The other day, we finally made Molasses-On-Snow Candy from The Little House Cookbook. And let me tell ya that nothing enlivens a snowy New England day like playing with molten sugar!
Last winter, books from the Little House series dominated our bedtime reading. I don’t recall reading them as a child so I was enjoying them as much as the kids were. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s retelling of her childhood transported us back in time.
Given our heartfelt connection to the Ingalls family, it’s unclear who likes the whole idea of making foods out of the Little House Cookbook more, me or the girls. Either way, they did a spectacular job making molasses candy. Nobody had to go to the hospital with third degree burns. Another successful day of parenting! Mostly we made blobs. The fun little shapes depicted in the Christmas in the Big Woods picture book were a little out of my kids’ reach. However, it did get much easier to control the pour out of the pitcher after the molasses had cooled for a few minutes.
These candies are quite tasty. The brown sugar takes the bitter edge off of the molasses perfectly.
Molasses Snow Candy Recipe
This recipe requires a small ceramic pitcher (A creamer works well), a candy thermometer, and fresh snow. The pitcher’s spout helps control the flow of the molasses. The handle on the pitcher allows the kids to pour the molasses without touching a hot cup directly.
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
Prepare 3 or 4 pans of snow using 9-inch pie plates, cake pans, iron skillets and the like. Gather fresh clean snow into the pans and leave them outside in the cold.
In a small saucepan, stir the molasses and sugar together over medium heat with a rubber spatula. Heat the mixture to 245 degrees Fahrenheit (firm ball stage), stirring frequently. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. When the molasses mixture has reached 245 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the molasses mixture into a small ceramic pitcher. Place the pitcher on a plate in your work area.
Bring the pans full of snow into the work area and allow the kids to pour the molasses mixture onto the snow. Read them the riot act about how hot and dangerous the molasses is and supervise them closely. You have about 10 or 15 minutes until the molasses starts getting difficult to pour.
About 5 minutes after the molasses has come into contact with the snow, test to see if has solidified. If it feels cool and hard, it’s ready to go. Let the kids eat some. Gather up the rest as it hardens and store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Or you can do like I did and leave it out to “dry” and watch it slowly turn into goo. That way you don’t have deal with kids pestering you for molasses candy for the next two weeks.
Yield: 3/4 pound
Prep-time: 10 minutes
Kid activity time: 15 minutes
[Photography c/o Fix Me A Snack blog]