Cakes, Cookies and Confections/Confections

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Cakes, Cookies and Confections
The California Home Economics Association




Candy making is one of the keenest pleasures to all concerned, but it requires for its success accuracy, and some knowledge of the materials with which one works. The following suggestions are offered the amateur so that he may better understand what he is trying to produce and how best to get the desired results.

White granulated sugar is the basis for almost all candy. When heated slowly without water it gradually changes to a colorless syrup, but as the heat increases this changes to a light brown and then a dark brown syrup. This latter is known as caramel sugar and is less sweet than the original sugar. It is used in cooking for flavoring syrups, desserts, and candy; the melted sugar usually being boiled with water until it is completely dissolved.

Sandy or coarse grained candy is produced by short boiling, stirring or agitating the syrup, or by beating while the candy is yet warm.

Creamy, velvety candy is produced by long, slow boiling; the addition of an acid such as cream of tartar, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, etc., cooling before handling; or the addition of a simple sugar such as glucose, caramel sugar or honey.

As crystals spread from one to another, never scrape a kettle where a non-crystalline candy such as taffy, butter-scotch, etc., is desired. Milk is often used by the home candy maker, but excellent candy is made with water and it is much easier to handle. The casein of milk has a tendency to stick and hence burn to the bottom of the kettle, while if water is used this is avoided and a slight increase in the amount of butter makes the product as rich as with milk.

The success of candy making depends largely upon careful testing so as to know when to remove the syrup. A sugar thermometer is desirable, but if one is testing with a spoon even greater care should be given. Have pans greased and nuts prepared before beginning to cook the syrup so that undivided attention can be given to testing. Test only a small amount, one or two drops at a time, in cold water. When it begins to test remove gently from the flame while testing so that the candy will not overcook while the test is being made.

These temperatures vary with atmospheric conditions.


The thread—216°F.-218°F.
The pearl—220°F.
The blow—230°F.
The feather—232°F.-235°F.
Soft ball—236°F.-240°F.
Large or firm ball—248°.-250°.
The crack—290°F.-310°F.

The Soft Ball[edit]

Test a few drops of the syrup in cold water. When the small ball will hold its shape enough so that it can be picked up and rolled between the thumb and forefinger without sticking it has reached the soft ball test.

Hard or Firm Balls[edit]

Test as for soft ball, but the syrup should be firmer and hold any shape it is pressed into. It should not be brittle or crack, but firm between the thumb and forefinger.

The Crack[edit]

This is slightly harder than the firm ball. The test should ring against the side of the cup, and some of it should break with a slight snap. It should not stick to the teeth.

The hard crack will quickly set hard and easily snap.

The Caramel[edit]

The caramel stage is reached when all the water has boiled out and the syrup begins to discolor slightly. It should be removed from the fire at once to prevent burning and set in a pan of cold water to stop its cooking.


1 c. brown sugar 2 sq. chocolate, or ½ c. chocolate
1 c. white sugar 2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. Karo 1 c. nut meats 1 tsp. vanilla

If white sugar only is used, 3 table-spoons of good molasses may be added. Stir mixture until it boils, cook slowly until "soft ball" is formed when tested in cold water. Add butter, vanilla, and allow to cool. When cool stir until it begins to thicken, add nuts and pour into well buttered pan, ¾, in. deep. Cut in squares.

Marshmallow Fudge[edit]

2 c. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
⅔ c. milk ¾ c. nut meats or raisins
2 sq. chocolate, or ½ c. cocoa 1 c. marshmallows, cut in quarters
1 tbsp. butter Speck salt

Cook sugar, cocoa and milk slowly, stirring only until it boils. Cook until it forms a firm soft ball in cold water or 236° F. Add butter, remove from fire and let stand until cool. Add vanilla and beat until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the prepared nuts and marshmallows, pour at once into well buttered pan and mark in squares.

Caramel Fudge[edit]

3 c. sugar 3 tbsp. butter
1 c. boiling water 1 c. nut meats
1 c. milk or cream
Smooth flat pan best to use, such as iron or aluminum frying pan. Carmelize (melt) ½ cup sugar ,stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add 1 cup boiling water and when cooked until smooth add remainder of sugar and milk alternately. Cook quickly until a firm ball, or 248° F. Add butter, allow to cool, beat until creamy. When it begins to thicken add nuts. Pour into buttered pan and mark in 1 inch squares.

