The kids have been waiting and waiting and it finally snowed enough around here to make Molasses-On-Snow Candy! Ever since reading about it in "Little House In the Big Woods", they've been looking forward to it because they wanted to use real snow. As always, I will share our successes as well as our mistakes in this post. This is the first time I've ever attempted to make candy of any kind. It is a very simple process, but it takes a long time to get to the "hard-crack" stage.
"Ma was busy all day long, cooking good things for Christmas...One morning she boiled molasses and sugar together until they mad a thick syrup, and Pa brought in two pans of clean, white snow from outdoors. Laura and Mary each had a pan, and Pa and Ma showed them how to pour the dark syrup in little streams on to the snow.
They made circles, and curlicues, and squiggledy things, and these hardened at once and were candy."
Makes 3/4 lb of candy:
Molasses, 1 cup
Brown sugar (I used sucanat), 1/2 cup
Two or three pans of freshly fallen snow (can used finely crushed ice)
Fill your pans with snow and keep them outside while cooking. My son got anxious and brought them in too soon, which made the snow very wet and soggy.
In a medium sauce pan, mix the molasses and sugar together and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmering boil, stirring frequently. Warning, this will take awhile. I think I gave up after a half hour. Wish I would have gone a little longer.
I'm a messy cook! I don't have a candy thermometer and I'm pretty sure Ma didn't either, so we used the old "drop the candy into some ice water and see if it cracks" trick.
I only had the patience to wait for it to harden when it hit the cold water, but I didn't stick with it until it actually cracked. My bad, as it ended up kind of chewy and not real crunchy like you would imagine it to be. Oh well, it still had good flavor even if our teeth were stuck together :)
I let the kids loose as they had fun making all kinds of shapes as well as stringing it around the floor (that part was on accident). Thank goodness it was easy to clean up. Some moms let their kids paint. I'm hate paint, but I love to do arts and crafts with food.
Tip: Try to make the squigglies bigger because the little ones melt really fast if they are wet.
We immediately removed the candy unto unbleached parchment paper. However, we neglected to knock off the snow. Therefore half of our candy had liquidated by the morning. So make sure you get it as dry as you can when removing it from the snow.
We brought the bigger chunks that survived to the co-op and I can't say it was a raving hit, but it was fun to try anyway and I was pleased that my kids liked the flavor. We will definitely be doing this again and next time I'm sure we'll have better results. So there you have it, just keepin' it real and hoping you will learn from my mistakes :)
Blessings to You All,