Thursday, February 01, 2007

Butterscotch Candy

When I was a girl, my favourite candy was butterscotch, and my favourite sort-of relative was my mother's sister's mother-in-law. Mrs. R could be counted on for two things-a silver dollar and little pieces of Callard and Bowser butterscotch wrapped in foil. She never played favourites and was as generous with us as she was with her own grandchildren (my cousins). While the silver dollar was nice, it was the butterscotch candy that really set her apart from the other candy-toting old women in the family. My own grandmother bought those awful yellow cellophane wrapped disks that were a discount version of the ones by Brachs-and she certainly wasn't handing out any silver dollars.

We're into the negative degrees here this week-what better time for candymaking? A word of caution with this recipe-it sets very quickly, particularly in a cold room. As you will need to mark off the squares before it hardens too much, my advice is to sit beside it for ten minutes with a knife, giving it occasional pokes until the candy will hold cuts. If you do become distracted (like that never happens around here with a two year old) it can still be broken into pieces, they will simply be irregular and jagged. Crushed, I suspect this would make an interesting addition to vanilla ice cream.

*a heat-proof spatula is helpful to scrape the sides of the pot. Absent that, a natural bristle pastry brush lightly dampned may be used.

You Will Need:

2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light cream
1/4 cup butter

Combine everything except butter in a heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until 260 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Add the butter and cook until 280 degrees F. stirring often. Pour into a buttered 8 inch pan. As soon as possible (just as it begins to set) mark out squares with a knife. Break into pieces when cooled. Makes 1 1/4 lbs.

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