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Victorian Christmas Candies

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From the December 1898 issue of The People’s Home Journal

Peanut Candy

One cupful molasses, two cupfuls sugar, one tablespoonful vinegar, one tablespoonful butter, and one teaspoonful vanilla. Boil ten minutes, or longer, if necessary, then pour over one cupful peanuts.

Peppermint

Two cupfuls granulated sugar, six tablespoonfuls boiling water. Boil three minutes, take off and stir in one tablespoonful pulverized sugar and eight drops of the oil (not essence) of peppermint. Beat until they become milky in appearance, then drop on a firm white paper as quickly as possible.

Maple Caramels

Two pounds of maple sugar, one-half cupful of ordinary sugar and one tablespoonful of water. When it comes to a boil, put in one pint of thick cream. Stir as little as possible. Let it boil until it will harden in water sufficient to be rolled into a soft ball. Take off and let stand three minutes, then beat until just thick enough to spread smoothly on a platter. When cool mark off with a knife. It is improved by adding nuts.

Chocolate Caramels

Two cupfuls of granulated sugar, one cupful of milk, butter the size of an egg, one teaspoonful of vanilla and one-quarter cake of chocolate. Put sugar, milk and butter together, add the chocolate after it has been melted. Cook until when dropped into water it can be formed into a soft ball, then remove from the stove, put in the vanilla, beat until it is a thick, smooth cream and turn out on a buttered platter. When partially cooled mark into squares.

Molasses Taffy

Two cupfuls of New Orleans molasses, two cupfuls of brown sugar and two tablespoonfuls of butter. Boil twenty minutes without stirring, or until it hardens when dropped into cold water. Just before removing from the stove, stir in a half teaspoonful of soda. Pour on buttered plates to cool, then make white by pulling.

This taffy rule can be used as a foundation for various compounds. Omit the butter, and stir in two cupfuls of black walnut, butternut and hickory-nut meats mixed, and you have a delicious nut candy. To make peanut candy, spread shelled and quartered peanuts on a buttered platter and pour the taffy over them. For popcorn balls, stir in gently as much popped corn as you can, then mould into form.

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  1. betsy says:

    Would this peppermint candy be good with the cake at a wedding reception. I never made anything like this before. I guess this is the old fashioned way of making them. My niece is getting married in a barn and wants vintage and some primitive decorations.
    Love your site,
    Betsy

  2. Miss Mary says:

    I have to admit that I’ve never attempted this recipe, but it does look like a fairly basic and relatively easy one to attempt. Presentation–that’s the bigger question. The individual pieces would need to be wrapped, but in what? Mmm….

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