I love candy corn and mellow cream pumpkins so much that my husband wisely hid the bag he bought for J so I didn’t eat them all. Who knew you could actually make them?
I pinned this recipe last year with the comment that it seemed like a lot of work. Truthfully, it was quite a bit of work. But, mostly because I had trouble understanding the written directions. In Alton Brown’s defense, the recipe may assume you have seen the episode of Good Eats. I have not, so it took some trial and error to find a quick method to shape and cut them. The method may not be what AB had in mind, but it’s what worked for me. If he doesn’t like it he can get his own blog and TV show and… 🙂
I made a few alterations to his recipe. Number one is the color. His instructions, that I followed to the letter and photographed reverses the orange and yellow colors from the store bought ones. The written instructions below are for the store bought order, even if it doesn’t match the pictures. Also, he has 3 equal parts of dough, but when you shape it you end up with a big white point and a sliver of yellow at the bottom. Hence, I suggest a method for making a small medium and large lumps of dough. Finally, AB recommends using a knife, pizza cutter, butter slicer, etc. to cut them. I found a small paring knife occasionally dipped in water made the cleanest easiest cut.
Before I get to the recipe, let me answer the question in your mind about taste. They were delicious! If you are not a big fan of candy corn, you might be after you try these. I have to admit, there was a slight funny aftertaste to them that I know was due to the milk and the sugar being generic. There are some ingredients you can get by with buying a generic version to cook with. In my opinion powdered sugar and powdered milk need to be name brand. I have had problems with these before and probably should toss both. The milk has a flowery taste to it and every icing I have made with the powdered sugar tastes like powdered sugar no matter how much flavoring I add to it.
Children can help with the rolling, cutting and final shaping part. Younger children may have trouble because the dough is a bit stiff. Use your best judgment on the cutting part; my 5 year old managed to cut his finger with a plastic knife cutting apples last week. You know your kids best.
Step by step instructions for making homemade candy corn this Halloween, or anytime you need a candy corn fix.
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 1/2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 - 3 drops orange and yellow gel paste food coloring
Alton Brown's original directions call for the color order as white, yellow than orange. But store bought candy corn is white, orange then yellow. I made them according to his directions, hence the pictures are in reverse order of the store bought version. The written instructions below are for the store bought order.
Combine the powdered sugar, dry milk and salt in a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2-quart pot. Place over medium heat, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the butter, clip on a candy thermometer and bring the sugar syrup to 230 degrees F, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the thermometer.
Add the vanilla and the dry mix and stir until well combined. Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is cool enough to handle.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Pinch off about 1/3rd of one ball and add it to one of the other two. Leave the small ball white. Add the orange coloring to the medium sized ball and yellow coloring to the larger ball. You could make all colors equal, but when you shape them you will end up with a thick white point and a sliver of yellow at the bottom.
Roll each piece of dough into a strand about 18 inches long. Cut each strand in half and roll each piece into a strand that is about 1/2 inch thick and 22 inches long.
Lay the strands on top of each other or side by side - yellow, orange, then white (this is the order of store bought candy corn) and press them together using your fingers. Cut into 4-inch pieces (I assume this is to make the next step easier, I think it is optional, or you could make the pieces longer).
Shape each 4 inch piece into a triangular snake with white on top and yellow on the bottom.
Use a sharp knife dipped in water to cut each wedge into individual candies. Press gently to reshape and smooth out the cut edges as needed (dip fingers lightly in water if it becomes too sticky).
Lay the candies on a piece of parchment until dry, at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container with parchment between each layer.