Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Grinch
So you've made it through your nice list, picking out delightful gifts for your best friends and the perfect presents for your loved ones, but what about the real goobers out there? The weasel who cut in line at the post office? The cretin who stole your parking spot? The jerk who lets his dog poop on your lawn every day?
Do you really think they deserve ho ho ho's and candy canes? No! They deserve coal in their stockings! Now, you're really not going to follow Mr. Bagless and his pooch home to put coal in his stocking, but you can have fun putting faux coal in your family's stockings. And since you love your family (don't you?), you can make it naughty, but nice. It's coal, but it's candy, too.
Wrap up a few chunks in cellophane bags and garnish with a fancy bow. What better stocking stuffer? And if you do track down Mr. Bagless, you could leave him a "gift" on his doorstep. Along with a few bags.
- adapted from Martha Stewart
3-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbsp black gel-paste food coloring
5 tsp peppermint, cinnamon, or anise extract (or whatever flavor you choose)
1 tsp baking soda
1- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to overhang the sides by about 2 inches. Set aside.
2- Bring sugar, corn syrup and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, and wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystals from forming.
3- Once mixture comes to a boil and all the sugar has dissolved, clip a candy thermometer to pan and raise heat to high. Continue cooking without stirring until mixture registers 300 F (hard crack stage). Remove from heat.
4- Carefully add food coloring, extract and baking soda; stir slowly with a clean wooden spoon until thoroughly combined and mixture no longer bubbles, about 2 minutes.
5- Pour into prepared pan, and let cool completely. It will fill the pan completely, but will deflate as it cools.
6- Lift foil to remove candy from pan and transfer candy to a large plastic bag. Use a kitchen mallet or hammer to crush candy into pieces. Store in airtight container.
- makes about two pounds