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Candy Making: A Reese Family Holiday Tradition

Do you have a favorite holiday food tradition?

For Carolyn Reese and her family, it is her annual candy making that stands out as one of their favorite (and tasty) traditions.

Years ago, Carolyn came across the 1970 edition of a cookbook entitled, Homemade Candy.  Published by the food editors of Farm Journal, it holds the recipes for Carolyn’s renown confections. Using the step-by-step procedures in the book, Carolyn has perfected her own techniques through the years for such yummy delights as Peanut Brittle and Double Almond Crunch.Homemade Candy by the editors of Farm Journal

Besides eating their grandmother’s delicious candy, Carolyn’s grandchildren are also taking an interest in learning how to make her candy recipes themselves.  Several years ago, Carolyn gave each of her grandchildren a copy of her candy making cookbook as a Christmas present. She was able to find copies of the 40 year old publication by doing a Google search. This holiday season, her son Darrell’s children have asked their grandmother to assist them. Darrell is 18 years old and asked Carolyn to help him make Divinity.  Jillianne, age 14, made a batch of Peppermint Bark.  

Carolyn wanted to share her recipe for her famous Peanut Brittle with our blog readers.  If you have ever tried to make peanut brittle, you know it can be tricky. Because Carolyn has made this recipe so many times, she has definitely perfected the technique that can make it easy for anyone willing to try.

Before you begin, it is critical that you have a candy thermometer you can count on. Also, gather all of your ingredients and have them ready before you start.  This includes spreading out a very large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil on your work area, that has been buttered. Your preparation will make all the difference!! 

Carolyn’s Peanut Brittle  

2 cups sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup water

1 cup raw Spanish Peanuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter (not margarine)

3 teaspoons baking soda

Place peanuts in a shallow pan and bake in a slow (250 degrees) oven while the candy cooks.  pb-7

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy saucepan. Cook slowly over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (236 degrees)

Add peanuts and salt; cook to just beyond the soft crack stage (290 to 300 degrees).pb-1

Add butter and soda, stirring to blend. Mixture will foam so watch out!!!pb-3

Pour candy mixture in an oval shape onto the large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil that is well buttered.  Leaving the center of the candy clear helps in stretching the brittle.pb-4

Allow candy to cool enough so that you can work with it — about 5 minutes.  Lift and pull edges to stretch as thin as possible.pb-8

When cold, break in to pieces and enjoy!!! This recipe makes about 2-1/4 pounds. final pb




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2 Responses to “Candy Making: A Reese Family Holiday Tradition”

  1. Kathy Mcneil says:

    YUM! Thank you Carolyn. I have time to try it this weekend. Sounds like a great family tradition. I can see Matt liking this one. Merry Christmas to the whole Road family.
    hugs from Kathy McNeil.

  2. Kathy McNeil says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone in the Road/ Reese family. Just wanted to let you know I will be right over!! It looks Yummy. Thanks for the recipes.

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