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Christmas Goodies

Sweets are synonymous with Christmas. It's a blessing and a curse. About this time of the season I begin to think something like this: "If I have to eat one more cookie I'm just going to lose it."

It's really not so much that I'm tired of sweets. I'm just tired of the same old cookie. Every once in a while you find a great cookie recipe that brings life back to the party. You won't be finding that recipe here. My solution is to move away from the cookie tray and over to the candy dish.

I love trying new recipes and this year is no exception. On a whim I picked up the holiday issue of Better Homes and Gardens to find some deliciously different candy recipes. I'm sharing one today. So if baking isn't your thing, there is still hope. Just remember that the key to great candy making lies in two very simple principles: patience & a good candy thermometer.

Pink Grapefruit Gumdrops 




Nonstick cooking spray
1 c sugar
1 c light-colored corn syrup
3/4 c ruby red grapefruit juice
1 - 13/4 oz pkg powdered fruit pectin
1/2 t baking soda
1 recipe Coconut sugar

#1: Line a 8x4x2 in loaf pan with foil, extending over edges of pan. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.

#2: In a 1 1/2 quart heavy saucepan combine the sugar and corn syrup. Cook over med-high heat to boiling stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar. Clip candy thermometer to side of pan.

#3: Cook over med heat, stirring occasionally (keeping at a steady boil) until the thermometer reads 280 degrees (about 7 minutes).

#4: Meanwhile, in a 2 quart heavy saucepan combine the juice, pectin, and baking soda. Bring to a boil over med heat, stirring constantly (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

#5: When first saucepan reaches 280, remove from heat and remove thermometer. Bring pectin mixture to boiling again and gradually pour the hot sugar mixture into the boiling pectin mixture stirring constantly. Stir for 2-3 minutes.

#6: Remove from heat. Pour into prepared pan. Let stand for 2 hours or until firm. Then, use the foil to lift candy from the pan.. Use a wet knife to cut the candy into squares. Roll in coconut sugar and cover loosely to store. Makes about 45 pieces.

For Coconut Sugar: place 1/2 c toasted coconut in a food processor. Pulse until very finely ground. Add 1/4 c granulated sugar and stir to mix.

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