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Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Gluten Free Easter Candy

I spent all day on the internet for you (cough, myself) looking for some of the best sounding gluten free and lactose free candy recipes.  I have found a few that you have to give a shot.  They sound so yummy.  I know that I will be doing these once I get a chance.  

Coconut Milk Caramels

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted, plus more for cutting caramels
1-16 oz. can coconut milk
¾ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water

1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8"x8" square baking dish with parchment and brush with coconut oil; set aside.

2. Combine the coconut milk, corn syrup and sea salt in a 4-quart saucepan.  Heat over medium low, stirring constantly for 2½-3 minutes until mixture is just warm and any coconut milk clumps are dissolved.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In an 8-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and the water and stir until sugar is wet.  Place over medium high heat and let cook, without stirring, till the sugar turns a light amber color and a candy thermometer reads 310°F.  Immediately remove from heat and pour melted sugar into the coconut milk mixture. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble and splash.  Return saucepan to medium low heat, stirring continuously until all the caramel is dissolved.  Raise the heat to medium high, stir continuously, and cook until caramel becomes quite thick and a candy thermometer reads 240°F. Immediately remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool completely and cut into 1" squares.  Brush your knife with melted coconut oil between cutting to avoid sticking. Wrap individually in wax paper squares. Store at room temperature.

Cinnamon Hard Candies

1 1⁄2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tbsp. cinnamon extract or or 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon oil
1⁄4 tsp. red food coloring

1. Line an 8" x 8" metal baking pan with parchment paper and grease parchment with nonstick spray; set aside. Heat sugar, corn syrup, and 1⁄2 cup water in a 1-qt. saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cover; boil for 3 minutes. Remove lid and attach a candy thermometer to side of saucepan. Cook, without stirring, until sugar mixture reaches 300°; remove pan from heat. With a long-handled spoon, stir in the cinnamon extract and food coloring. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Let cool slightly, until candy reaches pliable consistency. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut candy into 1⁄2" squares. Let cool for 30 minutes, until hard.

2. Peel candies off parchment paper and wrap individually in confectioner's paper or dust candies with a mixture of 1⁄4 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, if you like, and transfer to a bowl.

Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Eggs

1.5-2 cups powdered sugar
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) chocolate chips, melted
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp hot water
3 tbsp peanut butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb chocolate candy coating
1/4 cup peanut butter chips (to decorate, optional)
1. Place the melted chocolate chips, cream cheese, vanilla, hot water, peanut butter, salt, and 1 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of a large electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until the candy is well-mixed and homogenous. 

2. Stop the mixer and add an additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Mix the candy on low, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, until it is entirely mixed and smooth. Check the texture of the candy: you want it to be firm enough to easily be shaped into an egg, but not too dry and stiff. If necessary, add more powdered sugar to get the right texture. 

3. Using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of candy and roll it between your hands until it is an oblong egg shape. Place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and repeat with remaining candy until you have approximately two dozen eggs. 

4. Put the eggs in the refrigerator to stay firm while you melt the chocolate candy coating. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in one-minute increments until melted, stirring after every minute to prevent overheating. 

5. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the eggs in the chocolate and replace them on the foil-covered sheet.
6. If you want to add decorative peanut butter stripes, place the peanut butter chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Pour the melted chips into a ziploc bag, and cut a tiny hole in the corner. Pipe stripes, polka dots, or other designs of your choice on the eggs.

7.Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Easter Eggs can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. They are best served at room temperature. 

Found on About.com 

Jelly Beans

1 1/2 cups plus 1/2 cup water
 2 1/2 cups plus 1 cup sugar
 1/2 oz. gelatin
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1 cup juice
 Vegetable oil
 Jelly bean pans (molds) or cookie sheets
 Stainless steel pot with lid
 Wooden spoon
 Cooking thermometer

1. In a medium to large saucepan combine 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 1/2 cups of sugar, and 1/2 ounce of powdered gelatin. The saucepan should have a heavy bottom and straight sides to prevent boiling over. Gelatin is the thickener and will help the water and sugar form into a thick syrup. Cook over medium heat and stir continuously using a long handled wooden spoon. Let the mixture slowly come to a boil.
As you continue to stir, periodically check the temperature with a cooking thermometer. As soon as the temperature reaches 230 degrees F, take the pan off the burner. This should not take more than 25 minutes. If your syrup gets any hotter than 230 degrees, it will make your jelly beans too hard. Set the pan in a bowl of ice to stop the temperature from going up.

