Reference > Farmer's Cookbook > FANCY CAKES AND CONFECTIONS

Chapter XXXIII. 
ALMOND paste for making macaroons and small fancy cakes may be bought of dealers who keep confectioners’ supplies, although sometimes a resident baker or confectioner will sell a small quantity. Almond paste is put up in five-pound tin pails, and retails for one and one-half dollars per pail. During the cold weather it will keep after being opened for a long time.   1
1/2 lb. almond pasteWhites 3 eggs
3/8 lb. powdered sugar
Work together almond paste and sugar on a smooth board or marble slab. Then add whites of eggs gradually, and work until mixture is perfectly smooth. Confectioners at first use the hand, afterwards a palette knife, which is not only of use for mixing but for keeping board clean. Shape, using a pastry bag and tube, on a tin sheet covered with buttered paper, one-half inch apart; or drop mixture from tip of spoon in small piles. Macaroon mixture is stiff enough to hold its shape, but in baking spreads. Bake fifteen to twenty minutes in a slow oven. If liked soft, they should be slightly baked. After removing from oven, invert paper, and wet with a cloth wrung out of cold water, when macaroons will easily slip off.

Almond Macaroons
Sprinkle Macaroons, before baking, with almonds blanched and shredded, or chopped.

1/2 lb. almond pasteAlmonds, blanched and finely chopped
2 ozs. confectioners’ sugar
White 1 small egg
Mix same as Macaroons. Shape mixture, which is quite soft, in a long roll. Cut pieces from roll three-fourths inch long. Roll each separately in chopped nuts, at the same time shaping to form a crescent. Bake twenty minutes on a buttered tin sheet in a slow oven. Cool, and frost with Confectioners’ Frosting, made thin enough to apply with a brush, and flavored with lemon juice until quite acid. Other nuts may be used in place of almonds.

Cinnamon Bars
10 ozs. almond pasteWhite 1 egg
5 ozs. confectioners’ sugar1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix same as Macaroons. Dredge a board with sugar, knead mixture slightly, and shape in a long roll. Pat, and roll one-fourth inch thick, using a rolling-pin. After rolling the piece should be four inches wide. Spread with frosting made of white of one egg and two-thirds cup confectioners’ sugar beaten together until stiff enough to spread. Cut in strips four inches long by three-fourths inch wide. This must be quickly done, as a crust soon forms over frosting. To accomplish this, use two knives, one placed through mixture where dividing line is to be made, and the other used to make a clean sharp cut on both sides of first knife. Knives should be kept clean by wiping on a damp cloth. Remove strips as soon as cut, to a tin sheet, greased with lard and then floured. Bake twenty minutes on centre grate in a slow oven.

Use Cinnamon Bar mixture. Cover with frosting colored with fruit red. Cut in strips six inches long by one-half inch wide. As soon as cut, shape quickly, at the same time carefully, in form of horseshoes. Bake same as Cinnamon Bars. When cool, make eight dots with chocolate frosting to represent nails.

Cocoanut Cakes I
1/2 lb. fresh grated cocoanut6 ozs. sugar and glucose, using one mixing-spoon glucose
Whites 11/2 eggsGerman Confectioner
Cook cocoanut, sugar, and glucose in double boiler until mixture clings to spoon, add whites of eggs, stir vigorously, and cook until mixture feels sticky when tried between the fingers. Spread in a wet pan, cover with wet paper, and chill on ice. Shape in small balls, first dipping hands in cold water. Bake twenty minutes in a slow oven on a tin sheet greased with white wax.

Cocoanut Cakes II
1 lb. fresh grated cocoanut3/4 lb. sugar
Whites 2 eggs
Cook, shape, and bake same as Cocoanut Cakes I.

Stuffed Dates I
Make a cut the entire length of dates and remove stones. Fill cavities with castanea nuts, English walnuts, or blanched almonds, and shape in original form. Roll in granulated sugar. Pile in rows on a small plate covered with a doiley. If castanea nuts are used, with a sharp knife cut off the brown skin which lies next to shell.

