My favorite Halloween candy is candy corn. Not miniature Snickers bars. Not fun-size peanut M&Ms. Not Reese’s peanut butter cups. And don’t even bother with those miscellaneous, wrapped hard candies (if you bought those for your trick-or-treaters this year, shame on you.)
I could stare at a Milky Way candy bar for days without the slightest hint of temptation. But put a bowl of candy corn in front of me and my willpower dissolves faster than the sugar in my morning latte.
Plain, old, boring candy corn.
I tell myself that it’s my favorite because it’s fat-free. But that’s a lie. (The fact that it’s my favorite because it’s fat-free. Not the fact that it’s fat-free. That’s true. Honest.)
I prefer candy corn for the same reason that I prefer vanilla ice cream. I’m a traditionalist.
I will most likely be handing out fun-size Snickers and Reese’s to my trick-or-treaters with the rest of you this Halloween. Probably because I’ll be saving this candy corn for myself.
Homemade Candy Corn
Adapted from thekitchn
Active time: 1 hour
Start to finish: 2 hours
Makes approximately 300 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10-40 drops red and yellow food coloring
Heat white sugar, corn syrup and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until all ingredients are dissolved. Turn heat to high until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let bubble (uncovered) for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool until warm to the touch, about 15 minutes.
In a large bowl sift powdered sugar, powdered milk and salt. Add cooled mixture from sauce pan and stir until you can no longer do so. It will be cool enough to work with your hands at this point (which I highly suggest; a spoon will get you nowhere). Work dough until all traces of powdered sugar have been absorbed.
Divide dough into 3 sections. Make a dent in 2 pieces and add 20 drops of yellow food coloring to each. In one of those, add 9 drops of red food coloring to create orange. Mix each until colors are even throughout. You can wear gloves, but honestly, I didn’t. Just wash your hands well when finished with the entire activity.
To make candy corns, eyeball 1/8th of the dough from each piece. Roll each color into a long “snake,” and press the three snakes together. Run a rolling pin over the dough until the three snakes blend together slightly. Cut with a bench scraper or knife and allow to cool and air dry for at least an hour.
Once dry, keep your pieces in an airtight container.