Today we had the first rain storm of the season, an excellent herald to tomorrow’s autumnal equinox. With such downpour, we stayed inside with the fireplace stoked and the gutters’ staccato providing background music. Zach was inspired to make a treat that’s perfect to nibble on while curled up on a lazy day.
Makes over 3 lbs. of toffee
1 lb. of butter
2 cups of vanilla’d sugar
1 cup of unsalted, roasted almonds with the skin on
1 cup of unsalted, roasted cashews
1 cup of unsalted, roasted macadamias
1 cup of unsalted, pecans
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1 tbs. of vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. of freshly grated cinnamon
1/8 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a Silpat. Combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a large thick-bottomed and thick-sided pot. Heat over medium heat to melt the butter, and stir a few as it melts at first just to make sure everything is well combined. Also at this time, set up a candy thermometer.
Cook until it reaches 291-294 degrees F. The ideal temperature for making this candy is 299-300 degrees F, but even after you remove it from heat, it will still cook a little longer with the residual heat of the pot.
Once it’s reached 291-294 degrees F, remove from heat and stir in the nuts, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour onto the lined sheet pan and spread out with a spatula. Let cool for at least 2 hours before breaking into pieces.
Depending on your age, you may have nostalgia for different candies. And also depending on your age, there are many candies that you may never have heard of before. Next time you get a craving for some sweets, look down the aisle to see if anything different might catch your eye.
It would seem like orange and yellow are indicators of how many generations a candy has been around. The while labels are the oldest, with Valomilk from 1903 and Cherry Mash made since 1918. The youngest of this assortment are the Mallow Cups, which have been in production since 1936; in comparison, globally popular M&Ms have been around since 1941. Even if these candies aren’t so widely known or consumed today, each had its moment of glory sometime during the 20th century. Zagnut, for example, got a prime product placement spot in one of the most beloved horror/comedy/fantasy movies of all time (watch the clip from Beetlejuice here).
Seriously, though, you might surprise yourself when you consider what’s old, yet new for you. Read the descriptions to make sure you’re getting something with ingredients you already like, or be brave and experimental. If these candies have already been around in some cases for over a century, then you know they’ve got to be good.