Contributed with permission by the National Honey Board.
(ARA) – This year, let the holiday spirit cross the threshold of your kitchen. Add the perfect touch to your holiday gatherings with homemade candies sweetened naturally with pure honey.
Honey is a great flavor enhancer for all cooking and baking. Candy made with pure honey has a rich, mouth-watering flavor. The National Honey Board provides a variety of quick and easy candy recipes, perfect for the holiday season.
Different varieties of honey can boost the flavor in caramel and fudge. A sweet, fruity-flavored honey such as orange blossom will complement fruit-themed candies. A mild-tasting honey, such as clover, adds a unique flavor to caramels and fudge. Be sure to check the label to ensure you purchase 100 percent pure honey.
The holiday season is a busy time of the year. It’s also the best time to indulge, especially since a teaspoon of pure honey has only 21 calories.
Making homemade holiday candies doesn’t have to take all afternoon as most candies can be prepared in less than an hour. Keep these helpful tips in mind for sweet results:
- Coat your measuring cup with a non-stick cooking spray for easy honey measuring.
- Only make candy on dry days; candy does not set well on humid or rainy days.
- Use a wooden spoon — it doesn’t conduct heat and won’t add an off-taste to the candy.
- When working with chocolate, add a drop of vanilla extract to eliminate graininess and ensure a smooth consistency.
- Resist the temptation to make a double batch — with double the ingredients, cooking times may change, affecting candy results.
From Honey Fruit Truffles to Holiday Honey Caramels, these recipes will be a hit. For additional food and beverage recipes using pure honey, visit www.honey.com, or to find a locally produced or special honey variety, visit www.honeylocator.com.
- 2 cups pure honey
- 1 cup butter (no substitutions)
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely chopped almonds, optional
- Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap; set aside.
- Melt butter in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add honey, cream and brown sugar; mix well.
- Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring frequently, until candy thermometer registers 250 degrees F to 255 degrees F, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; pour into prepared pan.
- Let cool completely in refrigerator before cutting into small caramel squares with a very sharp knife.
- Dip tops in chopped nuts, if desired.
- Wrap each candy individually in clear plastic wrap.
- Store in the refrigerator up to 1 month. Caramels will be soft at room temperature and firm if kept chilled.