Happy Halloween! (almost)
This year for the Halloween post, I thought it might be fun to feature variations on some classic Halloween/autumn treats. So let’s talk candy!
It’s amazing how much variation you might find in a basic caramel recipe. The examples below are from three different candy-making books in a twenty year period (1889-1919). Some of the differences come down to changing availability of ingredients and some could be the result of simple taste preference. Butter, molasses, and brown sugar will create a flavor distinct from cream, sugar, and corn syrup.
Popcorn balls aren’t just a fall treat, though they are most common (and popular!) this time of year. October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, but popcorn isn’t restricted to a single month. National Caramel Popcorn Day is celebrated in April and National Popcorn Day is in January. Home Candy Making (1889), The Art of Home Candy Making (1915), My Candy Secrets (1919), AND The Holiday Candy Book (1952) all had some variation on this sweet and (sometimes) salty treat!
Candy and Caramel Apples
A little more digging is required, but my initial hunt only turned up one candy book with caramel and candy apple recipes! I’m sure there are more recipes hiding among our stacks. but at least this is a start. And just in time for tomorrow, which is also National Candy Apple Day!
The “Hallowe’en Faces” below begin with a base of a homemade mint patty. One wonders about the use of “yellow” to describe the color of a pumpkin. My Candy Secrets (the full title of which is actually My candy secrets: a book of simple and accurate information which, if faithfully followed, will enable the novice to make candies that need not fear comparison with the professional product, by Mary Elizabeth [pseud.] … with fifty-three illustrations from photographs specially taken to show actual processes in making candies) was published in 1919, but this could very well be an issue of food coloring availability.
Whatever your plans, enjoy your favorite treats this Halloween–and beware those tricks!