Growing up, we didn’t make plates full of questionable-quality cookies for Christmas. We made candy. Toffee, fudge … you name it, and my mom probably taught me how to make it. She taught me the importance of patience, precision, and consistency – all of which are essential to making quality candy and doing many other things, like surviving law school, succeeding in the workplace, and communicating effectively in a relationship. I could go on for days with this metaphor, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I once burned a pot of boiling sugar and butter that would have been toffee, and I haven’t turned my back on the stove (while cooking candy, at least) ever since.
Making candy is also one of the financially cheapest gifts you can make as a starving college student law school student post-J.D. Bar/Bri student, but it requires paying some attention to detail (perfect for future attorneys!) and investing a tad more time (love?) than picking up the first gift that speaks to you at Macy’s. Because candy-making is a bit more involved (though, actually, much faster and cheaper – and impressive!) than your average birthday, graduation party, or holiday baked goods, I can guarantee that it’s worth the effort to make and worth the cost of a candy thermometer, which you can pick up at your local grocery store or on Amazon for $10 or at a more fancy-pants store like Sur La Table for $30.
Also, because most people I’ve talked to about homemade candy seem to squirm with anxiety about the thought of making toffee or caramel at home, I’m presenting this recipe in a photo-narrative style that’s quite a bit more specific than a mid-week throw-together fried rice recipe needs to be. Thanks to my mother, I’ve been making candy ever since I was tall enough to stir a pot on the stove, so trust me when I can say that you can do this. Let’s get started …
First, you need some heavy cream.
And a hunk of butter.
Better put those together in a cute little pot, (more…)