Date Fudge[edit]

1 c. brown sugar 2 tbsp. butter
2 c. white sugar 1 tbsp. glucose or honey
1 tbsp. lemon extract
¼ lb. (1 c.) stoned dates 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Speck Salt

Put sugar, butter, milk and glucose into sauce-pan. Boil slowly to soft ball or 236°F. Remove from fire and add extracts. When cool beat until creamy. Add chopped dates. Pour into greased tins.


2 c. brown sugar 1 tbsp butter
1 c. white sugar 1 tbsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. milk ¾ c. nut meats
Speck salt

Boil slowly to "soft ball" or 236°F. Add butter and vanilla. Cool slightly and beat until creamy. Add nuts. Pour at once into a buttered pan and mark in one inch squares.


3 c. sugar ½ tsp. almond extract
¾ c. Karo Whites 2 eggs
¾ c. water 1 c. nuts or candied fruits
1 tsp. vanilla
Cook sugar, karo and water slowly until "cracks" in cold water or 290°F. Add slowly to stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly until stiff enough to hold imprint of beater. Add vanilla and nuts and pour one inch deep in buttered pans. Cut in squares.

Sea Foam[edit]

1 ½ c. white sugar Maple or coffee flavoring
1 ½ c. brown sugar 1 c. nut meats if desired
1 ½ c. hot water White 1 egg

Cook sugar and water until it forms a hard ball in cold water or 250° F. Add slowly to beaten white, beating constantly. Beat until thick, drop from teaspoon on wax paper or buttered tins.


2 c. sugar 2 tsp. glucose
¼ c. water 1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites 1 c. mixed nut meats( Brazil, pecans, walnuts and almonds)
½ tsp. almond extract 1 stick angelica
1/4 c. candied cherries 1 c. corn syrup(light)

Boil sugar, corn syrup, water and glucose until brittle when tested in cold water or about 270 F. Add slowly to very stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly. Add flavoring and fold in nuts, cherries and angelica, cut into small pieces. Pour at once into well buttered pans. When cool cut and wrap each piece in wax paper.


2 c. sugar 2 c. milk or cream
¾ c. glucose or 1 ½ c. Karo 1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. nut meats if desired
2 sq. chocolate if desired

Put sugar, glucose, butter and ½ milk over fire. Stir until mass boils thoroughly. Add gradually second cup of milk. Let mixture boil, stirring every 3 or four minutes till it reaches "hard ball" stage 252°F. or for hard caramels a "brittle" at 265°F. about 2 hours' boiling.

Stir in vanilla (and nuts if used) and pour into well buttered brick shaped pans to cool (about ¾ to 1 inch in depth). When nearly cool mark hours to dry.

If cream is used, less time is required in cooking—about 11/2 hours. If chocolate is used, melt it over hot water; add a little of the hot syrup gradually, then add to the mass after the second cup of milk is added.

This recipe makes about 1¾ pounds of candy.

Chew Chocolate Caramels[edit]

1 c. good light molasses 2 sq. chocolate
½ c. sugar 2 tbsp. butter
½ c. milk 1/3 tsp. cream of tartar

Boil ingredients until a hard ball is formed when tested in cold water or 250°F. Pour into well buttered pan. When cool cut in squares.


1⅔ c sugar 2/3 c. water
⅔ c. brown sugar ⅔ tsp. lemon extract
⅛ tsp. cream of tartar Speck of salt
½ c. butter
Put sugar and water into saucepan, stir occasionally until it boils, then add cream of tartar. Boil covered ten minutes, remove cover and allow to boil until almost done, then add the butter. Boil to about 300°F. or the hard crack, add the lemon extract and pour at once into well buttered tins. Do not stir syrup while boiling. Do not scrape pan. Mark into small squares.

White Taffy[edit]

2 c. sugar 2 tbsp. vinegar
Flavoring 1 c. water
1 tbsp butter

Cook slowly until "small crack" or until cracks against cup, forming glass-like threads in cold water at 265-270°F. Never stir after mixture boils. Cover the kettle from 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve crystals on sides of the pan. Pour in buttered platter to cool. Do not scrape kettle.

When cool enough to handle pull until porous. Have hands cool. Wash in cold water frequently and dry thoroughly. Use only tips of fingers to touch candy. Pull in long rope and cut with shears.

