Candy Corn

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
45 min
20 min
5 min

60 to 80 pieces

  • 4 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/4 cups
  • 1/2 -ounce nonfat dry milk, approximately 6 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 3 3/4 ounces light corn syrup, approximately 1/3 cup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 drops yellow and orange gel paste food coloring

Combine the powdered sugar, dry milk and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 to 5 times until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a 2-quart pot. Put over medium heat, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the butter, clip on a candy thermometer, and bring the mixture to 230 degrees F, about 1 to 2 minutes. When the sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees F, take the pot off the heat and remove the thermometer. Add the vanilla and the dry mixture, stirring continuously with a silicone spatula until well combined. Pour onto a half sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat. Cool until the mixture is cool enough to handle, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Add 2 drops of yellow food coloring to 1 piece and knead the dough until the color is consistent throughout. Add 2 drops of orange to the second piece, and knead until the color is consistent throughout. Leave the third piece white. Roll each piece of dough into a strand, about 18-inches long. Cut each strand in half.

Roll 1 of the white pieces into a strand that is about 1/2-inch thick and about 22-inches long. Repeat with a yellow piece and orange piece. Lay the strands side by side and press them together using your fingers. Cut the strand into 4-inch pieces. Lay the strands, 1 at a time, onto the silicone mat and press into a wedge shape, like a triangle. Use a wire butter slicer to cut the candies into pieces. If you don't have a wire butter slicer, use a knife, metal bench scraper or pizza cutter to slice the dough into small pieces. Repeat the procedure with remaining dough. Lay the finished pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to dry for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.

