Tag Archives: Gingerbread

Handmade Cinnamon Broken Glass Christmas Candy

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I enjoy watching the Cupcake and Cake wars on Food Network. I find it fascinating when the chefs make their own candy and spin them into fabulous designs. I may not be able to craft a candy cane, or fantastic flowers or spinning fairies with candy wings, but I can make some delicious cinnamon candy.

I got the recipe off a friend and co-worker who called it Rock Candy. He would bring bags of it around Christmas and we would all go crazy for it. He wrote the recipe on a torn piece of paper, that is much stained from years of use. I suppose I’ll print off a new one after I blog it to you all.

I do have some warnings to go with this candy, I learned the hard way.

Warning 1: Try as hard as you can not to have your face or any other body parts close to the hot sugar when you add the cinnamon oil. A facial is nice, but having pure cinnamon oil infused into your open pores is miserable. It’s much worse if it goes up your nose, much worse. Trust me, I tried to stay away from it tonight and a little got on my face. My cheek is a little hot, and my hand is red and tingling a bit. I smell very nicely of cinnamon though.

Warning 2: Try to use a very deep pot, or make sure you have on a shirt you don’t mind to ruin with the food color. Once you drop the food coloring into the hot sugar, it will start sputtering and erupt like a volcano of red dye.

Ok, with the warnings out-of-the-way, lets move on to the good part. Making candy! YUMMY.

NOTES: The past few years I used a wooden spoon and was so disappointed that my candy didn’t have a nice cinnamon, well honestly, any cinnamon taste to it. This year I used a stainless steel spoon, and my candy is so nice and Cinnamon flavored.

Rock Candy or Broken Glass Candy

3 3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup white corn syrup

1 cup water

1 small bottle of Cinnamon oil (find in Pharmacy or bulk food store)

Red Food Coloring

Candy thermometer

Sheet pan with sides

aluminum foil (optional)

butter/oil

Powdered sugar

Have the sheet pan prepared before you start boiling the sugar, also have the cinnamon oil bottle opened and close by as well as the bottle of food coloring. Things move quickly once hard crack stage is reached, be prepared.

Mix sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil

Stir constantly until thermometer reaches 300-310 degrees

Remove from heat Immediately stir in cinnamon and food coloring

Pour into sheet pan that has been oiled (or place a piece of aluminum foil on sheet pan and butter it)

Let cool Once cool take the handle of a butter knife, or case knife and crack the candy into pieces

Place in a bowl or zip lock baggy and Roll in powdered sugar

This recipe is very versatile, you can use any sort of flavored oil you like. Peppermint, wintergreen, anise….likewise, you can use any color food coloring you like as well.

If you are making a Gingerbread house, you can pour the candy into pre-made little molds to make the window glass and “glue” it in with royal icing. Place a light inside the house (single corded lights can be found at craft shops all around. They have one socket for a Christmas light bulb) and you’ve made a magical gingerbread house for Christmas.

You can also form foil into a circle and pour the candy into it to make a lovely pond for skaters to skate upon in front of your gingerbread house or Christmas village. Simply tint the candy blue instead of red, once cool dust lightly with powdered sugar to look like snow-covered ice. My Mom always did those things when she made our Gingerbread houses. She really is creative.

 

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Authentic LEBKUCHEN, Gingerbread recipe from scratch. Wonderfully simple.

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Gingerbread House

Mom is German and in Germany, or Deutschland, gingerbread is called Lebkuchen.  I found a recipe for Lebkuchen in a cook book called, “My Favorite Cookies from the old Country.”  They called for allowing the dough to sit in a covered bowl for 10 days before using it.  That’s more time than I’m willing to wait for cookies, I’d just head right back to the store and get the refrigerated kind.  Well, I really wanted to know an easy recipe for gingerbread, so I called Mom.  As always, she came through with flying colors.  I believe I will make some homemade gingerbread cookies this week.  Let me know how yours turn out, ok? (P.S. The picture is not one of Mom’s gingerbread houses, it’s one we did with the baby a couple of years ago.)

A little note on the cookbook I was reading, they did suggest to leave the cookies out over night to harden and then bake them.  Of course, cover them up first.  I’m not sure why, but it was an interesting step to take.  Well, if you’ve waited 10 days to make cookies, what’s one more night?  Ahhh, but there’s nothing better than a house filled with the warm scents of freshly made, freshly baked and decorated, Lebkuchen cookies.

LEBKUCHEN (Gingerbread)

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup dark corn syrup

1 egg

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. salt

Combine butter and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat until well blended. Add corn syrup and egg; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl; stir to mix well then add to butter mixture, a third at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each third in foil and chill at least one hour to make rolling easier. On a well-floured surface roll out one-third of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, cut out cookie shapes, placing them on ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake at 400 deg. F, for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from baking sheet at once onto a cooling rack. While still warm brush with LEMON GLAZE.

LEMON GLAZE: In a small bowl 2 cups confectionery sugar add 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, stirring with a fork to combine. If too thick add a little at a time more lemon juice until glaze is of spreading consistency. Immediately decorate with sprinkles etc. (I use this same dough and glaze to make gingerbread houses)