Everyone acknowledges that homemade costumes are so much cooler than store-bought ones. But if you really want to take your do-it-yourself Halloween cred to the next level, you’ve got to forsake the store-bought sweets, too. From the book "Field Guide to Candy" by Anita Chu, here’s a recipe for making your very own candy corn—tested and annotated by us.
Ingredients: [Never double this recipe. We did, and we assure you—just one batch makes plenty of candy corn to go around.]
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup dry powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar [You may be able to co-opt this one from your dining hall. We'd like to thank Pfoho for its contribution to our batch!]
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup unsalted butter [You can use salted butter, also available in your dining hall, and forgo the salt in the recipe.]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine confectioners’ sugar, powdered milk, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. [There’s a neat chemical reaction that happens here. Science concentrators out there, feel free to explain it to us!]
4. Add the dry milk mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Let mixture rest for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle.
5. Divide dough into 3 equal parts and place each portion in a bowl. Add coloring as desired. [This means one part yellow and one part orange!]
6. Knead each portion of dough until the coloring is evenly distributed and the dough is smooth and stiff.
7. Roll each portion into a rope about 1/2 inch thick. [We recommend much thinner than that.]
8. Place the three ropes of dough next to each other to form a long rectangle. Use a rolling pin to gently press them together.
9. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into triangles and place on a baking sheet. Let set for about 1 hour. [Don’t forget the most important step: eat and enjoy! Happy Halloween!]
Video by Andrew J. Petschek, Xi Yu, and Julie Zauzmer/The Harvard Crimson.