Homemade Candy Recipes from 1920

Homemade Candy Recipes from 1920

Get ready for some yummy homemade candy recipes.  Mrs. Belle De Graf was the leading cooking authority is San Francisco in 1920.  She had a column published in the Sunday addition of the San Francisco Chronicle for several years.  This article shares her advice and homemade candy recipes.  In addition to the homemade candy recipes, she gives two fondant recipes.  One of the fondant recipes is simple and the other is cooked.  If you are anything like me, homemade candy recipes are a little scary when they start talking about turning into a soft ball when dropped in water.  I’m not a candy maker, but this article offers a lot of great advice and some really tasty sounding treats that you could create if you are into homemade candy recipes.


Holiday Candies Require Care and Much Skill in Making; Mrs. De Graf Gives Many Hints

By Mrs. Belle De Graf; Director Sperry Domestic Science Department.  Source: San Francisco Chronicle – 28 Nov 1920.

The amateur candy maker usually avoids making the various types of cream candies.  Contrary to opinion, these candies do not require the skill of the professional candy-maker.  There are many interesting principles to be learned regarding the cooking of sugar, and it is probably one of the most uncertain substances to work with.  It is easily affected by atmospheric conditions and it will be found easier to cook sugar syrups on a clear day than in foggy, cloudy or rainy weather.  If the following directions are studied and carefully followed it will not be difficult to make a variety of cream candies.  Home-made confections, packed attractively, make very acceptable Christmas gifts.  The labor you have given in their production makes them more acceptable than the candies you buy.

Art in Making Property Fondant

The uncooked fondant is not so creamy or desirable as that which has been cooked, but it is very easy to handle and will be found most satisfactory for children.  Take one-half cup of boiling water and add enough confectioner’s sugar to make mixture stiff enough to knead.  Flavor with a teaspoon of vanilla before the sugar is added.  For walnut creams roll into balls and place half a walnut on each side.  Then set aside the dry.  For chocolate creams roll into balls the desired size; melt “Dot” chocolate over hot water and dip each candy in the melted chocolate; then set aside to dry.  By using different flavorings, nuts and candied fruits, an attractive variety of candies can be made by melting four squares of unsweetened chocolate over hot water; when melted add one-half cup hot water, a teaspoon of vanilla and a few drops of oil of cinnamon, one-half cup chopped walnuts and enough powdered sugar until mixture is stiff enough to handle.  Spread about an inch in thickness on an oblong pan; set aside for half an hour or more; then cut in squares and allow to dry before packing away.

Mrs. De Graf’s Cooked Fondant Recipe

Four cups granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful cream of tartar, two cups of boiling water.  Put sugar and cream of tartar in a saucepan, add boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved.  The mixture should be stirred carefully from the center of the pan in order to avoid having the grains of sugar father on the sides of the pan as this causes the fondant to become “grainy”.

Cover the kettle until the boiling point is reached then remove the cover and cook without stirring until a soft ball is formed when dropped in cold water.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Remove from the fire at once and set aside to cool in the pan in which it was cooked.  It is most important that they syrup cool evenly, therefore do not hasten the process by pouring into another dish or by putting the saucepan into cold water.

When cool, but not too cold, stir with a spatula or flat wooden spoon until the syrup has changed to a white, creamy paste.  When to stiff to stir, turn on to a board and knead.  When light and creamy place in an earthen bowl or jar, cover with a damp cloth and put in a cool place for at least twenty-four hours before using.  This fondant will keep for weeks if kept cool and well covered with a damp cloth.

If well made the fondant will be very white, glossy and satiny in appearance, and should feel smooth when rubbed between the fingers.  If the fondant should become grainy or sugary place in saucepan, add hot water, stir until dissolved, cover and cook to the soft ball sage again.

Rules to follow in making fondant are: Proper Scalding Proves Important

Scald the saucepan well before using, to be sure there is no odor or taste from previous cooking.  Always cover the saucepan until the syrup starts to boil.  And if any sugar has gathered on the sides of the pan wash sides down with a damp cloth.

Never stir the syrup after the sugar is dissolved and the cooking has commenced.  Stirring will cause the fondant to become sugary or granular.

When testing the syrup, carefully remove from the fire to prevent further cooking.

Wash hands in cold water before kneading the fondant.

Fondant is a foundation for a great variety of candies.  To make cream drops, divide the fondant into several equal parts, using about half a cup for each portion.  Place in a bowl or cup and sit in a pan of hot water.  Let remain until melted, then flavor, color if desired and drop from the tip of a teaspoon on waxed paper.  Each portion my be flavored and colored differently.