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    I love this! I'm not a big candy corn fan, but this is so fresh, and pretty much tastes like vanilla-sugar. Not processed tasting at all, like the store-bought kind. You do have to work quickly when it comes to dying the dough - I only waited a few mins, and started dying as soon as it didn't actually burn me. Also, don't skip the butter slicer if you can get one. It took me hours to shape all of those little triangles, but it was worth it!
    This recipe can be a little intimidating, but don't be afraid! On my first try I failed, I let the candy cool off for too long. I got it right on my second batch. You should start working the candy as soon as it doesn't burn your hands, which was about 3 minutes for me. I highly recommend getting the butter slicer because it really helps get the job done fast. WORK FAST! DON'T DILLYDALLY! The end result is just so darn delicious! LOVE this recipe!
    OK.... I'll try again tomorrow. First time I made it I realized why I had to pulse the dry ingredients..... to get the powdered milk to ...powder... ick. Threw it out! 
    Second time I made it. layed the dough out on my silicone sheet, waited almost 10 minutes, still too hot but... added the food coloring and it all began to crackle up in my hands.. tastes good though :- 
    I'll try again tomorrow night. thinking that I shouldn't bring the heat all the way to 230 deg????
    Very Tasty, but I need to work faster next time!
    tasted like a million bucks but they didn't look that great. i have no idea how he got the white part so pointy?
    Delicious, made me never want to buy store bought ever ever again. It is a little time consuming to roll each piece out and get them to look nice, I also used a pizza cutter and my orange butt shaped end would roll pointy as i cut them so i had to go back and reshape them after they were cut, but definitely delicious and consistency perfect. Alton, you are the man.
    We loved them. Took no time to make the dough. Had some trouble trying to get the shape right. It was smooth and creamy, not waxing or gritty. I will make it again.
    Just a reminder that any candy is very difficult to make properly when the humidity is high. I never make candy on a hot humid day or on a rainy day. The sugar absorbs too much moisture from the air resulting in a gooey product.
    I went with the teaspoons instead of tablespoons for the water, and went to 240 degrees. I alse added a little honey. The texture was good on the first couple i rolled out, but as it cooled it got really hard to meld the three colors together. I used a pizza cutter to slice them and it worked really well. The end result was really good.
    Ok. Love Alton, love the recipe. But realized why I think we are having some trouble. The first ingredient is 4.5 ounces of powdered sugar, but it also says that is equivalent to 1 1/4 cups. That is twice as many cups as it is ounces, right? We've been using the cups and it was too thick.
    Fantastic! It was much better than the store-bought kind.
    The only issue I had was that as the dough cooled off & became too stiff to roll. I put it in the microwave at the LOWEST power for 3 to 5 seconds (no more of you will have a goopy mess in your microwave. The dough softened up and I was able to roll & shape it just fine.
    I wanted to make butterfingers and didn't have candy corn and ran across this recipe so thought I'd give it a try. But I'm an improviser, so I can't honestly tell you how this recipe came Instead of using powdered milk (since I didn't have any, I substituted 2 1/4 tablespoons of milk and left out the water. After I got it all cooked up and added what it called for, I also added about 1/4 cup of cocoa and sugar (which just happened to be sitting within reach on the cabinet and about 1/3 cup of crunchy peanut butter. Oh my. I may have to hide it from was good.
    I made 2 batches. For the first try, I had the heat up too high and it turned to stone. The 2nd batch I cooked to 230 and it was too runny. I put it back on the stove to cook to 240 and still too runny. So I added more powdered sugar and that seem to do the trick. 
    I also added about a tablespoon of honey to the wet mixture and it turned out just like store bought. 
    Cut each piece by hand and then shaped it. 
    It was a lot of work and I don't think I would do it again, but I'm glad I did it.
    Delicious! When I made it the first time, the candies were too soft. The second time, I took other reviewers' suggestions of raising the temp to 240 F, and it worked wonderfully! 
    A great holiday variation: substitute the vanilla with a combination of 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract, and color as desired for whatever winter holiday you like. (I tried just peppermint, and it was missing something. The combo of vanilla and peppermint was a great balance.
    I made the candy corn and went by the recipe exactly, and it came out perfect. So much better than the store bought candy corn.
    Disappointing. tried this twice. yummy, but just got goop, not dough. i'll try again, and follow the recommendation that its 2 1/2 teasp instead of tbsp. maybe that'll help.
    Good stuff!
    I always want to kick myself when I don't read the reviews before.. and of course I had similar problems with the consistency of the "dough" and a few days later they are still soft... they taste amazing but the texture of them doesn't give me the candy corn experience that I like... Definitely will make them again following everyone's temperature and water corrections.
    I also made these the first time according to directions, and they were goopy, and I had to throw them away. Then I used less water, and boiled the syrup to 240 degrees, and voila, they were perfect. I do agree with others that othere types of flavorings will be good, so that is my next direction. Thanks Alton, love the show!
    Yet another winning recipe from Alton! He's my hero! Some candy-making tips for those who have had problems: 
    - NEVER use teflon coated pots. Use a stainless steel pot. Many will disagree with me, but trust me, your sugar will crystallize sooo much better. 
    - Altitude affects temperature when making candy. Reduce the desired temperature by 2 degrees per 1,000 feet of altitude over 1,000. I spent the last 10 years living at 6400 feet, so all my candy making recipes I reduced by 11 degrees. 
    - Humidity affects candy making. It's best to make candy when it is dry out, the lower the humidity, the better.  
    - Margarine does not equal butter. Don't use margarine in candy making when the recipe calls for butter. Margarine has a much higher water content than butter and can be the primary cause of "goop" syndrome! 
    Hope this helps some! 
    I love candy corn as it is, but homemade candy corn is even better than from the store. Another plus is that all of the ingredients are so cheap you are spending probably less than a dollar to make this. I have another recipe for candy corn and although I used all of Alton's measurements and steps, I did allow the sugar mixture to reach 240 degrees before I took it off the stove. The 'dough' was easy to work with and when left over night the candy corn hardened nicely. Great recipe and lots of fun!
    The candy tasted really good and the instructions were complete and easy to follow. I made these over Thanksgiving break with my brother in-law and it was very fun. You can bend a metal coat hanger to hold a regular digital thermometer in the boiling mixture and it will work very well. We also used parchment paper and didn't have any problems with it.
    My son and I had a great time making these. They are easier than you think and very tasty. You won't save money by making your own, but you will impress the neighbors!
    This candy was easy to make and very delicious. I recommend using a small pot for your sugar/butter mixture or your candy thermometer may night reach the mixture. I found that it is easier to roll out the candy on a silpat rather than trying to do it on parchment. Overall: Easy, delicious and versatile. I'd like to try using peppermint extract next time or even almond...mmm.
    I have NEVER in my life liked candy corn until now. I made this recipe for my family and friends this Halloween and everyone including me, loved it. I had never made any type of candy at home before and found this recipe easy to follow and it turned out really well. Thank you Alton :)
    These are way tastier than the ones you buy in the store. Like fresh, homemade marshmallow and so buttery. They are very time consuming, so grab a friend, but they are very impressive and so adorable. The only reason I gave the recipe 4 stars instead of 5 was because I think there's a problem with the amount of water as the reviewer ian.m suggested. It should probably read 2 1/2 tsp. not 2 1/2 Tbsp. The first time I made them, they were so sticky and impossible to work with, I had to throw them away. The next day I tried again with less water and voila! They came out just fine. Thinking maybe Cupid Corn in February -- Red, Pink & White.
    My daughter has Celiac disease (gluten intolerant and she can not eat the store bought version of candy corn due to cross contamination. We made Alton's version on Saturday and it turned out better then we could have hoped. It was a fun father/daughter project, looked great and tasted even better. Next time we may use honey as a flavoring in place of the vanilla.

    Worked well and tastes awesome. Very labor-intensive, however. I was originally going to make two batches, but by the time I was finished with the first, my hands hurt from rolling the candy and trying to form the corn shapes. Weighing was VERY important, as was using a good candy thermometer and zeroing it out first (boil water with it that day, water boils at 220 and stays there - if it hits a plateau and doesn't budge up anymore at a full boil, add/subtract what you need to determine how accurate the candy thermometer really is, then adjust your candy temp accordingly), a good tip the local cake store recommended.
    Tastes great, but I also got a big gooey mess. I tried to fix it and make it more like a dough by adding some powdered sugar, and working it, like I would bread dough and flour. It seemed to work, then I made it into the candy corn shapes. I'm letting it harden right now, but it's already been over 2 1/2 hours, and they are still pretty soft. I think if I make them again, I would make sure to weigh the ingredients instead of using cups and tablespoons, etc. If I do make them again, it probably won't be until next Halloween, because these are really labor intensive!!  
    this recipe is hard and doesn't work that well they always come out like blobs
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