Yes we know it's January, and in theory, we should all be chomping on celery sticks and running half marathons before breakfast. But let's be honest, it's a cold and drab month and we all need some fun home projects to enjoy.
Whether or not we have children, grandchildren or simply our own sweet tooth, nothing beats the absolute treat of delicious sweets. And the great thing is that they are often very easy to make and a lot of fun in the process. When you make your own sweets you get to enjoy being creative, get to see exactly what is going into them and can experiment too with recipes that you don't often find in the shops. Homemade is invariably less expensive as well, so you can see this as a money-saving new year initiative.
Start by trying these easy sweet recipes:
Nothing beats creamy and soft, melt-in-your-mouth British fudge and the good news is that it's easy to make your own and customise your recipes to suit every taste. You'll need a tin of condensed milk, 450g of light brown sugar, 120 grams of cubed butter, 125 ml of milk and a pinch of salt.
Start by lining a 20cm square tin with greaseproof paper or use a silicone dish. Put a glass of cold water in the fridge with ice cubes as you will use this later. Add all of the ingredients, except for the salt, into a dry and large saucepan, stirring continuously over a low heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. At this point, bring the heat to medium-high for ten minutes and allow the mix to reach a rolling boil while you stir it continuously to prevent any burning. It will reduce and darken and at this point you can use a teaspoon to drizzle a little into your icy glass of water. If it becomes a soft ball that you can mould when it goes into the water, it's ready. If it sticks to your fingers or the glass, keep boiling it and retest every couple of minutes. Finally, add the pinch of salt, beat the mix and allow it to cool in the pan for ten minutes, before beating again to crack the top that will form, leaving for five minutes, beating again and pouring into your tin.
It will then just need to go into the fridge for a few hours until it's firm and you can then cut it into squares with a knife. This is a great recipe to customise by adding nuts, chocolate chunks or food flavourings in the final beating stages before the mix goes into the pan to set.
This recipe couldn't be simpler and it's a lot of fun for kids to make too. Simply sieve 250g of icing sugar into a bowl and add a little amount of one egg white, along with a touch of peppermint essence. Mix it well until the mixture forms a soft dough, adding a little egg white each time. When the consistency is soft and pliable, divide the mix up and make small balls, flattening them gently into discs. Place each disc onto a board or baking tray, and either allow them to set overnight or dip each peppermint disc into a little melted chocolate for a chocolate-covered peppermint patty - absolutely delicious!.
Equipment to stock up on
Generally, if you're experimenting with confectionary making (especially with toffee, caramels or boiled sweets) you'll need a sugar thermometer, large pans for the hob and moulds or pans for your sweets - silicone dishes are often very good for this and easy to care for. Buy plenty of glass sweet jars to keep your homemade sweets lovely and fresh. They look beautiful and satisfy all of the requirements for sustainability, durability and hygiene.
You can get a lovely selection of glass sweet jars at Wares, and we sell a range of sizes, designs and lid types. For example, you can get a traditional side-leaning glass sweet jar with a screw top cap for easy access. Or you can buy beautifully decorated glass jars with handled lids and these look so pretty on display surfaces, especially filled with enticing sweets. Small glass sweet jar options also make fantastic gifts or treats for a wedding, party or special occasion and you can completely customise them too.
Get in touch
For any queries about our products or to discuss a bulk order for additional pricing benefits, please contact the team at Wares who will be delighted to help. Follow us on social media too and sign up to our newsletter for all of the latest news, tips, ideas, offers and product releases. We look forward to serving you at Wares and helping you to enjoy your home to its full potential.