Easy Candy Recipes with no Special Equipment Needed

Enjoy these easy candy recipes of old favorties; candied fruits, caramel, peanut brittle, coconut ice, barley sugar, marshmallows, French jellies, mock marzipan and homemade peppermint creams. Perhaps you can make them with your kids over the school holidays, for Halloween or other festive ocassions.

There are no additives in these candies and you don't need any special equipment or even a thermometer to make them.

You will however, have to know how to make candy using the various ball stages from soft ball through to hard crack. We have this information on our page how to candy making secrets, so please have a look at that either now, or at the end of these recipes so that you have some idea as to how hot your sugar needs to be before you get the consistency you are after.

Equipment Needed for Making Candy

If we were in a professional equipment, you would have all the latest and greatest, bells and whistles candy equipment. However, it cames with a price tag, and a lot of that you can do without. If you have a candy thermometer then well and good, but you really don't need one to make these recipes.

You will, however, need a heavy based saucepan, a wooden spoon, a pastry brush to wipe the sugar crystals down from the sides of the pan, and a few other bits and pieces that you can find in any kitchen.

So without much more fuss, let's get on with these easy candy recipes that I hope you will enjoy making and eating with your own families in your country kitchens.

Old Time Candy - Barley Sugar 

1 lb. sugar
1/2 pint water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
lemon essence

Barley sugar is one of those old time candy recipes that lasts the test of time. I am rather fond of barley sugar, and so couldn't help but including this easy candy recipe right at the top of the list!

Put ingredients into a saucepan and stir, keeping the side of the saucepan clean with a wet brush, to stop the sugar from graining. When the mixture boils, stop stirring and allow it to boil until when a little bit is dropped in water is should harden and snap. This is the crack stage.

Add the flavoring and allow to remain on the heat until the syrup turns a pale straw color. Pour into buttered plates and while still warm but easy to handle, cut into strips and twist.

Peanut Brittle Recipe

1 1/4 cups sugar
pinch salt
1 cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

Put the sugar into a saucepan and stir over a low heat. It will lump and eventually melt. When the sugar has melted add the salt and the nuts. Mix thoroughly and pour into a buttered dish to set.

Peanut brittle freshly cut lying on a wooden counter top

Freshly made and cut, peanut brittle.

Homemade Marshmallows

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 dessertspoons gelatine
juice of 1 lemon
icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 dessertspoon rose water
chopped nuts, if desired

Mix the sugar, water, gelatine and cream of tartar together and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and add lemon juice, rose water and nuts. Beat the mixture until it is white and thick.

Now pour into a greased dish and leave to set for a few hours. Cut into squares and roll in icing sugar. The marshmallows can also be colored with food coloring if you wish.

Buttered Walnuts

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 dessertspoon butter
pinch salt
4 oz. shelled, walnut halves

Grease a large sheet of waxes paper with butter and place walnuts on this with a little space between them. Put sugar, salt and water in a saucepan. Place on lid and bring to the boil.

Remove lid and boil fairly fast until the toffee begins to change color.

When pale brown, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Work fast and cover each walnut with a spoonful of toffee. When cold, wrap in clean waxed paper and store in an airtight container.

French Jellies

1 lb. sugar
1 pint water
1 oz. gelatine

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and stir until the mixture comes to the boil and allow to boil for 20 minutes. Color and flavor and pour into wet plates. Allow to stand in a cool place until quite set. Cut into shapes and toss into icing sugar.

Homemade Peppermints

3 drops essence of peppermint
1/2 oz. gum arabic
1 oz. water
icing sugar

Dissolve the gum arabic in the water and heat until it looks whitish. Add enough icing sugar to make a thick mixture. Add the peppermint essence and mix well. Sprinkle a wooden board, or a marble slab if you have one, with icing sugar and roll out the mixture. Cut into tiny rounds with a cookie cutter and allow to dry.

Honey Fondant

2 cups granulated sugar
1-3 cups honey
1/2 cup water

Mix, put on the stove and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Boil carefully until you can shape the mixture into a very soft ball when tested in cold water. Do not stir while boiling and do not remove the sugar when it forms on the sides of the pan.

When it has reached the soft ball stage, remove and pour the mixture into a greased bowl, and partially cool. Now beat with a wooden spoon until it begins to crumble, then knead it with the hands like dough. Pack back into the bowl and cover with a cloth and set aside when needed.

When ready for use, the bowl of fondant can be placed in hot water until the mixture is soft enough to handle. Any flavoring many be added when shaping your candies, but the honey flavor is lovely enough in my opinion without any additional flavorings.

If you find that you have overboiled your fondant and it is too hard, you can pull it until it is white and your fondant disaster is now a great taffy.

Candied Fruit Recipe

1 lb. granulated sugar
1-3 cups golden syrup
fruit as wanted
1 cup water

Candied fruits always remind me of Christmas. Expensive to buy, but so easy to make. So next Festive Season, make your own!

Place sugar, syrup and water in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Now bring to the boil. Peel, stone, and if necessary, cut the fresh fruit into pieces. Using only one kind of fruit at a time, add it to the mixture, being careful not to crowd the pan.

Simmer until the fruit is clear. When ready, lift out the fruit with a skimmer, and allow any extra syrup to drain back into the pan. Place the fruit on a baking rack, covered with absorbent paper. When all the fruit is drained, dust with castor sugar and dry very slowly in a very, very slow oven with the door slightly open. Store between waxed paper in an airtight box or tim.

You can also candy canned fruit if you want to. Use the juice from the can instead of the water in the recipe. If there isn't enough juice in the can, then make up the balance with water. Cook the syrup to the soft ball stage before adding the drained fruit first.

Mock Marzipan Recipe

4 oz. soya flour
4 oz. granulated sugar
2 oz. unsalted butter
2 small teaspooons almond essence
2 Tablespoons water

Melt buter in a saucepand, making sure it doesn't brown. Add the sugar, the water and the essence and stir over the lowest heat possible for 1 minute.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the soya flour. Knead all together for at least 2 minutes. If you want colored marzipan you can add food coloring at this stage.

Remember you only need a small drop as the color is intense. If you want to use this marzipan for covering a cake, then shape it into a small ball, wrap it in cling film and keep it in a cool, but not cold place until needed.

Honey Caramel Recipe

1 cup liquid honey
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons sweet cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Boil all the ingredients except for the vanilla essence until the mixture will form a soft ball when dropped in a glass of cold water. Stir in the vanilla just before taking off the fire. Pour into a greased shallow baking tray and as it cools cut it into squares.

If you want to make chocolate caramels, you can use the same recipe but add 1 tablespoon of melted chococlate just before taking the mixture off the stove and stir well.

Easy Coconut Ice Recipe

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup desiccated coconut

Add the sugar to the milk and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup desiccated coconut and any pink coloring if you want to. Remember to just add a drop as it is very intense.

Stand the saucepan in cold water and beat the mixture until creamy. Turn it into a buttered container and leave to get cold. Cut into squares.

Enjoy! 




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