Stuffed Dates II
Remove stones from dates and fill cavities with Neufchatel cheese.

Salted Almonds I
Blanch one-fourth pound Jordan almonds and dry on a towel. Put one-third cup olive oil in a very small saucepan. When hot, put in one-fourth of the almonds and fry until delicately browned, stirring to keep almonds constantly in motion. Remove with a spoon or small skimmer, taking up as little oil as possible. Drain on brown paper and sprinkle with salt; repeat until all are fried. It may be necessary to remove some of the salt by wiping nuts with a napkin.

Salted Almonds II
Prepare almonds as for Salted Almonds I. Fry in one-third cup fat, using half lard and half clarified butter or all cocoanut butter. Drain, and sprinkle with salt.

Salted Peanuts
In buying peanuts for salting, get those which have not been roasted. Remove skins and fry same as Salted Almonds I or II.

Salted Pecans
Shelled pecans may be bought by the pound, which is much the best way when used for salting, as it is difficult to remove the nut meat without breaking. Fry same as salted Almonds I or II. Care must be taken that they do not remain in fat too long; having a dark skin, color does not determine when they are sufficiently cooked.

Parisian Sweets
1 lb. figs1 lb. English walnut meat
1 lb. datesConfectioner’s sugar
Pick over and remove stems from figs and stones from dates. Mix fruit with walnut meat, and force through a meat-chopper. Work, using the hands, on a board dredged with confectioners’ sugar, until well blended. Roll to one-fourth inch thickness, using confectioners’ sugar for dredging board and pin. Shape with a small round cutter, first dipped in sugar, or cut with a sharp knife in three-fourth inch squares. Roll each piece in confectioners’ sugar, and shake to remove superfluous sugar. Pack in layers in a tin box, putting paper between each layer. These confections may be used at dinner in place of bonbons or ginger chips. A combination of nut meat (walnut, almond, and filbert) may be used in equal proportions.

Sugared Popped Corn
2 quarts popped corn2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter1/2 cup water
Put butter in saucepan, and when melted add sugar and water. Bring to boiling-point, and let boil sixteen minutes. Pour over corn, and stir until every kernel is well coated with sugar.

Corn Balls
5 quarts popped corn1/2 cup white corn syrup
2 cups sugar1/3 teaspoon, each, salt and vinegar
11/2 cups water1 tablespoon vanilla
Boil sugar, water and corn syrup without stirring until thermometer registers 260° F.; then add remaining ingredients and let boil to 264° F. Have corn in a large pan, and pour on gradually the syrup, using a spoon all of the time to turn corn that it may be evenly coated. Make into balls, and let stand in a cold place until brittle.

Molasses Candy
2 cups Porto Rico molasses3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar1 tablespoon vinegar
An iron kettle with a rounding bottom (Scotch kettle) or copper kettle is best for candy making. If one has no copper kettle, a granite kettle is best for sugar candies.

  Put butter in kettle, place over fire, and when melted, add molasses and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. During the first of the boiling stirring is unnecessary, but when nearly cooked, it should be constantly stirred. Boil until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Add vinegar just before taking from fire. Pour into a well buttered pan. When cool enough to handle, pull until porous and light-colored, allowing candy to come in contact with tips of fingers and thumbs, not to be squeezed in the hand. Cut in small pieces, using large shears or a sharp knife, and then arrange on slightly buttered plates to cool.   19
Velvet Molasses Candy
1 cup molasses3 tablespoons vinegar
3 cups sugar1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup boiling water1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon soda
Put first four ingredients in kettle placed over front of range. As soon as boiling-point is reached, add cream of tartar. Boil until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Stir constantly during last part of cooking When nearly done, add butter and soda. Pour into a buttered pan and pull same as Molasses Candy. While pulling, add one teaspoon vanilla, one-half teaspoon lemon extract, few drops oil of peppermint, or few drops oil of wintergreen.

