Candy Cane

Candy canes are a common sight seen during Christmas. They are not only popular as sweets but are also used as a piece of decoration during this festive season. Initially, when the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree was started in Europe people started using real food products like candies and cookies to decorate these trees. The candy cane made their appearance during this time only. The candy canes which were then introduced were plain white straight sugar candy sticks. In the early era of 1670 these sticks were bent in the shapes of the shepherd's crook

People started using candy canes to decorate their Christmas trees. Largely, the use of these canes was seen in America in the eighteenth century. However these candy canes were still plain white. In the early twentieth century these canes started appearing with red stripes. People started honoring this cane and it was given religious importance. It was believed that it represented the name of "JESUS" as the sticks were bent in the shape of letter "J".

Candy canes are solid hard candies and are mostly peppermint flavored. These are available in different flavors as well. The peppermint flavor is regarded as a member of mint family called hyssop. Hyssop was symbolized as a mark of purity and sacrifices which was made by Jesus Christ. It was also believed that the white color in the cane represented the purity of the virgin birth of Jesus and the red strips represented the love of God.

Candy cane cookies are a mixture of vanilla, peppermint, butter and food color. The ingredients and the procedure for making these candies:

3 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4th tsp salt, 1 1/4 cup soft butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp peppermint extract and 1/2 tsp red food color.

Procedure: Mix the butter, flour sugar, salt, egg and the vanilla extract together. Blend the mixture well with a hand mixer on a low speed. Divide the mixture into two halves. Keep aside one half. In the other half add the food color and mix it well. Preheat the oven on 375. Roll the plain half into a four inch rope shape. Repeat the same with the colored mixture. Keep both the ropes side by side and attach them together by twisting the colored rope on the white rope. Arrange all the rolled sticks on a baking tray and bake them for ten minutes on 375 temperature. These candy canes can be stored up till one week.

Different candies are made by mixing sugar with milk or water. This mixture is boiled at different temperatures to get desired consistency. To make hard candies the mixture is boiled at high temperature likewise to make the candies soft the mixture is boiled at lower temperature. The final texture and the taste of the candies depend up on the ingredients used in the mixtures. Many candies are made by using animal products which are not edible for the vegetarian people. Rainbows of candies are available in the market catering different occasions adding a touch of love and traditional.

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