This is the time of year when it is acceptable to sit on the couch grazing through a giant heart-shaped box full of chocolate covered cherries while crying over a chick flick.
It is perfectly fine to have a lollipop in the shape of a cupid for lunch and little Hershey’s kisses for dessert. Everyone’s breath smells like cinnamon from all the complimentary bowls of spicy cinnamon hearts set out all over the office.
We all love candy, from jujubes to peppermints, but it isn’t something we usually make at home. That gets left to the pastry chefs and professionals. Many of whom will be competing in a Candy Battle tonight at the Drake Hotel. Taste candies from Yummy Stuff, Wheelie Sweet, The Sweet Escape, She’s Baking & The Gabardine, then vote for your favourite. A fun indulgence on a Monday night!
This year why not try to make your own candy for Valentine’s Day?
and here are some for those who are comfortable using a candy thermometer.
A candy made with your loving hands says so much more than one that’s mass-produced and sitting on a shelf waiting to be marked down on February 15th. This is your chance to try something new in the kitchen, learn a great skill and show a special someone how much you care.
Here’s our favourite candy recipe, they look like little rubies when you put them out in a glass dish.
Cinnamon Hard Candy
Makes about 120 candies
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. cinnamon extract or or 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon oil
1⁄4 tsp. red food coloring
1. Line an 8″ x 8″ metal baking pan with parchment paper and grease parchment with nonstick spray; set aside. Heat sugar, corn syrup, and 1⁄2 cup water in a 1-qt. saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cover; boil for 3 minutes. Remove lid and attach a candy thermometer to side of saucepan. Cook, without stirring, until sugar mixture reaches 300°; remove pan from heat. With a long-handled spoon, stir in the cinnamon extract and food coloring. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Let cool slightly, until candy reaches pliable consistency. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut candy into 1⁄2″ squares. Let cool for 30 minutes, until hard.
2. Peel candies off parchment paper and wrap individually in confectioner’s paper or dust candies with a mixture of 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, if you like, and transfer to a bowl.