Some great advice offered with that article.  Now onward to the homemade candy recipes.

Mrs. De Graf’s Chocolate Creams Recipe

Flavor the fondant and mold into balls.  Set aside to dry for at least an hour.  Melt unsweetened chocolate over hot water and drop each fondant ball into it.  Care must be taken not to gather two much chocolate on each side or chocolate will spread when set to dry.  By adding a little melted butter to the chocolate before dipping, the creams will have a glazed appearance.

Mrs. De Graf's Chocolate Creams Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Walnut Creams Recipe

Flavor the fondant, take off pieces the side of a walnut, roll into balls and press a walnut meat on each side.  Set aside to harden.  Pecans or almonds may be used in the same manner.  Or cocoanut may be molded into the fondant making cocoanut creams.

Mrs. De Graf's Walnut Creams Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Allegrette Chocolates Recipe

Two and one-half cups granulated sugar, one cup water, three drops vinegar, one-quarter teaspoon glycerine, white of one egg.

Mix sugar and water and stir until dissolved.  Then slowly bring to the boiling point, add glycerine and vinegar, cover the saucepan during first two or three minutes of boiling.  Remove the cover and with a damp cloth wash down the side of the saucepan to remove any grains of sugar.  Cook slowly until syrup will form a sort of ball when dropped in cold water.  When cooked, remove from fire at once and set aside to cool undisturbed in pan in which it was cooked.  When almost cold, put the stiffly beaten white of egg on top and beat until too stiff to handle, then knead like bread until perfectly smooth.  Add flavoring, mold into balls and dip in melted “dot’ chocolate.

Mrs. De Graf's Allegrette Chocolates Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Candied Orange Peel Recipe

Take four oranges and remove the peel in quarters.  Put in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boiling point and simmer until tender.  Drain, remove all the white portion; cut in thin strings with the scissors.  Boil one cup of sugar with half a cup of hot water until it spins a thread.  Add the orange peel and cook five minutes.  Drain from the syrup and roll in granulated sugar.

Mrs. De Graf's Candied Orange Peel Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Two cups sugar, half cup milk, two squares unsweetened chocolate, one tablespoon butter, one teaspoon vanilla, one-quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon and one cup chopped nuts.  Melt chocolate and butter over hot water, add sugar and milk.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Cook without stirring until the syrup will form a soft ball when dropped into cold water.  Add nuts and flavoring and beat until creamy.  Pour into a buttered pan.  When hard, cut into squares.

Mrs. De Graf's Chocolate Fudge Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

Two cups brown sugar, half cup milk, two-thirds cup peanut butter.  Boil sugar and milk until it form a soft ball when dropped in cold water.  Remove from the fire and gradually beat in the peanut butter.  Replace on the fire a moment, then spread on a buttered pan.  When cold cut in squares.

Mrs. De Graf's Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Grapes Glace Recipe

Tokay or Malaga grapes are suitable.  Pick grapes from the bunch, leaving a short stem on each.  With a damp cloth wipe each grape with care.  Mix two cups granulated sugar, one tablespoon corn syrup and one cup boiling water in saucepan; wipe down sides of pan, cover, and cook three or four minutes.  Uncover and cook until the syrup is just on the point of changing color.  Remove from the fire to a saucepan of boiling water.  Drop grapes one at a time into the syrup, then remove to a buttered pan.  These will keep only one or two days.  Halves of walnuts, pecans, or Brazil nuts may be prepared in the same manner.

Mrs. De Graf's Grapes Glace Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Nut, Date and Chocolate Sweetmeat Recipe

Four tablespoons maple syrup, one half pound dot chocolate, one package dates cut from seeds and cut in small pieces, one-half cup blanched almonds cut in shreds, one teaspoon vanilla.

Heat the syrup to boiling point, add chocolate and let stand over hot water until the chocolate is melted.  Add dates, nuts and flavoring.  Mix until thoroughly blended.  Pour into a brick-shaped pan that has been lined smoothly with oiled paper.  Press mixture into pan, spread oiled paper over to pand over this place a bcard and weight.  Let stand six hours or longer to ripen.  Remove from paper and cut in small pieces.

Mrs. De Graf's Nut Date and Chocolate Sweetmeat Recipe


Mrs. De Graf’s Pinoche Recipe

(Brown Sugar Fudge)

One cup brown sugar, one cup granulated sugar, half cup milk or thin cream, two teaspoons vanilla, one cup chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts.  Add milk to sugar, stir until dissolved and boil until syrup will form a soft ball when dropped in cold water.  Add nuts and flavorings and beat until creamy.  Pour into a buttered pan and when cool cut in squares.

Mrs. De Graf's Pinoche Recipe

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