2 cups molasses2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup boiling waterFondant flavored with vanilla
Boil ingredients (except fondant) until, when tried in cold water, a firm ball may be formed in the fingers, not stirring until the last few minutes of cooking. Pour on a buttered platter, and when cool enough to handle, pull until light colored. Shape on a floured board, having strip wide enough to enclose a roll of fondant one inch in diameter. Place fondant on candy, bring edges of candy together, and press firmly over fondant. With both hands pull candy into a long strip. Cut in small pieces; each piece will consist of fondant encircled with molasses candy. Care must be taken that candy is not cooked too long, as it should be soft rather than brittle.

Vinegar Candy
2 cups sugar1/2 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
Put butter into kettle; when melted, add sugar and vinegar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, afterwards occasionally. Boil until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Turn on a buttered platter to cool. Pull, and cut same as Molasses Candy.

Ice Cream Candy
3 cups sugar1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar1/2 tablespoon vinegar
Boil ingredients together without stirring, until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Turn on a well buttered platter to cool. As edges cool, fold towards centre. As soon as it can be handled, pull until white and glossy. While pulling, flavor as desired, using vanilla, orange extract, coffee extract, oil of sassafras, or melted chocolate. Cut in sticks or small pieces.

Butter Scotch
1 cup sugar1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup molasses2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup butter
Boil ingredients together until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Turn into a well buttered pan; when slightly cool, mark with a sharp-pointed knife in squares. This candy is much improved by cooking a small piece of vanilla bean with other ingredients.

Butter Taffy
2 cups light brown sugar2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup molasses7/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vinegar1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Boil first five ingredients until, when tried in cold water mixture will become brittle. When nearly done, add butter, and just before turning into pan, vanilla. Cool, and mark in squares.

Horehound Candy
3/4 square inch pressed horehound2 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pour boiling water over horehound which has been separated in pieces; let stand one minute, then strain through double cheese-cloth. Put into a granite kettle with remaining ingredients, and boil until, when tried in cold water, mixture will become brittle. Turn into a buttered pan, cool slightly, then mark in small squares. Small square packages of horehound may be bought for five cents.

Chocolate Caramels
21/2 tablespoons butter1/2 cup milk
2 cups molasses3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup brown sugar1 teaspoon vanilla
Put butter into kettle; when melted, add molasses, sugar, and milk. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and when boiling-point is reached, add chocolate, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted. Boil until, when tried in cold water, a firm ball may be formed in the fingers. Add vanilla just after taking from fire. Turn into a buttered pan, cool, and mark in small squares.

Nut Chocolate Caramels
To Chocolate Caramels add the meat from one pound English walnuts broken in pieces, or one-half pound almonds blanched and chopped.

Rich Chocolate Caramels
2 tablespoons butter1 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk4 squares chocolate
1/2 cup sugar1 cup walnut meats, broken in pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla
Put butter in saucepan and when melted add milk, sugar and molasses. When boiling-point is reached add chocolate, and cook until brittle when tried in cold water, stirring occasionally to prevent mixture from adhering to pan. Remove from fire, beat three minutes, add nut meats and vanilla, and turn into a buttered pan. When cold cut in squares and wrap in paraffine paper.

Peanut Nougat
1 lb. sugar1 quart peanuts
Shell, remove skins, and finely chop peanuts. Sprinkle with one-fourth teaspoon salt. Put sugar in a perfectly smooth granite saucepan, place on range, and stir constantly until melted to a syrup, taking care to keep sugar from sides of pan. Add nut meat, pour at once into a warm buttered tin, and mark in small squares. If sugar is not removed from range as soon as melted, it will quickly caramelize.

Nut Bar
Cover the bottom of a buttered shallow pan with one and one-third cups nut meat (castaneas, English walnuts, or almonds) cut in quarters. Pour over one pound sugar, melted as for Peanut Nougat. Mark in bars.

