In a stunning twist on the conventional candy cane, these minty cool sticks are recognizable no matter the exact incarnation. As was common when canes were first fashioned centuries ago, they're still hand-pulled, a task made easier by a second set of hands. Get the packaging how-to for the Peppermint Icicles.
- Yield: Makes about 16 icicles
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2008
- Vegetable oil, cooking spray
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1 drop blue gel-paste food coloring
- 1 drop violet gel-paste food coloring
Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Bring sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves. Cook, undisturbed, until mixture registers 305 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and stir in lemon juice and peppermint extract. Working quickly, pour hot sugar mixture onto prepared sheet. (Be careful not to touch hot mixture.) Let cool until bubbles subside, about 30 seconds.
Coat a metal spatula with cooking spray, then fold 2 edges of mixture inward, toward center. Continuously fold candy in half on itself with spatula until it is cool enough to handle, about 1 minute (it will still be very hot).
Wearing rubber gloves and working quickly, pull candy to a length of 1 foot, then fold in half on itself. Repeat, twisting and pulling until candy starts to turn white. Remove a golf-ball-sized piece, and add food colorings to the smaller piece. Continue to stretch and fold both pieces separately. When candy is almost cool, and the uncolored piece is white, pull each piece into a 12-inch-long rope.
Place ropes side by side, and fold in half together to layer colors. Twist pieces together. Starting at 1 end, pull and twist until rope is 1/2 inch thick. Working quickly, twist and pull end to taper slightly, and cut off a 6-inch length with scissors. Continue twisting, pulling, and cutting icicles until candy becomes too hard and can no longer be pulled. (There will be some left over. Reserve for another use, such as crushing over ice cream or cookies; see Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies recipe) Transfer icicles to a baking sheet to harden.