Candy corn is a Halloween stable. It can be found on any store shelf this time of year. However most of that candy corn isn't any good. Most of it tastes like wax to me. So I never buy the stuff. But when Alton Brown shared a recipe for candy corn on the Good Eats episode "All Hallows Eats" I decided to give candy corn another try. Below you will find my notes from preparing this recipe. For the full recipe, visit the Food Network website.
1. The candy corn is made with many kitchen stables like corn syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. The only thing you may need to seek out is gel paste food coloring. This food coloring is a gel that makes really vivid colors without adding liquid to the candy. You can buy this stuff at cake decorating shops or online. I purchased mine at Baker's Nook in Saline, Michigan.
2. The recipe calls for a 2 quart sauce pan and a candy thermometer. Make sure you don't use a pan smaller than that or you might have some boil over. The candy thermometer is a must so that you heat the candy up to the right temperature to get the desire texture. My candy corn came out a little on the soft side which make it more difficult to shape. Next time I might go just a couple degrees higher to take care of that problem. Making candy is often a trial and error process.
3. Alton uses a butter cutter to slice up the candy in pieces. This is the first time I have ever seen a butter cutter be of any real good use. Since I don't own one, I was left with cutting the candies one by one with my bench scrapper.
4. Alton used a silicone mat to help roll and shape the candy. Even thought it was upside down I could clearly tell it was a Slipat mat. Having a Slipat on hand to roll the candy out will be a big help. Since mine was softer than Alton's I could not just roll it out on my counter top without it sticking a bit.
5. This recipe has room for many variations. You can change the colors to whatever you like. Also you could change the vanilla extract to another extract or oil. I am thinking of trying this again using a citrus flavored extract or oil.
This is not a recipe for a beginner, no candy recipe really is, but it's a good place to start in the candy world. You have to be ready that it may not turn out the way you want it the first time (as my first batch was a bit too soft). But don't be discouraged. Keep at it. Cause if you can pull it off you will have the chance to impress all your friends and family with your own homemade candy corn.