Recipe Share: Honeycomb Candy (aka "Cinder Toffee")

Chunks of golden, bubbly, crispy honeycomb sit on a dark colored Z Wraps beeswax food wrap

Hello world! We're coming in hot on the holidays here -- Hanukkah has just begun and we're single digits from Christmas. There's barely 2 weekends till New Years!

Just wanted to pop in before things get really bonkers with a fun, quick recipe to share - this one is great for family time with the kids. Here's how to make "honeycomb" candy on your stove top!

It's not *really* honey comb from a bee hive. It's sugar that gets melted and mixed with a secret ingredient that makes it foam up! Working quickly and carefully, you'll pour the hot mixture to cool just in time and those bubbles will set into sweet crispy candy!

You'll need:

  • A candy thermometer (or a thermometer that can read up to 300+ degrees Fahrenheit)
  • A heavy-bottom sauce pan with high sides
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mats (see next section)
  • A tin or casserole dish
  • Butter for your dish, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Baking Soda, Water and vanilla if desired

What you'll do:

  1. Measure all ingredients out and prepare your dish first. This is important!
    1. 1 C Sugar (white or raw, but not brown); 1/2C corn syrup; 2-3 teaspoons baking soda; 1/4C water; and 1/2 tsp vanilla, if using
  2. Prep your dish: line with buttered parchment or buttered silicone baking mats. We used 2 rectangular silicone mats in a + shape with good results.
  3. Gather your ingredients, dish, and candy thermometer.
  4. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT baking soda, and set over medium heat. Melt sugar, stirring frequently. The mixture will begin to bubble rapidly!
  5. Keep an eye on your molten bubbling sugar - when it hits 150C/305F, it's ready for baking soda.
  6. Cut the heat, immediately tip in the baking soda and stir stir stir!! Quickly now, get it mixed in - the mixture will FOAM up! This is where the high sides on that pan are working for you.
  7. When it stops foaming wildly and the baking soda is incorporated, quickly pour the mixture into your lined receptacle. I recommend a silicone spatula to help minimize the amount of sugar you need to wash off your pot.
    1. This step is for grownups only - be very careful at this step! The mixture is extremely hot and sticky! 
  8. Cool candy for at least 1 hour or until hardened, and remove from dish liners. Grown ups only: Whack it with a sharp knife to break it into delicious shards of crispy golden caramel-toffee bliss.

Pack them up into goodie bags, or bring it to the cookie swap! Honeycomb candy like this goes great with lots of things, from a hot cup of tea or coffee to a bowl of breakfast yogurt -  try it with a handful of midnight potato chips.

Here's a hot tip from this recipe: the key to crispy, crunchy toffees, nut brittles, and other holiday confections? It's the temperature! Getting your molten sugars all the way up to temp is what allows them to stay crisp and crunchy when they harden. If you don't get your ingredients hot enough, they won't crack - they'll be super sticky, in the pan and on your teeth. Better keep that candy thermometer handy! If you successfully made this recipe, you have all the chops needed to make some drool-worthy nut brittle, caramels, and more. 

While we've always called it "honeycomb" in my family, I saw a BBC recipe once refer to more or less the same thing as "cinder toffee." So go ahead and call it that if it makes you feel fancy (or just British)!

PS: Eagle-eye'd readers will have spotted an omen of seasons to come...a ghost of Christmas (halloweens?) Future, if you will... along the way through this article. Did you catch it? Look at you, all in the know!

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