Old Honey Candy Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, March 7, 1913: Ruth and I went to a candy box social up at Smith’s School House tonight. We walked up but rode home with her cavalier.

DSC07187

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Whew, it must have been a  2 or 3 mile walk to Smith School. I think that the school was located  out in the country near the intersection of Vincent Road and 8th Street Drive.

This was the third time that a box social has been mentioned in 1913. They must have been really popular back then. It sounds like the box social went well for Grandma’s sister Ruth. I wonder who got Grandma’s box of candy.

What kinds of candy did the Grandma and Ruth make? Here’s an old recipe for Honey Candy that I found in the December, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

Honey Candy

One quart of honey, three heaping teaspoonfuls of butter, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, half a teaspoonful of baking soda, and two teaspoonfuls of lemon extract. Put the honey, butter, and vinegar into a saucepan, and boil until the mixture will harden when dropped into cold water; then stir in the baking soda and the lemon extract. Pour into a buttered tin to cool. When half cold mark into squares and when cold break apart.

The candy turned out well, but has a different taste from the typical corn syrup-based hard candy of today. It is a rich buttery hard candy with concentrated honey undertones. It’s the perfect candy to satisfy my sweet tooth–without making me want to eat a second piece.

This mixture boils at a low temperature. Most of the time, I had it on the low setting on my stove to keep it from boiling over.

It takes a long time to get the boiling mixture to the hard crack stage (300 degrees). I boiled it for about 1 1/2 hours.

You may also enjoy these previous posts with old candy recipes:

Old-fashioned Sugar Taffy Recipe

Old Cocoa Fudge Recipe

1911 Chocolate Fudge Recipes

Old-fashioned Butterscotch Recipe

Old-fashioned  Coffee Candy Recipe

Sour Cream Fudge

24 Responses

  1. My grandma used to make divinity, I tried it once and it was a huge fail!

    • Candy is tricky. Your comment reminds me that my mother used to make divinity. I’ll try it sometime.

    • Once your divinity is complete, you have to let it cool down in a very cool room. If you are making in the winter time, use a closed in porch to let it cool. I have a room that I close off the vents to allow it to cool down in.

      • Thanks for the information. I’ve been thinking that I should try making divinity sometime before the holidays and the information about the cool room is very helpful.

  2. I bought a candy thermometer 5 years ago to make poppycock for Mr B. I never got around to it and I still haven’t opened the thermometer…that’s what I call procrastination…LOL

  3. Sounds great! I LOVE cooking with Honey too – did a Salted Honey Caramel recently which is now my favourite thing with Ice Cream… If I can do it without messing up, I’m sure that anyone can: http://pudhogblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/recipe-salted-honey-caramel/

    Happy Hogging!

    P-H x

  4. Does “cavalier” refer to a boyfriend?

  5. As a young girl, probably about the same age as your Grandma when she wrote this entry, I made candy for Christmas gifts. Sadly, what was supposed to be taffy came out as an oddly-colored hard candy. I have not been brave enough to attempt candy-making since.

    • You probably cooked it too long. You should try making candy again. A certain percentage of my candy-making efforts inevitably end up being failures, which makes the successes all the sweeter. :)

  6. The candy looks really good. I also see the hints of a beautiful serving tray peeking out from under the candy.

  7. I’ve never had the patience for candy making.

  8. what a cool idea…wonder if that’s a social idea that could be revived? I know the kids of today wouldn’t go for it, but I’m betting some of my mom buddies would like to go to a candy box social…I think I’ll try planning one !
    Kassie aka “Mom”
    ps…no Cavaliers allowed!!!

  9. The only candy I can make blindfolded is peanut brittle, but these recipes sound wonderful too. I love the idea of a candy box social too. Lovely post Sheryl.

  10. The look of your candy kind of reminded me of the Bit O’ Honey candies. These sound wonderful though. I’m sure fudge, taffies, caramels, and nut brittles would have been likely offerings at such a social.

  11. I used to make honey taffy with my Mother-in-law. Seems to be a similar recipe…but so easy….no pulling! This is a great recipe. :)

    • Honey taffy sounds good. This candy is harder than the typical taffy–but maybe if, I’d cooked it a little less, it would have had more of a taffy consistency.

  12. Ooo, yummy! I like cooking (though I’ve hardly ever done it). I’ll see if my mom’ll let me do this.
    Also, this may be a stupid question and I can probably look it up, but, what is a box social?
    o.O

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