honeycomb candy

I was born in Boise, and lived my first ten years as a resident of the great state of Idaho. While my sisters and I were busy attending kindergarten and Montessori, two of my moms brothers were attending college in Boise, and would often come by for dinner, snacks, lunch...food in general. It was a blessing to my sisters and me to have the opportunity to have my Uncle Mike and Uncle Joe around as we grew up from toddlers to tiny humans, and I know they had a great influence on us as we grew up. 

One of my Uncle Mike's favorite stories to tell is how much I loved candy as a child. Now, I can't tell you that has changed significantly, only that these days I can procure my own candy so nobody needs to be the wiser. Lets just keep that between us. 

I believe this happened around Christmas with a giant candy cane; at the tender age of three I got up to all kinds of mischief (usually sugar related). Uncle Mike found me, huddled in a corner somewhere, covetously enjoying a candy stick as large as my torso. "Angela, are you allowed to have that before dinner?" Mike asked solicitously, knowing full well candy time in our household was on lockdown. My parents were hawk-eyed anti-sugar/anti-processed-food vigilantes, and we very rarely even had any candy in the house. "No one's stopping me," I replied, clutching the wrapper tightly in both hands. 

I still go by that mantra today. I highly recommend it as a life choice.

Honeycomb candy is easy to make. Here's how it's done:

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First, you're going to mix all the ingredients except the baking soda together in a pot. Turn the heat to medium and stir until the sugar dissolves. While the sugar mix is cooking, prepare a sheet pan or cutting board wrapped in parchment paper and measure out your baking soda.

Be sure to use a heatproof surface wrapped in parchment as your sugar will be about 300 degrees when you pour it out!

Be sure to use a heatproof surface wrapped in parchment as your sugar will be about 300 degrees when you pour it out!

Use a good candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature of your sugar. This is key!!! This one is my personal favorite but there are a few instant read thermometers that work well.

Your sugar will need to boil for 10-20 minutes before it gets to 296 degrees. No need to stir. 

This is about halfway there.

This is about halfway there.

This is right before I pulled it from the heat.

This is right before I pulled it from the heat.

The reason you want to use a big (BIG) pot for this recipe actually falls under the scientific category. This amazing candy actually traps an acidic reaction, which is why it is full of bubbles (hence the light, crunchy texture). When you add the baking soda, and stir, it will become highly voluminous very quickly. Be ready!

Okay, here we go....

Okay, here we go....

Boom! Instant explosion! 

Boom! Instant explosion! 

At this point, you want to stir for about ten seconds, and pour it onto the parchment paper immediately. Be extremely careful, as it is molten sugar you're dealing with. The sooner you get it onto the parchment, the more bubbles will be trapped in the sugar. That's what you want!

Hey there, pretty lady.

Hey there, pretty lady.

Leave the candy to cool while you clean up the enormous mess you've made.

It's inevitable. The good news is, it will come right off with hot water. I just leave my pan to soak in hot water- the sugar dissolves and then I can just wipe it clean.

It's inevitable. The good news is, it will come right off with hot water. I just leave my pan to soak in hot water- the sugar dissolves and then I can just wipe it clean.

Your candy should set and dry fairly quickly. Because I was taking pictures, mine was a little flatter than usual- don't be like me! Get it onto the parchment ASAP after adding the baking soda.

Once it is cool and set (about 40 minutes) just break it up with a heavy utensil and store it in a well-sealed container. Humidity is not your friend here.

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The candy will keep for at least a week. Eat it on it's own, crush it up and serve it over berries, in ice cream, in your morning coffee...the possibilities are endless! Be sure it is in an air-tight container or it will get super sticky in no time.

Recipe:

Based on a recipe from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

1 1/4 c sugar

1/2 c water

3 T honey

1/3 c corn syrup

1 T baking soda

Mix together all ingredients but the baking soda in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook to 296 degrees. Remove from heat and very carefully stir in baking soda.

Immediately pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and set aside to cool.

Once completely cool, break apart with something heavy and store in an airtight container.