Candy making is a delicious and rewarding hobby. Whether you are making luscious caramels, tender brittles, divinity, lollipops, caramel corn, toffees, truffles, or fudges, you can make professional-quality candies using normal kitchen equipment and utensils!
Experienced candy makers will tell you that candy making is both a science and an art. One of the most important tools in candy making is a good quality thermometer, but you also need to carefully observe the candy at all times to check for doneness. Using both tools and keen observation and experience will help ensure that your candy turns out great batch after batch. Remember, even the most experienced candy makers have a batch that “flops”; but while the candy may not look picture-perfect it almost always tastes delicious anyway. Some old tales will tell you not to make candy when it rains. This isn’t precisely true, but changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure may change the cooking conditions.
Delicious And Easy Dessert Recipes
Desserts have a bit of a special place in the food hierarchy. On the one hand, desserts are sweet, delicious, and everyone loves them.
But they’re not always healthy, and so they’re sometimes looked down on as a bad choice.
But dessert is an important part of a meal. It’s not just about having something sweet or decadent. Easy dessert recipes help to put a closing note on the meal so that you feel that the meal is done. It’s like the period at the end of the sentence or the credits at the end of a movie.
So how do you enjoy dessert without overdoing it? The first way is to eat dessert in moderation. One cookie does just as good a job of bringing the meal to a close as three, so there’s no need to overdo it.
Or, you can go for healthier desserts. My mom always made fruit plates for us – strawberries, oranges, bananas, whatever was in season. And having it all cut up for us made all the difference. I love fruit, but I’ll admit, I’ll eat a lot more if someone pre-peels it for me.
So you don’t have to avoid dessert. Just be smart about it! And these easy dessert recipes will give you a few tasty ideas for sweet treats.
Of all the easy dessert recipes out there, I think candy recipes are my favorite. There’s just something about candies that looks so fancy and elegant! Like truffles, so pretty, creamy, and delicious. Yum!
- This peppermint bark recipe is perfect for the holidays. The marbled chocolate and crushed candy canes are a refreshing treat.
- Truffles are my favorite candy to make. This chocolate truffle recipe is a great starter recipe that you can easily tweak.
- If you want to coat truffles, fruit, or other candies, you’ll need to temper your melted chocolate so that it sets hard and shiny. This article on tempering chocolate will tell you what you need to know about it.
- Chocolate-covered strawberries are perfect for Valentine’s Day or an elegant dinner. Or even just for a quick, delicious snack! They’re not hard to make, either. Find out how in this article on making chocolate strawberries.
There’s absolutely nothing like homemade cookies, fresh out of the oven. They can be as simple as drop chocolate chip cookies, or they can be cut out and decorated, but cookies are always good. Here are a few easy dessert recipes for cookies.
- Sugar cookies are about as simple as easy dessert recipes come. Just a few simple ingredients and you’ve got an awesome treat!
- Sugar cookies look great decorated. This sugar cookie icing recipe will let you make professional-looking cookies.
- Gingerbread cookies are awesome around the holidays. And this gingerbread cookie recipe is great because it lets you cut out perfect little gingerbread men. And to decorate, this royal icing recipe is just what you need. It adds the perfect hint of sweetness.
Frosting & Icing
Generally, I’m not a fan of too much frosting. I find that a lot of bakeries spread it on way too thick. But even I think that cake with a bit of frosting is so much better than without. Here are a few yummy frosting and icing recipes.
- This chocolate frosting recipe is great for cakes.
- If you want to decorate cut-out cookies, try this sugar cookie icing recipe. It dries super beautifully, and you’ll have wonderful-looking cookies.
- This royal icing recipe is perfect for flavorful cookies that need an extra hint of sweetness, like gingerbread. It dries really hard, and you can use it to build gingerbread houses.
Cakes are actually surprisingly easy to make, and they’re so great for special occasions. And I’m a big fan of homemade cakes. For me, they’re better than anything you can get in a bakery or restaurant – my family knows that if I don’t get a homemade cake for my birthday, things will get ugly!
Here are a few simple dessert recipes for a cake that I like.
- This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe. It’s the perfect taste, texture, and moistness for me. Even the batter is the best-looking cake batter I’ve seen!
- And it’s just not cake without a little frosting. This chocolate frosting recipe is perfect for yellow cakes, chocolate cakes… or even just on its own!
Squares and bar cookies make really nice, elegant-looking desserts, and they’re not that hard to make. With these easy dessert recipes, you just need to bake the bars and cut them up. I like to cut them into small servings so that you get to enjoy the taste but don’t feel too full. Besides, you can always go back for seconds.
