Although making candy may seem like a daunting task, it is a tasty and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. With the approach of advance placement exams and standardized tests, these sweet treats will also provide a well-deserved distraction to any last-minute studying. Verde made three classic candies— lollipops, chocolate peanut butter cups, and caramel — and created easy-to-follow directions.

LOLLLIIIPOPPP
PBJJAJ
CARAMELLL

Lollipops

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ – 1 tsp extract of your choice
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Lollipop mold or non-stick silicone baking mat
  • Lollipop sticks

Directions:

  1. Prepare lollipop molds or silicone mat by spraying them lightly with nonstick cooking spray and placing the lollipop sticks
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Once boiling, insert candy thermometer
  3. When candy reaches degrees 295 F, remove from heat
  4. When it stops bubbling, stir in extract and food coloring
  5. Spoon the candy onto the sticks
  6. Allow to cool completely and remove once hardened

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • ¾ cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Set 18 mini paper baking cups on a baking sheet
  2. Melt 4 ounces of the chocolate in a double broiler
  3. Spoon 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate into each cup and use a small spoon to spread the chocolate slightly up the sides of each baking cup. Cool until mostly solid
  4. Mix together peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt
  5. Spoon 2 to 3 tsp of peanut butter mixture into the center of each cup and tap it down to create an even surface
  6. Melt the remaining 5 ounces of chocolate and spoon 1 teaspoon of chocolate onto the top of each cup
  7. Refrigerate until solid, about 30 minutes

Caramel

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (36-40% butterfat content)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place parchment paper into 9” by 5” loaf pan
  2. Cut butter into 8 pieces, combine with heavy cream and microwave until becomes liquid
  3. In a small saucepan, combine water and corn syrup. Then, add the sugar and stir it in
  4. When sugar has come to a boil, cover the saucepan with a lid for one minute
  5. Remove lid, then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Cook until the sugar reaches a temperature of 320 degrees F and takes on a light amber color
  6. Pour the butter and cream mixture slowly into the saucepan in portions and stir
  7. Continue cooking until the sugar reaches 240 degrees F. For harder caramels, cook until sugar reaches 245 degrees F
  8. When the caramel reaches the desired temperature, pour into prepared pan. Cool for 30 minutes, then scatter salt over the caramel. Let caramel cool an additional 3 hours.