree with earlier comments; I love the new colour combination for the candy corn! And what a cute bear, I might add :)

Anonymous said...

i love these colors!! next time you make some, i am going to entice you to send me some. ;)

jennifer said...

WOW! your blog is delicious! i stumbled here from flickr... love the recipes.

Ashasarala said...

That has to be the most awesome recipe yet. Vegan candy corn! Who woulda thunk? I've actually been trying to create some vegan versions of old candy favourites. You've inspired me to get on that!

Awesome job. :)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Jody- I hope you had a chance to make them! You can always do pumpkins for Thanksgiving!

Pink Theory- I'm no pro at candy making, but they worked for me! Give them a try!

veggie barbie girl- Awesome! I hope you enjoy them.

Tattooed Mama- Thanks! That's hecka funny. ;)

stonielove, ovenhaven, jennifer, Ashasarala- thank yooou!

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Clare K. R. Miller said...

Hi! I just tried to make these and the dough turned out really tasty. However, it seems impossible to turn it into candy corn. While it gets a little skin on it if I let it sit so it's not sticky, when I try to knead it it's INCREDIBLY sticky. It sticks to everything, especially my hands! Is this maybe a symptom of it being too soft? Any other ideas?

lab said...

Okay my 3 and 5 year old kids were dearly looking forward to this, but dough came out very hard. Then I saw this second page so I will give it another try tomorrow. I didn't watch them measuring maybe as closely as I could have. The kids still liked the taste, just too hard to eat!

Anonymous said...

My first batch was too hard too. I made a second batch keeping the heat down low and it was much softer. Too soft even! I covered my counter with a hefty dose of powdered sugar and kneaded more sugar in to the dough till it was easy to work with.

My yield was much higher than stated in the recipe though. I started making small ones with the first third of the dough and got about 200. I decided to go bigger on the rest and made jumbo size ones that were over an inch long and got another 200 of those.

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