Last weekend Sylvie and I undertook our fourth annual Christmas crafting weekend. We were pretty excited because this year we had a digital candy thermometer and a plan that was slightly less ambitious than in other years. We did some research and discovered that humidity is the most important element to control when making hard candy to avoid it from getting sticky. So with that in mind, we started the morning off with our usual sucre d’orge (barley sugar) recipe.
Last year we had mixed success with this recipe and it’s one of our favourite things to make, so this year we paid special attention to make sure there was good air circulation, we kept the room where the candies would cure at 18 degrees, and instead of making a double batch we made 3 single recipes.
The digit candy thermometer was a huge help.
We didn’t even stir the liquid when we added the colour, we just gently swirled the pot to combine the colour.
Using our candy molds we realized that one batch of candy made roughly 50 candies.
I was pretty excited because I was fairly certain we nailed the recipe this year.
And we did! The candies didn’t stick together, nor did they stick to our teeth. So exciting.
After we finished making 3 batches we moved on to making our handmade jellies. Similar to the last 2 years, we made green and red flavours.
We were very confident going into making the jellies because the last two times we made them they turned out really well.
The last two years we made these it was warm enough outside (roughly 5 degrees) that we could put the trays outside to set the jellies. This year however, it was too cold (-5 degrees) so we had to let them set in the fridge.
They still set in the fridge, but it took a few more hours than in the past (about 5 hours instead of 2). We ended up cutting these out of the pan at the very end of the night and they were still quite sticky.
The next morning we very carefully patted them in sugar, and they looked (and tasted) absolutely delicious. As usual, these are always better after a few days on the counter once they’ve had a chance to firm up.
While the jellies were setting, we started making our felt Christmas tree ornaments. We found this adorable idea online and Sylvie very carefully made us a cardboard template. We started by cutting out four little mittens. Next we embroidered little trees on two of the mittens.
I thought this part would be tricky, but it was actually easier than it seemed. Next we took red embroidery thread and stitched around the edges using a blanket stitch. Then we stuffed them with a bit of filler.
I was very grateful to have Sylvie there to help with this project because she knows all of the tricks and techniques. I had so much fun making these and I think they might be the pretties things I have ever made.
What a perfect Christmas crafting day we had!