Pull over a gas flame if candy cools before it is porous.

Molasses Taffy[edit]

1 c. molasses 2 tbsp. butter
1 c. sugar 1 tbsp. vinegar

Mix ingredients and boil slowly until it reaches the small crack 270°F. Pour at once onto buttered platter, but do not scrape kettle. When cool pull until porous. Cut in pieces with buttered shears. Only the best light molasses should be used.

Cream Taffy[edit]

2½ c. sugar 1 tbsp butter
½ tsp. glycerine ½ c. glucose
½ tsp. salt 1 c. water
Put sugar, glucose, butter and water in kettle. Boil to very firm ball or 258°F. Add glycerine, salt, flavor and color as desired. Pour on well greased slab. When cool enough to handle, pull until porous. Cut with shears.


3 c. sugar ½ tsp. almond extract (if desired)
1 tbsp. butter ¼ honey
1 egg white ½ c. walnuts
½ c. candied pineapple ½ c. shaved citron
1 c. milk

Boil the sugar, milk and butter. When almost boiled to the thread, add honey and boil until it forms a soft ball when tested in cold water or 240°F. Remove from fire and add slowly to very stiff egg white, beating constantly. Beat a few moments then add the chopped walnuts, cut pineapple and citron. Pour into buttered pan and when cool mark in squares or drop by teaspoonfuls on buttered plates.

Popcorn Balls[edit]

4 quarts, sifted, salted, corn or crisped puffed rice or corn 2 c. molasses, light golden
1 tbsp. vinegar 1 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter

Boil rapidly, being very careful it does not burn. When brittle when tested in cold water or about 270°F. pour immediately over the corn and stir until evenly mixed. Press with hands into balls, keep in cold, air-tight place.

Sugared Popcorn I[edit]

2 qts. popped and sifted corn ½ c. water
2 c. brown sugar 2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Boil sugar, water and butter until it forms a firm ball when tested in cold water or 250°F. Add flavoring and pour slowly on popped corn while stirring corn vigorously until all is well coated and the syrup sugars.

Sugared Popcorn II[edit]

2 qts. popped corn ⅓ c. watr
1 c. sugar ½ tsp. pink coloring

Boil sugar and water slowly until it forms a firm ball when tested in cold water. Add coloring, stir well and then pour very slowly over popped corn while stirring corn vigorously. Each kernel should be coated with sugar. This is an excellent recipe for making sugared popcorn in large quantities for Xmas stockings. The coloring may be varied, or larger proportion of corn to syrup if desired.

Candied Orange Peel[edit]

Peel of 6 oranges. Cover with cold water, bring to boil, change water and boil until tender. Drain thoroughly. Remove excess white with spoon, cut in strips with scissors. Boil 2 c. sugar and 1 c. water until it threads. Add peel and let boil until syrup is boiled away. Watch carefully. Add 1 c. sugar and stir with fork until crystallized. Spread on wax paper to dry.

Grapefruit Novelties[edit]

1 lb. grape fruit peel 2 c. water
1 ½ lbs. sugar

Select bright fruit with thick peel. Wash with brush. Grate very lightly with an ordinary grater to break cells. Cut the peel in quarters, remove from fruit and weigh it.

Cut again into strips or fancy shapes. For each quart of peel add 3 pints of cold water. Boil ten minutes and pour off the water. Repeat six or eight times or until as much of the bitter flavor is removed as is desired. Dry peel between folds of cloth, pressing gently.

To each pound of peel take 1½ Ibs. sugar and 2 cups water. Bring syrup to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Add prepared peel and cook until syrup is absorbed. This may be told by the formation of sugar crystals in the clear peel. Sometimes, however, there is danger of cooking too long and the resulting product is hard and unattractive. When the peel begins to cook thick like a preserve, try rolling a piece in granulated sugar after draining well. If this stiffens on cooling, the whole product is ready to drain and roll in the granulated sugar.

The pulp may be removed from the whole grapefruit shell and it crystallized—or various heart, lozenges or other shapes cut out and different vegetable colorings added to the syrup.

Turkish Delight[edit]

½ c. cold water 3 tbsp. gelatine
Let stand till water is absorbed. Pour ½ c. cold water over 2 c. granulated sugar. Heat to the boiling point. Add gelatine and cook twelve minutes after boiling begins. Stir constantly, since it burns easily. Remove from fire and add 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 4 tbsp water. Flavor with peppermint or other flavoring and color green. Pour ⅜ inch deep into a wet pan. Cut and roll in granulated sugar just before ready to serve.

