A few years ago I bought some "Survival Candy" at a gun show for $1.99 for about 8 oz of hard candy. I was sitting around the other day thinking about the silly candy so I did a Google search and found that I could still buy some, only now it would cost between $4.99 and $7.99 depending on which site you went to. Being the cheap SOB I am I decided to make some of my own.
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Step 1: What You Need
- 2 cups Granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
- 2 1/2 table spoons Flavoring
- 3/4 cup water
- Food Coloring
- Powdered sugar
- Cooking spray
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Large sauce pan
- Cookie sheet
- Aluminium Foil
- Candy Thermometer
Make sure all of your ingredients and tools are within easy reach of the stove.
Once you have assembled all your tools and ingredients line your cookie sheet with aluminium foil, give it a LIGHT COAT of cooking spray, and set it aside for now.
Step 2: Mixing and Cooking
Add the granulated sugar, light corn syrup, and water to the sauce pan and cook over med-high heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
Once all the sugar has dissolved place your candy thermometer in the pan making sure that it doesn't touch the bottom of the pan.
Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.
If you need to you can "wash down" any sugar crystals that may form on the sides of the pan with a very wet pastry brush.
Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches between 250-260 degrees then add your food coloring until you get the desired color. Don't stir the mixture after you add the coloring since the boiling action will mix it into the syrup thoroughly.
Remove from heat at precisely 300 degrees F (keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise some after you pull the syrup from the heat) or if you aren't using a thermometer, drops of the syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water (hard crack stage). After all the boiling action has stopped add your flavoring and stir thoroughly.
BE CAREFUL WHEN ADDING YOUR FLAVORING TO AVOID POPPING AND STEAM.
Step 3: Pouring and Breaking
Once you have finished adding your flavoring pour the entire mess into the lined cookie sheet you coated (LIGHTLY) with cooking spray and set it all aside while you clean up your mess.
Once the "Survival Candy" has cooled enough that you can touch it without burning yourself (about 15-20 minutes give or take a few minutes) cut the big piece into smaller ones with a sharp knife (I used an old cheese knife). If it sticks give the blade a good coat of cooking spray to keep it from lifting the candy out of the pan.
Allow the whole thing to cool completely (about 1 hour or so) and then dust it with the powdered sugar. I would say use a sifter of some kind so you don't make the mess I did or add as much as I did since you are just looking to dust it with the powdered sugar.
Flip the whole thing over, don't worry if it breaks when you do, and dust the other side too.
Once you have dusted both sides break the candy up along the lines you scored into it and place in a large zip-lock or other storage bag.
Step 4: Conclusion
OK, so I just made old fashioned hard candy and called it "Survival Candy" you say? And you would be absolutely correct! But, believe it or not it actually does have uses in your survival kit.
If you have a "sweet tooth" like I do this candy will help with that in a world where getting a Reese's Cup or two is going to be a pain.
Also, each piece has around 80-90 calories (depending on the size you make or break them) based on the ingredients used to make them and the overall size/weight of the completed sheet of candy and some (I am sure bad) math which can give you some quick energy in a survival situation . Their light weight makes them easy to pack and they do add a psychological "boost" to your kit.
This recipe makes just about 1 pound or so of the candy (at least it felt like it was about a pound) and costs about $ .02 per piece or $ 1.20 per sheet (depending on how big you make the pieces).
I look forward to reading your comments.
As always, Train to Survive!