Last Updated on November 4, 2023
Ribbon candy is a traditional holiday treat that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a beautiful and colorful confection.
The concoction is cooked until it forms a soft paste-like consistency which is then poured onto a baking sheet.This delicious treat can be used as an edible decoration on holiday gifts or as a sweet snack anytime.
In this article, I will be teaching you how to make ribbon candy. We will start with the ingredients, discuss what to serve this delicious treat with. So let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What is Ribbon Candy?
Ribbon candy is a type of hard candy that has been around since the 18th century. It is made by boiling sugar and other sweeteners until a soft paste-like consistency is achieved.
This mixture is then poured onto a baking sheet and cut into thin strips. The candy is then twisted into ribbons and left to cool. This creates the beautiful, unique look that ribbon candy is known for.
What does it taste like?
Ribbon candy has a sweet and slightly crunchy texture. The flavor profile ranges from mild to strong depending on the type of flavorings used.
Most ribbon candy is flavored with a combination of peppermint and other natural flavorings, such as citrus or almond. However, you can customize the flavor by adding your own favorite flavors.
How did I first get introduced to the Ribbon Candy?
I first heard of ribbon candy when I was a child. My family and I were decorating gingerbread houses for the holidays when we stumbled upon an old cookbook that called for ribbon candy. We had no idea what it was but decided to give it a try.
When our creation came out of the oven, we were amazed by its beautiful appearance. The colorful stripes of candy spiraled around the pan in a mesmerizing pattern. We were also surprised by how good it tasted; the peppermint flavor was sweet yet refreshing.
Ever since then, I have been hooked on making ribbon candy for every holiday season. It’s not only fun to make but also adds a festive touch to any dessert table.
Plus, it’s a great way to get creative by adding different colors and flavors.
Making ribbon candy is much easier than most people think.
How to make Ribbon Candy?
Making ribbon candy is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. Gather the ingredients & follow the step-by-step instructions below:
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- Cooking spray: This is used to lightly coat the cooking surface.
- Sugar: This forms the base of the Ribbon Candy and gives it its sweet taste.
- Light Corn Syrup: Corn syrup helps bind the mixture together as well as adds texture and flavor.
- Water: Water helps dissolve some of the ingredients to form a paste-like consistency.
- Peppermint Extract: This gives the Ribbon Candy its signature flavor.
- Green and Red Food Coloring: These are used to give the Ribbon candy it’s recognizable stripe pattern.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and set aside.
Over medium heat, add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture turns a pale yellow.
Remove from heat, add peppermint extract and food coloring. Stir until fully mixed.
Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using a lightly oiled spatula or spoon, spread the mixture evenly over the pan. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into strips.
Once the mixture has cooled, cut into thin strips using a lightly oiled knife or metal spatula. Make sure to not make the strips too thick or too thin.
Let the candy sit for at least an hour before serving.
-Make sure to cut the candy into even strips so they all cook evenly.
-The ribbon candy may stick to the baking sheet after cooking, but a lightly oiled spatula should help you remove it.
-For thicker pieces of candy, double or triple the recipe.
-Experiment with different food colorings and flavorings for your own unique Ribbon Candy.
Ribbon Candy Recipe
- Large Bowl
- candy thermometer
- Parchment paper
- 2 drops of vibrant green food coloring adjust the amount to achieve the desired shade reminiscent of fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon of refreshing peppermint extract derived from the finest mint leaves for its invigorating flavor and aroma
- 1.5 cups of fine granulated sugar carefully measured to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness
- 1/2 cup of light corn syrup a golden elixir that lends a subtle sweetness and smooth texture to the confection
- 2 drops of rich red food coloring adjust the amount to achieve the desired shade reminiscent of luscious candy canes
- 2 tablespoons of pristine water sourced from a natural spring to ensure purity in the recipe
- Cooking spray a fine mist of non-stick magic to ensure the confection doesn’t adhere to the pan (use the same amount as needed to coat the pan)
- Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and set aside.
- Over medium heat, add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture turns a pale yellow.
- Remove from heat, add peppermint extract and food coloring. Stir until fully mixed.
- Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using a lightly oiled spatula or spoon, spread the mixture evenly over the pan. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into strips.
- Once the mixture has cooled, cut into thin strips using a lightly oiled knife or metal spatula. Make sure to not make the strips too thick or too thin.
- Let the candy sit for at least an hour before serving.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
What to serve with Ribbon Candy?
Ribbon candy is best enjoyed alone as a snack, but you can also serve it with other holiday treats such as fudge, brownies, and cookies.
It makes an excellent topping for ice cream, and makes a great gift when packaged in cellophane bags or decorative boxes.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use ribbon candy as an edible decoration for cakes and cupcakes. Just break I up into small pieces and sprinkle on top.
How to store leftover Ribbon Candy?
Ribbon candy can last a long time if stored properly. The best way to keep it fresh is to wrap each piece in wax paper and store it in an airtight container. This will help keep the candy from losing its flavor or becoming stale.
It’s important to note that ribbon candy should not be refrigerated as this can cause the sugar crystals to clump together. If stored correctly, your ribbon candy can last for up to six months.
Can pregnant women eat this?
Pregnant women should avoid eating large amounts of ribbon candy due to the high sugar content. The added sugars can increase blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for pregnant women.
If you are pregnant and want to indulge in a piece or two of ribbon candy, just make sure to do so in moderation.
It’s important to remember that no amount of ribbon candy is considered safe during pregnancy, so be sure to speak with your doctor before consuming it.
What other flavors of ribbon candy are there?
You can customize the flavor of your ribbon candy by adding different natural flavorings such as citrus or almond, in addition to the traditional peppermint.
Does ribbon candy contain any nutritional value?
Sadly, no. Ribbon candy consists mainly of sugar and does not provide any significant nutritional value.
Can ribbon candy be used to decorate cakes or cupcakes?
Yes! Ribbon candy makes an excellent edible decoration for cakes and cupcakes. Just break it up into small pieces and sprinkle on top!
Can ribbon candy be frozen?
Yes! Ribbon candy can be frozen for up to three months. However, it is important to note that the texture may change slightly after thawing.
Ribbon candy is a fun and festive treat that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone sit face! It makes an excellent holiday dessert and is easy to customize with different colors and flavors.
With some simple ingredients, tools, and step-by-step instructions you can easily make your own ribbon candy at home! Just remember to store it properly for the best results.
Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy making your own homemade ribbon candy this holiday season!
Please share this article with friends and family so they can learn how to make their own ribbon candy too!
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Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.