Mint Delight[edit]

2 tbsp. gelatine (½ pkg.) Green coloring—peppermint
½ c. cold water Red coloring—winter-green
2 ⅓ c. sugar ¾ c. cold water

Soak gelatine in ½ c. cold water 10 minutes. Cook sugar and ¾ c. water to brittle stage or about 270°F. Add gelatine to syrup and stir until well dissolved. Color half green and flavor with peppermint. Color half red and flavor with wintergreen. Pour into shallow pans to depth of ¼ inch. When set cut into squares with hot knife. Roll in powdered sugar.

Cinnamon Nuts[edit]

1 c. sugar ½ tsp. vanilla
¼ c. water 1 ½ c. nut meats—walnuts best
½ tsp. cinnamon ⅛ tsp. cream of tartar

Boil sugar, water, cream of tartar and cinnamon until it has reached the firm ball stage. It will just spin a thread when tested with a spoon. Cool slightly, add vanilla and nut meats and beat until it sugars and the nuts break apart.

Glace Nuts[edit]

½ c. boiling water ⅓ tsps. cream of tartar
1 c. sugar

Put ingredients in smooth sauce pan and stir until it begins to boil. Boil slowly until the syrup begins to discolor which is 310°F. Remove sauce pan from fire, place in pan of cold water to stop its cooking and then place in pan of hot water while dipping. Skewer nuts separately on hat pin and dip in syrup, being careful each is well covered. Place each on well greased dish to harden.

Candied Figs[edit]

5 lbs. figs 1 pt. water
1 lb. (2 c.) sugar

Wash figs and add to the syrup made from the sugar and water. Cook slowly 1 hour. Repeat the cooking the second day. On the third day cook until figs are dry, shaking the pan rather than stirring. Lay the figs on plates and place in warm oven. Turn out fire. Leave over night. Repeat for several days until figs are quite dry. Better dried in the sunshine.


3 c. sugar 1 ⅓ c. water
1 tbsp. horehound ½ tsp. cream of tartar
⅔ c. boiling water

Pour boiling water over horehound and steep 5 minutes. Strain through fine cloth. Add sugar and remaining water and cream of tartar. Boil to 300° F. or hard crack. Pour at once into buttered pans. Do not scrape kettle. Mark in small squares.

Molasses Brittle[edit]

1 c. molasses ½ tsp. lemon extract
1 c. sugar—brown or white 1 c. peanut meats
1 tbsp. vinegar ¾ tsp. soda
1 tbsp. butter

Boil molasses, sugar, butter and vinegar slowly until when tested in cold water it is brittle or cracks 290-300°F. Add extract and soda and beat for one minute or until it foams up well. Add half of peanuts and pour at once onto well buttered slab and roll out very thin. Stick the remaining peanuts on top. When cool break into pieces.

Peanut Brittle I[edit]

2 c. sugar ¼ tsp. salt
1 qt. nut meats

Shell, skin and chop coarsely the peanuts. Sprinkle with salt.

Melt sugar in perfectly smooth kettle such as an iron or aluminum frying pan, stirring constantly so that it carmelizes evenly. Add nuts and pour at once into well buttered tins.

Other nuts may be used instead of peanuts such as pecans, almonds or walnuts.

Peanut Brittle II[edit]

3 c. sugar ¾ c. glucose
4 tbsp. butter 2 level tsp. soda
1 ⅓ c. water ¾ lb. peanut meats

Boil sugar, glucose and water to hard crack or 275°F. Add butter and soda. Beat well, pour over peanuts scattered in well greased pans.

Scotch Kisses[edit]

1 c. brown sugar 1 can dray marshmallows
1 tbsp. butter ½ tbsp. vinegar
½ c. water

Boil sugar, water, butter and vinegar to soft crack when tested in cold water or 290°F. Remove from fire, drop in marshmallows one at a time, cover with the syrup and remove with fork to buttered marble or plate.

Parisian Sweets[edit]

1 lb. raisins—seeded 1 lb. walnut meats
1 lb. figs ⅓ lb. crystallized ginger
1 lb. almond meats 1 lb. dates

Prepare fruit by removing seeds and cutting off stem ends when necessary. Put all fruit and nuts through meat grinder with the coarsest cutter. Roll out on board to ½ inch thickness. Dust with powdered sugar, cut in squares.

