Personally, sometimes I find being gluten-free a little exhausting. I’m constantly focused on buying healthy foods, and often it’s hard to know what junk or pre-packaged food to grab at the corner store if you want a break from eating nutritionally. I stopped by Freak Lunchbox on 17th Avenue with the intention of treating myself after a particularly exhausting week, and was dismayed to see that their toffee contained wheat. So, I decided to make some candy for myself – if I’m going to eat a ton of sugar, I can at least be 100 per cent sure it’s gluten-free! (That’s healthy enough, right?)
I know making your own candy can be intimidating at first, but this is a great starting recipe as it requires very few ingredients. Also, you can customize it – if ginger isn’t your thing, perhaps experiment with espresso powder, tea, or chocolate!
- One candy thermometer
- A 9×13 pan (or two 8x8s, really any rectangular or square pan will work as long as the sides are high – no cookie sheets!)
- Parchment paper
- Wooden spoon
- 1 cup of granulated white sugar
- 1 cup of loose brown sugar
- ½ cup of corn syrup (this is the only type of syrup that will work, as other syrups crystallize at high temperatures)
- ⅓ cup of cold water
- 3 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger (optional)
Grease the 9×13 pan with oil, and line fully (including the sides) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper as well, and set pan aside.
Pour sugars, syrup, and water into the saucepan and slowly stir while increasing the heat on the stove to medium-high. Once sugar is dissolved, clip candy thermometer to the side of the pan. There is no need to stir, but if the syrup sticks to the sides brush them off with a damp pastry brush or damp spoon.
Once the temperature reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit, add the vanilla and ginger and stir to incorporate. When the temperature reaches 300 degrees (should be between 10-15 minutes), remove from heat. Quickly stir in baking soda – be careful, the mixture will swell up to three or four times its size, and sugar burns are not fun. Pour mixture into greased pan. Allow to harden for 30 min to an hour. Once hard, smash apart, and serve! These are delicious on their own, or dipped in chocolate.
Written by Sarah Pynoo
Sarah participated in our Voice of GFYYC program and curated for us for a week, so we asked her to compile some of her experiences into a blog for us! Sarah is a freelance writer, editor, as well as the Marketing/Sales Coordinator for AG Silver Jewellery Boutique. In her spare time, she loves volunteering, film, and cooking. She was diagnosed with Celiac disease 8 years ago, and has consequently spent the last 8 years attempting to perfect gluten-free cinnamon buns.
Interested in writing a guest blog for Gluten Free Calgary? Please contact us for information about this opportunity!