French Nougat
1/2 lb. confectioners’ sugar1/4 lb. almonds, blanched and finely chopped
Confectioners’ chocolate
Put sugar in a saucepan, place on range, and stir constantly until melted; add almonds, and pour on an oiled marble. Fold mixture as it spreads with a broad-bladed knife; keeping it constantly in motion. Divide in four parts, and so soon as cool enough to handle shape in long rolls about one-third inch in diameter, keeping rolls in motion until almost cold. When cold, snap in pieces one and one-half inches long. This is done by holding roll at point to be snapped over the sharp edge of a broad-bladed knife and snapping. Melt confectioners’ chocolate over hot water, beat with a fork until light and smooth, and when slightly cooled dip pieces in chocolate and with a two-tined fork or bonbon dipper remove from chocolate to oiled paper, drawing dipper through top of each the entire length, thus leaving a ridge. Chocolate best adapted for dipping bonbons and confections must be bought where confectioners’ supplies are kept.

Nougatine Drops
Drop French Nougat mixture from the tip of a spoon on an oiled marble very soon after taking from fire. These drops have a rough surface. When cold, dip in melted confectioners’ chocolate.

Wintergreen Wafers
1 oz. gum tragacanthConfectioners’ sugar
1 cup cold waterOil of wintergreen
Soak gum tragacanth in water twenty-four hours and rub through a fine wire sieve; add enough confectioners’ sugar to knead. Flavor with a few drops of oil of wintergreen. If liked pink, color with fruit red. Roll until very thin on a board or marble dredged with sugar. Shape with a small round cutter or cut in three-fourths inch squares. Spread wafers, cover, and let stand until dry and brittle. This mixture may be flavored with oil of lemon, clove, sassafras, etc., and colored as desired.

Cocoanut Cream Candy
11/2 cups sugar2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup milk1/3 cup shredded cocoanut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put butter into granite saucepan; when melted, add sugar and milk, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling-point, and boil twelve minutes; remove from fire, add cocoanut and vanilla, and beat until creamy and mixture begins to sugar slightly around edge of saucepan. Pour at once into a buttered pan, cool slightly, and mark in squares. One-half cup nut meat, broken in pieces, may be used in place of cocoanut.

Chocolate Cream Candy
2 cups sugar1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup milk2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put butter into granite saucepan; when melted, add sugar and milk. Heat to boiling-point; then add chocolate, and stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Boil thirteen minutes, remove from fire, add vanilla, and beat until creamy and mixture begins to sugar slightly around edge of saucepan. Pour at once into a buttered pan, cool slightly, and mark in squares. Omit vanilla, if desired, and add, while cooking, one-fourth teaspoon cinnamon.

Maple Sugar Candy
1 lb. soft maple sugar1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup thin cream2/3 cup English walnut or pecan meat, cut in pieces
Break sugar in pieces; put into a saucepan with cream and water. Bring to boiling-point, and boil until a soft ball is formed when tried in cold water. Remove from fire, beat until creamy, add nut meat, and pour into a buttered tin. Cool slightly, and mark in squares.

Sultana Caramels
2 cups sugar2 squares chocolate
1/2 cup milk1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup molasses1/2 cup English walnut or hickory nut meat, cut in pieces
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons Sultana raisins
Put butter into a saucepan; when melted, add sugar, milk, and molasses. Heat to boiling-point, and boil seven minutes. Add chocolate, and stir until chocolate is melted; then boil seven minutes longer. Remove from fire, beat until creamy, add nuts, raisins, and vanilla, and pour at once into a buttered tin. Cool slightly, and mark in squares. The nut meats and raisins may be omitted.

17/8 cups powdered sugar2 cups hickory nut or pecanmeat, cut in pieces
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cream
Boil first three ingredients until, when tried in cold water, a soft ball may be formed. Remove from fire, and beat until of a creamy consistency; add nuts, and drop from tip of spoon in small piles on buttered paper, or mixture may be poured into a buttered tin and cut in squares, using a sharp knife.