Almost any dried fruit may be used in making this wholesome dainty, such as prunes, pears, peaches, citron, candied orange peel, etc. The squares may be dipped in chocolate if so desired


1 envelope (2 tbsp.) gelatin 1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¼ c. water 2 c. sugar
Speck salt

Soak gelatine in ½ the water for 5 minutes. Put remaining water and sugar in saucepan, bring to boil. Boil three minutes. Add soaked gelatine and let stand until partly cool. Add salt and flavoring and beat until the mixture becomes white and thick. Turn into granite pans thickly dusted with powdered sugar, having mixture one inch in depth. Let stand in cold place until thoroughly chilled. Turn on board, cut in cubes and roll in powdered sugar. Easy to cut with scissors.

This recipe makes about one hundred marshmallows.


2 ½ c. sugar ⅓ tsp. cream tartar, or
1 ¼ c. water ½ to ¾ tsp. glycerine

Put ingredients in smooth saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil. Boil without stirring until soft ball is formed when tested in cold water or 240° F. During boiling cover 2 minutes so as to dissolve crystals on the sides of the kettle. When cooked pour fondant in clean bowl, do not scrape kettle, as scrapings will "sugar." When almost cold beat with wooden spoon until white and creamy. Knead with hands until perfectly smooth. Pack in jars to ripen, about 24 hours—or cover with cloth dipped in hot water and wring dry.

If cooked too long or not long enough, if grainy and not creamy, add water and cook over again as if fondant were sugar.

This fondant lends itself to endless ways of making up and is the basis for all French creams. It is used to stuff dates, figs, prunes, etc., as centers for chocolate creams, etc.

Commercial Fondant[edit]

6 c. sugar 2 c. water
1 tbsp. glycerine ¾ tsp. acetic acid No. 8
2 egg whites (stock solution about 28-30%)

Bring water and sugar to boil. Cover when boiling. Add glycerine and acid. Boil to soft ball or 240° F. Pour out in large platter—cool to luke warm. Put the two stiffly beaten egg whites in the middle and knead them in with spatula or wooden paddle. For gloss, add one tablespoon gloss starch; work until the mass is creamy and smooth. Pack in glass jars and allow to ripen for 24 hours.

Strawberry Delights[edit]

Melt fondant in double boiler until creamy. Coat large ripe strawberries with this melted fondant, holding onto the stem and calyx. Allow to dry on waxed paper. These danties must be eaten within 3 or 4 hours after making, but are well worth any trouble.


1 c. sugar Speck of cream tartar
½ c. water 1 tbsp. butter
⅔ tbsp. molasses ½ lb. prepared fondant

Mix and stir until it boils. Boil slowly to soft crack 265F. Pour from kettle slowly in long strip on buttered marble. Have colored, flavored and warmed fondant rolled in long rope one inch in diameter. Place fondant on slightly cooled strip of brittle, lap edges of brittle and roll rope gently to the desired diameter. Cut off buttercups with buttered shears, turning rope at each cutting so that one cut of the candy is at right angles to the other cut.

The filling may be varied and colored to suit, and the outside may have more or less molasses used to lend variety.

Chocolate Creams[edit]

The chocolate used for dipping has more of the cocoa butter left in than the commercial bar chocolate and is often sweetened. The home candy maker may buy bars of dipping chocolate at most groceries or candy kitchens. Baker's "Dot" chocolate is very satisfactory for this purpose.

Melt the chocolate slowly over hot water, being very careful to get no water into it, and remove from fire as soon as thoroughly melted. If water gets into the chocolate it thickens and lumps. If it gets too hot it streaks and grays as it cools.

The centers of chocolate creams are usually made from fondant, colored, flavored and shaped. After the shapes have hardened and dried a few hours exposed to the air, they are dipped in the melted chocolate with a fork or hat pin, or the fingers, and allowed to dry slowly on wax paper. Soft fondant centers may be made by adding more cream of tartar as the centers are shaped, and after dipping allow them to ripen 3-4 weeks before using.

Raisins, roasted almonds, peanuts, oyster crackers, etc., may be dipped in the chocolate and give a very delicious variation to a box of chocolate creams.