It's fun to tuck a few of these twists onto a platter of Christmas cookies. The holidays in out home wouldn't be the same without peppermint candies.
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1/8 teaspoon red food coloring
- Coat two 9-in. square pans with cooking spray; set aside. (Do not use butter or foil to prepare pans.)
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine water and vinegar. Add sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil, about 8 minutes. (If sugar crystals are present, cover saucepan for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes to allow steam to wash crystals down.) Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-crack stage), about 26 minutes.
- Combine peppermint extract and food coloring. Remove syrup from the heat; stir in peppermint mixture until well blended (mixture will bubble up slightly). Immediately and carefully pour into prepared pans (do not scrape saucepan or tilt pans to spread mixture evenly). Cool for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, score candy into 1/2-in.-to 3/4-in.-wide pieces, about 3-in. long. Place both pans in a warm oven(150° or your oven's lowest temperature) for about 5 minutes or until candy is warm enough to cut but cool enough to handle.
- Using a heavy-duty kitchen scissors, cut along scored lines, one piece at a time. Immediately wrap each piece around the handle of a wooden spoon; remove candy and place on waxed paper to harden. Continue cutting and wrapping until mixture in pan begins to harden. Return pan to oven for at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove second pan from oven. Cut and wrap as before until mixture begins to harden. Return to oven and repeat with the first pan. Repeat until all mixture is cut and formed into twists. Yield: about 1/2 pound.
Originally published as Hard Candy Peppermint Twists in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2003, p86
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