Nashville’s Sam Palladio once told us he’d fall in love with a girl if she ordered candy at the movies. While we don’t have the opportunity to attend one with him, we did think that if we made homemade Halloween candy Palladio would somehow hear about it and come ask us to be his girlfriend (all of us here in the office are competing over who gets to say yes).
In all seriousness, Trick-or-Treating can be a tricky business (pun intended), and while it’s not necessarily suitable for adults, it’s definitely suitable to make homemade candy for your friends to celebrate. You can accompany these homemade peanut butter cups, gummies and candy corn with cocktails. There’s something the kids can’t do…so there.
Homemade Candy Corn:
1 cup and 2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons Nonfat Dried Milk
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 tablespoon Honey
2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon Water
2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Red and Yellow Food Coloring
Mix the powdered sugar, nonfat dried milk, and kosher salt together in a bowl. Sift together through a sieve to remove any clumps and ensure it is well mixed.
Combine the sugar, light corn syrup, honey, and water in a heavy bottomed, 2-quart sauce pot. Place over medium heat and cook for 4 minutes stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the butter, and clip on a candy thermometer. Stop stirring, bring the sugar syrup to 230 to 245 degrees Fahrenheit. This will only take about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add the vanilla and the dry mixture and stir continuously with a non-stick spatula until well combined. Pour onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or wax paper. Cool for 10 or until the mixture is cool enough to handle. Do not let the candy cool too long or you will not be able to roll it out.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Add 2 or 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one piece and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Add 2 or 3 drops of red and 2 drops of yellow orange to the second piece and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Leave the third piece white.
Divide each other the colors into 3 more pieces each (3 white, 3 orange, 3 yellow). Working in batches, roll each piece of dough into a strand about 1/4” thick.
Make three pairings each containing all the colors. Work with each batch separately. Lay the strands next to one another and pinch them together using your fingers (Orange, yellow, white). Using a rolling pin, roll over the strands to flatten them and further pinch them together. Using a knife, pizza cutter, or bench scraper, start cutting small triangles into the flattened strands to make the individual candies. If your candy gets too hard to work work with, try heating it gently in the microwave, 5-10 seconds at a time until it is pliable enough to pinch together and roll out.
Lay the candies on a piece of parchment until dry, at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container when not eating.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups Dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Peanut Butter, creamy not crunchy
2 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/4 cup Honey
2 tablespoons Dry Milk
Place 25-30 mini baking cup on a baking sheet
Place the dark chocolate pieces in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir and repeat until chocolate is just melted but still shiny. Stir in the coconut oil.
Place 1/2 teaspoon of the melted chocolate into the bottom of the mini-cupcake liners. Freeze for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together the peanut butter, softened butter, honey, and dry milk. Stir well to thoroughly combine.
When ready, spoon 3/4 teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture in each mini baking cup on top of the chocolate layer. Freeze for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, divide the remaining melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter layer to finish the peanut butter cups. Freeze until ready to serve.
Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before eating.
One Package of Flavored Jell-O
1 and 3/4 packets Unflavored Gelatin
1/3 cup Cold Water or Fruit Juice
Place 1/3 cup water in a glass measuring cup. Stir in the unflavored gelatin to dissolve, ensuring there are no clumps. Add the Jello-O, mixing well. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
Bring water to a simmer in a small sauce pan. Place the glass measuring cup into the simmering water so that the water come halfway up the outside of the measuring cup (do not fulling submerge it). You want to heat the gelatin mixture gently so that it thins out to the texture of syrup.
When the gelatin mixture is like syrup, pour into the molds. Let set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Bring to room temperature before eating.
Photographed by Alli Shepherd.