- These caramel pecan pie bars are completely decadent and delicious. They’re always a huge hit! With homemade caramel and yummy toasted pecans, don’t expect any leftovers.
- These lemons bars are sweet but tangy, and perfect for a light, slightly fruity dessert.
- This cranberry bars recipe is a great dessert recipe, and it’s pretty wholesome. It would even make a decent breakfast!
There’s something special about a delicious homemade pie. Maybe it just makes me think of pies cooling on window sills, but it feels like a delicious, traditional, and comforting dessert. You can’t go wrong with a pie! And there are so many different kinds to choose from. Here’s one of my favorite pie recipes.
- This pumpkin pie recipe is one of my favorite recipes. It’s also my husband’s favorite, and I make it for him every year around his birthday.
I hope this collection of easy dessert recipes helps you put the perfect ending note to a wonderful dinner. Enjoy!
A Word To The Beginner Candymaker
The idea that candy making is difficult is prevalent among housewives, and the object of this website is to remove that erroneous impression and to teach the housewife how to make candies equal in appearance to the confectioner’s candies, and as good as the best and most wholesome ingredients will be produced.
With this book as a guide, if instructions and recipes are followed, even a child can master the art of candy making, and not one recipe in the book is too difficult for the beginner to attempt. In dipping bon-bons and chocolates it will require a little practice to acquire speed and to make uniform designs, ut one’s success at the very beginning is always surprising. Not every woman will have the tools most practical for candy making, but by the expenditure of a few dollars these can be secured, and the profits saved on candies will soon more than cover the cost.
Making fine candy is one of the most interesting parts of the culinary art, and when a woman once begins making candies she will buy but little, for the home product is usually much superior to the commercial candies. To make ten pounds of candy, for which one ordinarily pays from forty to fifty cents per pound, is not more than one hour’s work, and one is always certain of the cleanliness and wholesomeness of the product.
Children have a natural craving for sugar, which should be satisfied to a normal degree, but all factory candies containing deleterious ingredients should be guarded against. Many children have been made sick by unwholesome candy. Candy should be placed on the table and eaten at the end of the meal; to allow children to indulge in it every hour of the day is not conducive to good digestion. This book gives recipes for a large variety of candies, and with a little study and practice, every one of them can be easily made. If on any occasion a failure should occur, remember that only the work is lost. The sugar can be re-boiled and converted into a delicious fudge.
We have tried to go into every detail, and if the instructions are given close study – the reason for which we assume this book was purchased – making candies will be a pleasure.
Tired of your candy not turning out right but not knowing why?
I was too. That’s why I decided to make this site. I found that when I had a question about candy making there weren’t too many places where I could post my questions and get some answers.
In the different sections of this Web site, I will be sharing tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. Check out the newly added 9-minute YouTube video on how to cook fudge the old fashioned way on our fudge page.
My hope is the Forums will become the most active part of this site and you, the many visitors, will become regular participants. Let’s post our questions, recipes, and tips and share our knowledge so we all can become better candy makers!
Thermometers aren’t always 100-percent accurate, so when determining whether or not my candy is done, I use them as a guideline – not an absolute test of readiness.
To find out which stage candy is in, use the ice water test. Take a glass of ice water and pour the ice-cold water into a small bowl or ramekin – making sure not to get any ice in it. Take a spoonful of your candy and drip it into the cold water. You can then determine which stage your candy has reached. (Some candy makers also recognize a firm-ball stage, but I stick to four stages for my tests because that’s what most candy thermometer mark.)
- Soft ball stage – When the candy forms a ball in the water and will flatten out by the heat of your hands when taken out of the water.
- Hard ball stage – When the candy forms a ball in the water and still holds its shape out of the water, but can still be molded by your hand.
- Soft crack stage – When the candy separates in the water to form threads. The threads are hard but not brittle.
- Hard crack stage – When the candy separates into hard, brittle threads.
General Instructions to Make Candy
Use granulated sugar unless otherwise directed.
The recipes may be increased or decreased, as desired, but the syrup must always be boiled to the degree directed. Carelessness in this respect is sure to cause failures. One of the most important features in making good quality, uniform candies is the boiling of the syrup to exactly the right degree.
We will give both rules for testing, but we strongly advise the use of the candy thermometer. What one saves when making a few pounds of good candy over what the same quality candy would cost in a confectionary store will pay for a good thermometer, and then one has it for the remainder of life, barring accidents.