2. Quickly stir in your flavor(s). This is the fun part, but it is best to start simple with fruit juices. Try orange, lemon, blueberry, or grape. Add 1 cup of desired juice plus 1/2 tsp. of salt. Depending on the juice, you may want to combine with lemon juice to add a bit of zip. Blueberry and orange are good flavors to add lemon juice to. In this case use 3/4 cup of juice and 1/4 cup of lemon. Freshly squeezed juice is great, but be sure to filter out any pulp. After stirring in flavor, let the syrup cool.

3. Candy manufacturers use candy molds (pans with jelly bean shapes) in order to get evenly shaped candies. Jelly bean pans are affordable and can be ordered online. For this recipe you will need three or four. If you do not have jelly bean pans you can use cookie sheets. Lightly oil the jelly bean pans with vegetable oil and pour in your syrup. If you are using a cookie sheet you can make small, jelly-bean-size drops. Work quickly.

4. Let the jelly beans sit for four to six hours, or until completely firm. Lay the jelly beans on sheets of wax paper and lightly dust them with cornstarch. If they are still a bit sticky, let them sit until they are dry. The cornstarch is intended to help dry them out. If they do not pop out of the molds right away, try putting them in the freezer for 10 minutes.

5. The candies need to be coated so they will have an outer shell. The best way to do this is to use a candy-coating attachment on a kitchen mixer. These attachments can be expensive, so coating can also be done manually. Combine the jelly beans with a 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a stainless steel pot with a lid. You may also want to add food coloring. Gripping the sides of the pot so the lid is secure, hold it in front of you at a slight angle. Quickly move the pot in a circular motion so that the jelly beans are spinning and revolving around the interior edges of the pot. You are basically making a tumbler that allows the sugar to gradually build up and evenly coat the jelly beans. Do this until you do not see a lot of extra moisture left in the pan.

6. Place the jelly beans on cookie sheets and place in the fridge for two to three hours or until the shells are completely dried and hardened. If the jelly beans are still not shiny enough for you, you can add a glaze using confectioners' sugar, water and food coloring (optional). For packaging, try dividing small amounts into small, clear plastic candy bags and tying them with colorful ribbons.


1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups water, divided
4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. We used Emily's Famous Marshmallows recipe to make approximately 25 marshmallow chicks.
You'll need a large pastry bag, a whisk, an electric mixer, a candy thermometer, and waxed paper.
Tip: Before you begin with the marshmallow mixture, fill a large pastry bag with vegetable shortening and practice forming shapes. With a little effort, you'll be a decorating expert in no time!

2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4-cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil.
While boiling, attach a candy thermometer to the pot so the tip is immersed in the liquid, but not touching the bottom of the pot.
Watch the temperature carefully until it reaches the hard-ball stage--when the thermometer reads 250 to 260 degrees F (121 to 129 degrees C).

3. While the sugar mixture is heating, place the remaining cold water in a metal bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Place the bowl over simmering water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture becomes liquid. Keep this gelatin mixture warm until the sugar comes to the proper temperature.
As soon as the sugar mixture reaches the hard-ball stage and you remove it from heat, carefully whisk in the gelatin mixture.
Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites into soft peaks. (You can tell eggs have reached the soft-peak stage when you take a spoon, dip it in and out of the egg mixture, and a peak is formed that is soft enough to quickly bend over.)

4. Once the peaks have formed, set the electric mixer to medium speed and slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl of whipped egg whites.
When pouring the sugar mixture into the mixing bowl, never let the stream of liquid grow larger than a pencil's width.
Once all of the sugar has been incorporated into the egg whites, add the vanilla extract and continue mixing at a medium speed until the mixture cannot become any fluffier.
Add any additional colorings or flavorings at this time.

5. Line a flat surface with waxed paper and sprinkle it with a generous coating of sugar.
Use a large pastry bag with at least a 1/2-inch opening or tip. Carefully spoon the sticky marshmallow fluff into the bag and twist the top closed.
Pipe the body of the chick shape first by making a thick line on the paper. Hold the bag at a 45-degree angle to the surface so that the piping will stand tall.

6. When the body is long enough, pipe backwards on top of the body, and then make a little head.

7. Place little candies onto the marshmallow chick's head to make eyes, if you like, and sprinkle colored sugar over the chick's body.
To coat the marshmallow chicks completely, let them set for 30 minutes.
Butter your hands (for easier handling) and roll them in bowls full of colored sugar.

8. Let the marshmallow chicks rest for approximately 4 hours to allow them time to fully set. Homemade marshmallow chicks look adorable in everyone's Easter egg basket and they make an attractive centerpiece for any festive table!

If you have a gluten free Easter recipe I would love to post it.  Credit will be given. 

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