Sunday, January 30, 2011

Buttermilk Pecan Candy

I had a heck a time making this candy. The third batch which is the one you see here was my best effort but definitely could be improved, more in texture than taste. 

Let me back up. I found this recipe in Homemade Candy, by the editors of the Farm Journal, a vintage book I picked up at a yard sale in the States. Earlier this month I posted the Pioneer Potato Candy  I made from it and the results were excellent.

For the Buttermilk Candy, I followed the recipe to the letter twice and both batches were fails. As I said in the previous Potato Candy post, I did read a review online from someone who had tried out many recipes in the book.  The reviewer said many of the instructions were lacking in content because women of that era (1970) were supposed to be skilled enough in the kitchen to fill in the blanks. 

I am not from that era nor did I get the memo as we say in this era. Another recipe for fondant candy I tried twice was also a fail both times. However, I was still intrigued by the idea of Buttermilk Candy and determined to make a batch I could taste so I searched online to find another recipe. The one I chose from Recipe Goldmine worked much better.

In comparing the recipes, other than there being more butter and corn syrup in the book's version, it was hard for me to see where things fell apart the first two times in the directions dept. But I am by no means an experienced candy maker so don't go by what I say. I actually just got over my irrational fear of the candy thermometer. 

The taste? Actually quite good. buttery caramel-y crunch. The pecans worked fine but I think almonds or walnuts would work just as well. Or maybe even a mix of nuts. The texture was a little funky. Sort of mealy but I may have overcooked it.

Buttermilk Pecan Candy

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans

  • Butter a cookie sheet.
  • Add baking soda to buttermilk in 4-quart saucepan. Stir well and let stand 1 minute. 
  • Add sugar, corn syrup and butter over medium heat. 
  • Cook to soft ball stage (236 degrees F to 238 degrees F on candy thermometer).
  • Add vanilla extract and pecans. Beat by hand until candy begins to thicken. 
  • Pour quickly onto buttered cookie sheet. It hardens pretty fast. 
  • Let cool and cut into pieces.

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