Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Homemade Candy Corn

And without further adieu, I present to you... Homemade Candy Corn!!

This stuff is so fun!  I was prepared for the recipe to take up most of my day, but it actually came together in a couple of hours.  This would be a fantastic recipe to make with kids, because it uses all their amazing playdough snake-rolling skills :)  And if you have a kid-safe plastic knife, they could even do the cutting steps too.

The instructions below are pretty thorough because this recipe was created by none other than Mr. Alton Brown, himself.  We wouldn't have expected anything but thorough and clear instructions, right?  But I do have a few tips to add on:

- I gave up trying to flatten my "ribbons" of candy corn into a triangular wedge.  It was much easier just to flatten the whole strip a bit to make them smooth, and then cut into flat triangles by angling my knife.  Sure, every other candy corn piece was reversed colors with white on the bottom, but is anyone really going to complain when it's completely homemade?  I certainly hope not.

- Don't be like me and make this on a rainy day.  It will take forever (days) for your candy corn pieces to dry out.  It's best if you make this when the humidity is nice and low.  The pieces really do taste better as they sit and dry out a bit, but I made this recipe four days ago, and the pieces are still on the sticky side.  (Gotta love this Southern humidity.  No, not really.  I pretty much can't stand it.)

- I used the end pieces and scraps from my "ribbons" to squish into a flat piece and cut out with tiny cookie cutters.  I ended up with some Halloween themed little hearts that are just too adorable!


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Alton Brown's Candy Corn
adapted from Food Network

4.5 oz. (128g) confectioners' sugar (about 1 1/4 c.)
0.5 oz. (15g) nonfat dry milk (about 6 1/2 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

3.5 oz. (100g) granulated sugar (about 1/2 c.)
3.75 oz. (94g) light corn syrup (about 1/3 c.)
2 1/2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 or 3 drops each yellow and orange gel paste food coloring

Combine the confectioners' sugar, dry milk and salt in a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside.

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 mixture and stir continuously with a silicone spatula until well combined. Pour onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is cool enough to handle.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Add 2 or 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one piece and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Add 2 or 3 drops of orange to the second piece and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Leave the third piece white.

Roll each piece of dough into a strand about 18" long. Cut each strand in half and roll each piece into a strand that is about 1/2" thick and 18" long.

Lay the strands side by side (orange, yellow, then white) and press them together using your fingers. Cut into 4" pieces. Then, using a ruler or bench scraper, press each piece into a wedge, keeping the orange section wide and making the white part come to a tip.

Use a knife, bench scraper or pizza cutter to cut each wedge into individual candies. Lay the candies on a piece of parchment until dry, at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container with parchment between each layer. Makes 80 to 100 pieces.

         Click here for a printable version of this recipe


  1. I have to say that that is amazing!

  2. How cute is this? What a great post! I have a friend that loves all things candy corn and I sent her this link. I am going to have to try this! Thank you for sharing. Great pictures too!

    1. Thanks! I hope you have fun making it too! :)

  3. I just tried making this, stright from Mr. Brown's website, followed the instructions precisely and ended up with a runny mess. So disappointed. :-( I'm in Louisiana, so I'm guessing the humidity messed something up in the process. I really wanted to do this since it was a project with my 6 yo son.


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