Creamed Walnuts
White 1 egg3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon cold water1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
English walnuts
Put egg, water, and vanilla in a bowl, and beat until well blended. Add sugar gradually until stiff enough to knead. Shape in balls, flatten, and place halves of walnuts opposite each other on each piece. Sometimes all the sugar will not be required.

11/2 cups sugar1/2 cup boiling water
6 drops oil peppermint
Put sugar and water into a granite saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Boil ten minutes; remove from fire, add peppermint, and beat until of right consistency. Drop from tip of spoon on slightly buttered paper.


Eleven tests are considered for boiling sugar:—
Small thread, 215° FThe feather, 232°
Large thread, 217°Soft ball, 238°
Pearl, 220°Hard ball, 248°
Large pearl, 222°Small crack, 290°
The blow, 230°Crack, 310°
Caramel, 350°
  Fondant, the basis of all French candy, is made of sugar and water boiled together (with a small quantity of cream of tartar to prevent sugar from granulating) to soft ball, 238° F. The professional confectioner is able to decide when syrup has boiled to the right temperature by sound while boiling, and by testing in cold water; these tests at first seem somewhat difficult to the amateur, but only a little experience is necessary to make fondant successfully. A sugar thermometer is often employed, and proves valuable, as by its use one need not exercise his judgment.   43
White Fondant
21/2 lbs. sugar1/2 cups hot water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put ingredients into a smooth granite stewpan. Stir, place on range, and heat gradually to boiling point. Boil without stirring until, when tried in cold water, a soft ball may be formed that will just keep in shape, which is 238° F. After a few minutes’ boiling, sugar will adhere to sides of kettle; this should be washed off with the hand first dipped in cold water. Have a pan of cold water near at hand, dip hand in cold water, then quickly wash off a small part of the sugar with tips of fingers, and repeat until all sugar adhering to side of saucepan is removed. If this is quickly done, there is no danger of burning the fingers. Pour slowly on a slightly oiled marble slab. Let stand a few minutes to cool, but not long enough to become hard around the edge. Scrape fondant with chopping knife to one end of marble, and work with a wooden spatula until white and creamy. It will quickly change from this consistency, and begin to lump, when it should be kneaded with the hands until perfectly smooth.

  Put into a bowl, cover with oiled paper to exclude air, that a crust may not form on top, and let stand twenty-four hours. A large oiled platter and wooden spoon may be used in place of marble slab and spatula. Always make fondant on a clear day, as a damp, heavy atmosphere has an unfavorable effect on the boiling of sugar.   45
Coffee Fondant
21/2 lbs. sugar1/4 cup ground coffee
11/2 cups cold water1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put water and coffee in saucepan, and heat to boiling-point. Strain through double cheese-cloth; then add sugar and cream of tartar. Boil, and work same as White Fondant.

Maple Fondant
11/4 lbs. maple sugar1 cup hot water
11/4 lbs. sugar1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Break maple sugar in pieces and add to remaining ingredients. Boil, and work same as White Fondant.

The centres of bonbons are made of fondant shaped in small balls. If White Fondant is used, flavor as desired,—vanilla being usually preferred. For cocoanut centres, work as much shredded cocoanut as possible into a small quantity of fondant; for nut centres, surround pieces of nut meat with fondant, using just enough to cover. French candied cherries are often used in this way. Allow balls to stand over night, and dip the following day.

  To Dip Bonbons. Put fondant in saucepan, and melt over hot water; color and flavor as desired. In coloring fondant, dip a small wooden skewer in coloring paste, take up a small quantity, and dip skewer in fondant. If car is not taken, the color is apt to be too intense. During dipping, keep fondant over hot water that it may be kept of right consistency. For dipping, use a two-tined fork or confectioners’ bonbon dipper. Drop centres in fondant one at a time, stir until covered, remove from fondant, put on oiled paper, and bring end of dipper over the top of bonbon, thus leaving a tail-piece which shows that bonbons have been hand dipped. Stir fondant between dippings to prevent a crust from forming.   49
Cream Mints
Melt fondant over hot water, flavor with a few drops of oil of peppermint, wintergreen, clove, cinnamon, or orange, and color if desired. Drop from tip of spoon on oiled paper. Confectioners use rubber moulds for shaping cream mints; but these are expensive for home use, unless one is to make mints in large quantities.

