How to Make Ribbon Candy
Ribbon candy is an old-fashioned type of hard candy. Traditionally, it is striped with red, green and white for Christmas festivities, but it can be customized with any flavor or colors desired. This type of candy requires cooking to a specific temperature and then pulling it into shape. It takes a certain amount of patience and expertise to produce.
You will need the following ingredients:
3 cups of granulated white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
6 to 8 drops peppermint or cinnamon oil
¼ teaspoon red paste food coloring
¼ teaspoon green paste food coloring
Begin by greasing three cookie sheets with butter, oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set pans aside.
Grease sides of three-quart saucepan. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in pan. Cook and stir constantly with wooden spoon, over medium high heat, to a boiling stage, making sure all sugar is dissolved. This should be accomplished in about five minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan and continue cooking and stirring about 20 minutes, until mixture reaches the soft crack stage, (280 degrees F). Remove pan from heat and stir in flavored oil.
Pour 1/3 of mixture into one of the cookie sheets and place in a warm oven, (about 200 degrees F), to maintain temperature. Transfer half of the remaining mixture to a small, warm saucepan and add red food coloring, mixing to an even tone. Pour red portion into second cookie sheet and place in warm oven. Add green food coloring to the remaining saucepan of candy mixture, stirring until color is evenly distributed. Pour green mixture into last cookie sheet. Remove all pans from oven and allow to cool 2 to 3 minutes, until a skin forms on top. (Candy should still be very warm when you begin to pull it.) As edges begin to cool, use a greased spatula to lift and fold toward the middle of the pan. When candy mixture no longer sticks to spatula and can be easily rolled into a log, it’s ready to pull.
If you have plastic gloves, putthem on and grease with butter or cooking spray. Using both hands, lift one portion of candy and pull in opposite directions, stretching it into a six-inch rope. Bring the ends of the rope together and twist, then pull into a strand again. Continue this process until the candy has a satiny finish and is opaque in color. This should take about five minutes. When the candy is barely warm, but still flexible, pull it into a two-inch thick strand and place back on greased cookie sheet. Return to oven to keep warm. Repeat for remaining pans of candy mixture.
Remove all pans from oven. Using just one cookie sheet, place strands next to one another. Press and pull portions together to form one flat, thin rectangle, about one-inch thick. Quickly stretch combined strand lengthwise, until it measures about one inch across. (Substance may be easier to work with if cut into shorter segments before stretching.) Turn ribbon onto edge and use fingers to fold into an accordion shape. (If necessary, candy can be returned to oven briefly, to soften, before shaping.) Break into approximately six-inch pieces. Allow candy to cool at room temperature, where it will harden. Once candy is set, store on the counter or in a pantry in an airtight container.