mondaymunchiesIt’s official:  holiday time is here.  People are making all kinds of special foods that are homemade only during this time of year!

I like to make candy – all kinds of candy.  One of those kinds is pepper jelly candy.

It’s easy, but if you’re being “helped” by small children, keep them away from the hot mixture!  Be sure, too, that your small children understand that pepper jelly candy isn’t as sweet as regular candy.

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons white sugar; keep the tablespoon handy!

1/3 cup fruit juice – anything except orange, because that’s another ingredient

1/3 cup pepper jelly – any flavor

2/3 cup orange juice

8 tablespoons corn syrup; keep another tablespoon handy!  (not the same one)

8 tablespoons gelatin, unflavored, and use still another tablespoon

(all of those tablespoons will be used several times, so don’t try to use just one for everything!)

Food coloring, if you think you need it, but you probably won’t unless you want really vivid candy.

What to do:

This can be a little complicated, so be sure you read through before you start.  TexasChristmas

Spray an 8 x 8 pan with water – NOT oil!

Put 4 tablespoons of the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water to soften for about five minutes.

Put the fruit juice, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and 4 tablespoons of the corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Don’t step away from the pan.

This is the time for the food coloring if you want it.

Pour this mixture into the water-sprayed pan and let it set, about an hour in the refrigerator.

Do this again with the orange juice, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of corn syrup, simmering until the sugar dissolves.  Again, don’t leave the pan unattended.

Stir in the gelatin until it dissolves.  Let this mixture cool, in the pan, for about ten minutes.

Remove first pan from ‘fridge.  Pour second mixture over first mixture and put it back in the refrigerator for another hour.

Once your pan’s contents have set, remove it from the ‘fridge and cut it into any shapes you desire; my kids like worms.  You can also use your holiday cookie cutters; there are always volunteers to eat up the scraps.

This is a very pretty, two-layered, two-colored candy.  It’s soft and easy to eat, but if you plan to let your toddlers try it, be prepared: remember, it’s made with pepper jelly, and will have a bit of a “bite” to it.

It’s absolutely delicious.  Very UN-typical flavor, and my family is crazy about it.

This very different candy makes a fantastic gift, too.  Keep that in mind!