Victorian Candy Lady

Eating Taffy

Now is the joyous season of the year when, if you are only acquainted with the precious secret of their preparation, you can make for yourself, with ten minutes’ work, candies more delicious than were purchased at the most expensive confectioners’. The latter never have this particular sort of candies for sale, because they will not keep. But, fresh cooked, they are morsels for the gods, and this is the way to make them:

Take some big strawberries, ripe but firm, and hull them. Then mix two cupfuls of granulated sugar with a little less than one cupful of cold water. Put the mixture on a hot fire and let it boil hard, without stirring, until a spoonful dropped into cold water crystallizes to the brittle point immediately. Now take it off the fire and pour it into cups, previously warmed in the oven. Dip the strawberries one by one into this hot solution as quickly as possible, fishing them out with forks and laying them on greased tin pans.

The briefest sort of immersion will be sufficient to give each berry the desired coating of sugar candy. Finally, set the pans on the ice in the refrigerator, and as soon as the fruit is cold it will be ready to eat.  Perhaps “gobble” would be a more appropriate word, considering the eagerness with which such strawberries are usually consumed. In very truth, they are not rivaled by any other kind of sugar plums, as you will yourself confess if you try them. Malaga grapes and nuts as well may be treated in the same way.

From the same 19th Century Almanac, a column from the same time period, newspaper unknown.

Sweets for the Sweet

Butter Scotch: One cup of molasses, one cup sugar, one-half cup butter; boil until it snaps in water.

Molasses Candy: One-half pound sugar, one-quarter pound butter, one quart molasses. Boil until it cracks in water. Pull until nearly white.

Taffy: Melt in stew pan, three ounces butter, and one pound moist sugar; stir well over slow fire. Boil one-quarter hour. Pour out in buttered dish and mark in squares.

Almond Candy: Proceed in the same way as for coconut candy. Let the almonds be perfectly dry, and do not throw them into the sugar until it approaches the candying point.

Maple Candy: Four cups of maple sirup, boil until it cracks in water, and just before taking from the fire put in a piece of butter the size of an egg. If preferred waxy do not let it cook so long.

Chocolate Caramels: One-half pound grated chocolate, two teacups sugar, one-half cup milk and water, large lump butter. Boil without stirring until done. Then pour into pans, and, when nearly cold mark out into squares.

Sugared Pop-Corn: One cup sugar, one-half cup water, one tablespoonful vinegar. Let boil until a drop hardens in water. Pile the pop-corn up in a meat-dish, pour syrup over and the corn will stick together. If the syrup is too thick, thin it with hot water.