Rose Cream Mints
11/2 cups sugarWhite 1 egg
2 tablespoons white corn syrup4 drops oil wintergreen
1/4 cup waterPink coloring
Put sugar, corn syrup and water into a smooth granite saucepan, heat gradually to boiling-point, and boil without stirring until syrup will spin a long thread (238° F.). Pour slowly on to the beaten white of egg, and beat until mixture will hold its shape. Add flavoring and coloring. Force on to an oiled paper, using a pastry bag and rose tube. The work must be done quickly.

Cream Nut Bars
Melt fondant and flavor, stir in any kind of nut meat, cut in pieces. Turn in an oiled pan, cool, and cut in bars with a sharp knife. Maple Fondant is delicious with nuts.

Dipped Walnuts
Melt fondant and flavor. Dip halves of walnuts as bonbon centres are dipped. Halves of pecan or whole blanched almonds may be similarly dipped.

Tutti-Frutti Candy
Fill an oiled border-mould with three layers of melted fondant. Have bottom layer maple, well mixed with English walnut meat; the second layer colored pink, flavored with rose, and mixed with candied cherries cut in quarters and figs finely chopped, the third layer white, flavored with vanilla, mixed with nuts, candied cherries cut in quarters, and candied pineapple cut in small pieces. Cover mould with oiled paper, and let stand over night. Remove from mould, and place on a plate covered with a lace paper napkin. Fill centre with Bonbons and Glace Nuts.

Glace Nuts
2 cups sugar1 cup boiling water
2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put ingredients in a smooth saucepan, stir, place on range, and heat to boiling point. Boil without stirring until syrup begins to discolor, which is 310° F. Wash off sugar which adheres to sides of saucepan, as in making fondant. Remove saucepan from fire, and place in larger pan of cold water to instantly stop boiling. Remove from cold water and place in a saucepan of hot water during dipping. Take nuts separately on a long pin, dip in syrup to cover, remove from syrup, and place on oiled paper.

Glacè Fruits
For Glacè Fruits, grapes, strawberries, sections of mandarins and oranges, and candied cherries are most commonly used. Take grapes separately from clusters, leaving a short stem on each grape. Dip in syrup made as for Glacè Nuts, holding by stem with pincers. Remove to oiled paper. Glacè fruits keep but a day, and should only be attempted in cold and clear weather.

Candied Orange Peel
Remove peel from four thin-skinned oranges in quarters. Cover with cold water, bring to boiling-point, and cook slowly until soft. Drain, remove white portion, using a spoon, and cut yellow portion in thin strips, using scissors. Boil one-half cup water and one cup sugar until syrup will thread when dropped from tip of spoon. Cook strips in syrup five minutes, drain, and coat with fine granulated sugar.

Spun Sugar
2 lbs. sugar2 cups boiling water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put ingredients in a smooth saucepan. Boil without stirring until syrup begins to discolor, which is 300° F. Wash off sugar which adheres to sides of saucepan, as in making fondant. Remove saucepan from fire, and place in a larger pan of cold water to instantly stop boiling. Remove from cold water, and place in saucepan of hot water. Place two broomstick-handles over backs of chairs, and spread paper on the floor under them. When syrup is slightly cooled, put dipper in syrup, remove from syrup, and shake quickly back and forth over broomhandles. Carefully take off spun sugar as soon as formed, and shape in nests, or pile lightly on a cold dish. Syrup may be colored if desired. Spun Sugar is served around bricks or moulds of frozen creams and ices.

  Dippers for spinning sugar are made of coarse wires; about twenty wires, ten inches long, are put in a bundle, and fastened with wire coiled round and round to form a handle.   59


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