Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 16

Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 16

I guess I cannot put off the last 4 chapters forever, so here is another chapter for your enjoyment.

The chapter on Candy reads as follows:

“Whether you make candy just for fun, or to keep the children from buying less wholesome candies at the corner store, or for profit – many woman have made a paying business of candy-making – you will want to make good candy.  With the right equipment and attention to the fundamental techniques of candy-making you will be surprised what attractive and professional-looking candies can be made in your own kitchen.

Candies are either crystalline in structure – that is, composed of minute crystals – like the fudges and fondants, or non-crystalline  like the taffies, brittles and clear hard candies,  The temperature or concentration to which the sirup is cooked decides the type of candy – soft, chewy, or hard; the manipulation after cooking determines the texture – grainy or smooth.

The proper equipment adds to the pleasure of making candy and contributes to the success of results.  For the occasional candy-maker t is enough to have:

SAUCEPANS large enough to allow the mixture to boil up – 2 or 3 quarts capacity.  Heavy metal ones are better than thin ones because the sirup will not stick so readily.
WOODEN SPOONS for stirring and beating.  Better still for stirring is a broad wooden paddle like the old-fashioned butter paddles.
CANDY PANS for cooling candies.  They may be square or rectangular, but they should be straight-sided and less than 2 inches deep.  Never cut candy in the pan unless it is used only for candy.  Instead, loosen the candy at the edges, turn out of the pan and cut on a flat surface.
A LARGE HEAVY PLATTER for working fondant if you do not have a marble slab.
A CANDY THERMOMETER is strongly recommended even for the occasional candy-maker.  Thermometers are reasonable in price and the greater accuracy made possible saves much time and effort.
In addition to the foregoing, the following inexpensive items will come in handy.  A broad kitchen SPATULA for working fondant – an inexpensive putty knife will do very well; a MEDICINE DROPPER for adding acid and flavoring oils; a PASTRY BRUSH for oiling pans or slabs, and for distributing water evenly; kitchen SCISSORS for cutting taffies: WAXED PAPER or CELLOPHANE for wrapping candies; a WOODEN CUTTING BOARD kept just for candies.

For making candies on a large scale you should have, in addition to the equipment described above:
A large MARBLE SLAB, which makes the best working surface for beating fondants and fudges, pouring caramels, brittles and hard candies, as well as for hand-dipping chocolates.
DIPPING FORKS for glacé work or for coating bonbons and chocolates.  They may be purchased or made at home out of a 2-foot length of strong thin wire – preferably copper wire.  Double the wire and twist the ends together, leaving a loop about ¾ inch long at the doubled end.  The twisted part serves as a handle.
CANDY IRONS to regulate the thickness and size of a batch of candy poured out on the marble slab.  They should be smooth and approximately ¾ inch thick and 2 inches high.  A set of four 12-inch and six 6-inch irons will be adequate for most work.  The short irons are used for small batches and to separate the parts of a batch when different flavors have been added.
RUBBER MOLDS for shaping mints and wafers.  Round, heart, diamond and club shapes are popular for bridge parties and special designs for Easter, Christmas and other occasions may also be purchased.
A POURING FUNNEL and GAUGE for regulating the flow of drop fondant.  They prevent  waste, make the prices more symmetrical and are useful in decorating candies.
A CANDY HOOK attached to a strong base if a great many pulled candies are made.

These may be purchased in a confectioners’ supply shop if they are not available elsewhere.”

The chapter also covers all the varies ingredients, how to properly cook candy, the importance of temperature, how to use a thermometer, how to make a cold-water test for all the different types of candy, how to care for your candy, all the different fondants as well as a myriad of recipes over 24 pages for every candy you can think of.


22 thoughts on “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book – Part 16

  1. Can’t remember if I told you or not, that my mom found a copy of this book in my Grandma’s things. It had been my Great Grandma’s. Kind of cool to see the book in person. I’m fascinated by the “marble slab” needed for candy making. I had no idea they made marble slabs. Love it as always Mandy – a glimpse into the bygone era. 🙂

    • Yes, I remember you telling me your mom found a copy of this book – so exciting to know we are united by it. So pleased you have been enjoying the little excerpts from this book Kristy. Have a lovely day. 🙂 xo

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