My family used these old fashioned candy recipes to make candy on the kitchen cook-stove after the evening's farm chores were finished. Mom mixed the ingredients, and we all took turns stirring the bubbling pot until the candy was done. Soon, a plate of freshly made candy was set on the kitchen table.
Dad listened to his favorite radio program, Mom knitted, and I read my comics as we all nibbled on the still-warm candy. Now, you can experience the nostalgic fun of making your own homemade candies. They're so good tasting that you'll want to make plenty!
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)
These great candy recipes all make delicious candies. Why not get your
friends and family involved in making a variety and enjoy them while
playing your family's favorite board game? Get to experience a
perfect, old fashioned evening with lots of conversation and fun.
Boil together 2 cups sugar, 1 cup buttermilk, and butter size of a walnut until it forms a soft ball in water. Remove from the fire and beat until creamy. Pour into buttered pans and cut in squares when cool. —The Farmer's Advocate, circa 1915
Carefully cut orange peel in strips, place in saucepan in cold water, and bring to boil. Repeat process three times, then measure orange peel and add equal quantity of sugar and hot water to cover, and cook until pulp is translucent. Remove from syrup; roll in sugar; place on plates to dry.
One cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and enough boiling water to mix stiff. Flavour with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Take a little of the mixture on the end of a teaspoon and form into a ball, taking 2 raisins to each ball, and press together until nearly flat. If white candy is preferred leave out cocoa. —Fruits and Candies, circa 1920s
Two cupfuls powdered sugar, the whites of 3 eggs, 2 cupfuls coconut, 2 teaspoonfuls baking powder; mix all together; drop upon buttered paper and bake until slightly brown in a brisk oven. —Lee's Priceless Recipes, 1895
Two pounds of brown sugar, two-thirds cup of milk, butter size of a walnut. Boil about twenty minutes, then take off stove and beat and add one-half pound chopped walnuts.
1 pound light-brown sugar, 2/3 cup milk, 1 tablespoonful butter, 1 teaspoonful vanilla, 2/3 cup chopped nuts, pinch of salt. Boil sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan for 15 minutes or until it forms a soft ball in cold water. Remove from fire and beat until it begins to thicken. Stir in vanilla, nuts and salt. Pour into well-buttered pan to cool. Cut in squares.
Three cups brown sugar, 1 cup cream, 1 teaspoon butter. Boil without stirring until a little dropped in cold water will harden like glass, then take off the stove and stir rapidly.
Flavor with vanilla or any other extract liked. Nuts may be added. Pour on buttered plates and cut in squares when it is hard. —The Farmer's Advocate, circa 1915
3/4 cup milk, 2-1/4 cups brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup shelled walnuts; cook milk, butter, and sugar together until it forms a soft ball that will not stick to the fingers in cold water; remove from the fire and add walnuts; beat until it cleaves thickly to the spoon; pour on buttered plates.
If it's a potato candy recipe you're thinking of, here's an old favorite:
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 pound powdered icing sugar
Mix warm mashed potatoes with icing sugar to a stiff dough, then roll out to thickness wanted, spread with a layer of peanut butter, roll up like a jelly roll and slice in 1/2 inch pieces. Coat pieces in granulated sugar for serving.
This is how I make potato candy. Take one small potato (tennis ball size) peeled and cooked like mashed potatoes, or leftover ones warmed. One box powdered sugar. Peanut butter. Mix the sugar with potato to make dough, roll out dough, spread with layer of peanut butter, roll jelly roll style.
Place roll in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, then slice. If you like, you can add a drop of food color to the potatoes before rolling out, green or red coloring is nice. Hope this works for you. —Angalyn
For an added treat in the evening, try this easy recipe for coating popped corn with caramelized brown sugar. I loved nibbling on this as a kid, and it was one of my favorite treats. This old fashioned candy recipe is so simple to prepare, and it makes a nice change from buttered popcorn.
2 quarts popped corn
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
Put butter in saucepan, and when melted add sugar and water. Bring to boiling-point, and let boil sixteen minutes. Pour over corn, and stir until every kernel is well coated with sugar.
2 cups molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Boil molasses, sugar, salt, and orange zest until it reaches a hard-crack stage (a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water threads and breaks easily between your fingers). Add butter and soda while stirring rapidly, plus as many halved peanuts as desired. Drop by spoonful onto buttered pan.
The Times Cook Book, No. 2 (1905)
Many Californian women proudly submitted their best dessert recipes to the Times in hopes of winning the newspaper's Prize Recipe Contests. These are two old fashioned candy recipes that won in the homemade candy category.
One pint of white sugar, water sufficient to dissolve it, and 4 tablespoons honey. Boil till brittle; pull white when cooling.
One cup of coarsely chopped walnuts, 2 cups of light-brown sugar, 1 cup of pulverized sugar, 1 cup of sweet milk, 1 tablespoonful butter.
Cook until it will form a little ball by testing it in a shallow dish of water, then remove from fire, and add the walnuts, and flavor with teaspoonful of vanilla; beat until it is creamy and turn out in buttered platter; cut in squares. This is a delicious cream candy. —Hazel Rooklidge
Grandma McIlmoyle's Handwritten Recipe Books (c. 1912)
Grandma exchanged favorite recipes with her close friends and family, and she loved to get old fashioned candy recipes and record them in small notebooks, or scribblers, as they were called. You'll love the amazing taste of this pecan candy. It was sometimes called patience candy because making it requires constant stirring and thorough beating — patience.
3 cups granulated sugar, 2 cups milk, pecans, and butter. Place 1 cup sugar in iron skillet and melt to a light brown. When melted add 1 cup milk. (Then add remaining milk and sugar.) Boil until it forms soft ball in cold water. Remove from fire, add butter and pecans, and beat thoroughly. Pour on buttered dish or oiled paper and cut in squares. Use about 1/4 pound of butter and as many pecans as desired. Be sure to cook over slow fire.
The White House Cook Book (1913)
Grate the rind of one orange and squeeze the juice, taking care to reject the seeds; add to this a pinch of tartaric acid; then stir in confectioner's sugar until it is stiff enough to form into balls the size of a small marble.
Use the same process for making lemon drops, using lemons in place of orange. Color a pastel yellow. This is a delicious candy.
For this old fashioned candy recipe, take half a pint of citron, half a pint of raisins, half a pound of figs, a quarter of a pound of shelled almonds, one pint of peanuts before they are hulled; cut up the citron, stone the raisins, blanch the almonds, and hull the peanuts; cut up the figs into small bits.
Take two pounds of coffee sugar and moisten with vinegar; put in a piece of butter as large as a walnut; stew till it hardens, but take off before it gets to the brittle stage; beat it with a spoon six or eight times, then stir in the mixed fruits and nuts.
Pour into a wet cloth and roll up like a pudding, twisting the ends of the cloth to mold it. Let it get cold in the icebox and slice off pieces as it may be wanted for eating.