Making Spirits Bright(er)

December 20, 2013

‘Twas 5 days before Christmas, and all through the house,
Two teachers were testing new recipes out! 
Booze bottles were stocked in the cabinet with care,
With hope that inspiration soon would be there…

The girls nursed wine glasses, one white and one red, 
When booze infused candy popped into their heads. 
“Why not,” they exclaimed in a voice oh so sweet,
“Teach our readers to make boozy taffy to eat?!” 

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We don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes us stuff our faces with treats and goodies to the extreme. But we can’t complain! These girls love sugar. If it’s sugar that makes things merry, then booze must make it bright, and combining these two is just pure genius!

This year, swap those tired old candy canes for a beautiful shiny pile of boozy taffy! Your guests will love you for it. Don’t you want to be loved? Whether you’re a candy making pro or a beginner, this recipe calls for more fun than hard work and you’ll be sure to find yourself dreaming up more flavour combos than you have time to make! Adapting a recipe from a great candy cookbook, here’s how it’s done. Roll up those sleeves, because this project is a wee bit messy!

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Gin & Citrus Flavoured Taffy

Whatchy’all need:

1/2 cup of gin (We used Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin, yum!)
2 cups of white Christmas sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of orange extract
1/3 cup of marshmallow fluff (wondering what the heck this is? Click here)
4 drops of gel food colouring (we used blue and a dab of black, just because)

What else?

a medium saucepan
a silicon spatula
a rimmed baking sheet with a depth of at least a centimeter
cooking spray
a candy thermometer
wax paper
cooking sheers (a fancy word for clean scissors)
two hands

Ok, tell me how it’s done!

Cut the wax paper into small rectangles (2″ by 3″).

Mix the gin, sugar, corn syrup and salt together in the saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the concoction until all the sugar dissolves. When the mixture comes to a boil (approx. 5 minutes) pop in the candy thermometer.

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While the temperature is climbing, liberally spray the rimmed baking sheet and cooking sheers with cooking spray. Once the syrup has reached 255°F (124°C), remove it from the heat and CAREFULLY (scalding hot sugar is not a joke) add the butter and orange extract. Stir until it’s all well combined.

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Next, pour it out onto the greased, rimmed baking sheet. Plop the marshmallow creme and food colouring in a dollop in the middle. Let the candy cool for about 5 minutes, or until you can lift the edge of the candy up with a spatula. Fold the edges into the middle and start kneading. The candy should come together in a hot sticky mess.

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NOW COMES THE FUN PART! Clasping some of the taffy ball in each hand, pull your fists apart. The candy will form a stretched rope and droop between your hands. You’ll be shocked at how shiny the candy looks (sugar is magical). Reform into a ball and do it again. Continue for about 20 minutes.

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When the taffy starts to hold its shape and becomes harder to pull, it’s ready! Roll it between your hands to create a thick rope. Cut the rope into one inch sections and wrap each section in wax paper.

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Now aren’t they just lovely? The best part is that they actually taste like gin! Let your guests bask in the glory that are your marvelous sugary skills. You’re welcome.

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Dubbed as the Tipsy Teachers, we ask the questions we were once too afraid to ask; what’s the difference between ales and lagers? Shaken and stirred? Do bitters make your drink bitter? Wait… you’re supposed to sip tequila? What’s on tap and what does draught even mean?

Before starting out on this boozy adventure, we found ourselves ordering the same drink all the time and came to the conclusion that there’s more to life than a vodka cran. Now we’re on a mission to learn all things alcohol and share our new knowledge with our readers!

Join the class to learn all about this wonderful, and sometimes confusing, world of booze.