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Divas on a Dime: Quick and easy Christmas candy with a crunch

Have you ever had this stuff? It goes by lots of names.

As a kid growing up in Oregon, there’s a candy shop on the coast in Cannon Beach we’d always visit, and they called it “seafoam.”

My British mother called it “cinder toffee.” I’ve heard it called sponge toffee, golden crunchers, hokey pokey, fairy food candy and last, but not least – honeycomb toffee. That’s probably the most official moniker of this beloved candy.

I had never made honeycomb until I started recipe tests for this. It looks like it should be difficult. But I assure you it’s so easy it’s fun! It’s like putting on a show. Or a science project.

When you add the baking soda to the caramel it foams up gloriously! Then you pour it onto a baking sheet and it magically hardens (I know it’s not magic, it’s science but it’s Christmas, play along) into a delicate crunchy foam. For a special treat, dip honeycomb in very good dark chocolate. Divine! A perfect holiday gift from the kitchen, from the heart.

Honeycomb Toffee

Yield: About 25 pieces

Time: 10 minutes

What You’ll Need:

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup water

3 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup corn syrup

3 teaspoons baking soda

Chocolate – optional

Here’s How:

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Neatness doesn’t count since the honeycomb will flatten it down later. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water. Briefly stir once so all the sugar has been moistened. Don’t stir this mixture again because it will cause the mixture to form crystals. Just trust me and don’t do it. Place a candy thermometer in the mixture, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to medium high, stay close and watch as the ingredients start to meld together as the sugar starts to dissolve. Don’t stir. Resist temptation.

Depending on the strength of your stovetop, in about 5–10 minutes the mixture should reach 300ºF, then remove the pan from the heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, boil until amber colored and the sugar looks like caramel. With a wooden spoon, stir in the baking soda and behold! Once it has stopped foaming up, pour the mixture onto the parchment paper. Let cool until hardened, about an hour. Tap the honeycomb with a knife to break into pieces.

Store honeycomb in an airtight container, or it can absorb moisture from the air and soften.

To dip honeycomb in chocolate; melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring at 30-second increments until melted. Dip pieces of honeycomb in chocolate and place on parchment to firm up. Share with very special people.

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, ask for one for Christmas. There’s still time. They’re inexpensive and it’ll open new culinary horizons for you.

One of my objectives for Divas On A Dime is to elevate inexpensive, common ingredients, transforming them into something special. This recipe for honeycomb candy fits the bill perfectly. All of us at Divas On A Dime wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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