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Find the recipe Casady graduate and Orangette blogger Molly Wizenberg published on the Food Dude blog: blog.newsok.com/fooddude
Aunt Bill's Brown Candy ORIGINAL HALF RECIPE 3 cups sugar, divided 1 cup cream 1/8 teaspoon baking soda Â¼ cup butter Â½ teaspoon vanilla 2 cups nuts, broken Note: This recipe will be easier to do if two people are able to make it together. Pour 1 cup of the sugar into a heavy aluminum or iron skillet and place it over low heat. Begin stirring with a wooden spoon and keep the sugar moving so that it will not scorch. It will take about 15 minutes to completely melt all of the sugar, and at no time should it smoke or cook so fast that it turns dark. It should be about the color of light brown sugar syrup. As soon as you have the sugar heating, pour the remaining 2 cups of sugar, together with the 1 cup of cream or milk, into a deep, heavy kettle and set it over low heat to cook slowly while you are melting the sugar in the skillet. As soon as the sugar is melted, begin pouring it into the kettle of boiling milk and sugar, keeping it over very low heat and stirring constantly. The real secret of mixing these ingredients is to pour a very fine stream from the skillet into the pan. Aunt Bill always said to pour a stream no larger than a knitting needle, while stirring across the bottom of the kettle at the same time. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture forms a firm ball (238-240 degrees) when dropped into cold water. After this test, turn off the heat and immediately add the baking soda, stirring vigorously as it foams up. As soon as the baking soda is mixed in, add the butter, allowing it to melt as you stir. Set the pan of candy off the stove but not outdoors or in a cold place, for about 20 minutes until it is lukewarm; add the vanilla and begin beating. Using a wooden spoon, beat until the mixture is thickened and heavy and takes on a dull appearance instead of a glossy sheen. Add the broken nuts and mix. Turn into buttered square pans where it can be cut into squares when cooled. Top pieces with pecan halves if desired. This candy stays moist indefinitely. Source: â€œLong Lost Recipes of Aunt Susanâ€ by Patty Vineyard MacDonald, 1989.