17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, December 21, 1912: Had quite a time putting things in order this morning, but how long they will stay that way I can’t tell. Ruth made some Christmas candy this afternoon.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What kind of candy did Grandma’s sister Ruth make? . . .Maybe old-fashioned Coffee Candy? . . . Dare I suggest it? . . . I tried making Coffee Candy last December and it was a disaster that crumbled into tiny pieces. (See Interpreting Old Recipes: The Case of Coffee Candy.)
Usually when I have a cooking failure I never make the recipe again. But, bolstered by everyone’s comments and suggestions last year, I decided to give it another try.
I made some adaptations to the recipe I used last year. Here’s what I did:
Old-fashioned Coffee Candy
Boil together over moderate heat, without stirring, one-half cup strong coffee, two tablespoons butter, and two cups sugar. Boil to soft ball stage (238 degrees). Remove the pan from stove. Beat rapidly until it creams. Stir in a cup of chopped walnuts, press firmly into a buttered pan and cut into squares. (I used a 6 1/2-inch square pan.)
This Coffee Candy turned out much better this year. It had a nice coffee flavor, and a texture similar to pralines. It still had a slight tendency to crumble when I cut it, but most pieces came out of the pan just fine.
21 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Coffee Candy Recipe”
Yum, this sounds like a mocha, nutty fudge type of candy. I’m in!
The texture isn’t the same as fudge–it’s not as creamy and smooth.
WOW, that takes a mountain of sugar doesn’t it? Well I guess they just used what they had on hand. I love looking thru old cookbooks.
I also like looking at old cookbooks. I’m also always surprised how few ingredients most recipes used back then. Two, three, or four ingredients were typical a hundred years ago.
sounds good – who needs a cup of coffee with that candy!! LOL No sugar or fat free stuff back then that is for sure! Merry Christmas!
That coffee candy sounds yummy! Pralines are always crumbly — but that’s a bit earlier moment in sugar crystalization than softball — at least on my stove. If you want it creamier, I bet there’s a way to do it that involves a slightly higher heat — but not so high you get taffy or hard candy. Might they have made candy from molasses, do you know? Thanks for sharing this! Now I’m obsessed — what IS Christmas Candy exactly in those days?!!!!
I’ll have to try these ideas sometime. I feel like if I made this recipe 4 or 5 times I’d get it right–but oh, my goodness, I don’t need all that candy around the house. 🙂
You’re not kidding! Having a baking blog means — baking! Very fattening. 🙂
Yes, in Laura Ingalls Cookbook she said they made candy from hot molasses in a pan with cold snow.
A candy mystery!
I wish your grandmother would’ve included the recipe! Wouldn’t that be fun! 🙂
So do I! Of course she had not idea we’d be reading this a hundred years later, so it never would have crossed her mind to include it.
Ooooh! That coffee candy sounds wonderful. 🙂
I love your posts, I just hope your Grandma lived a very long life.
She did–She was 85 when she died..
Great perseverance Sheryl…it will be 100% perfect in 2013.
I am looking for southern (Arkansas) watermelon jam and maple cream candies recipes?! If someone could point me the right way.
I don’t have the recipes that you are looking for – but I’m very intrigued by the idea of making jam using watermelon. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you find the recipe.