I just did a trial run with this recipe, my first time making candy, much leess candied apples. I added about a tsp of vanilla extract near the 250 degree mark to flavor, but may try a tablespoon of red hots next time (though they were great this way)! Things that worked: Must have a candy thermometer! It took me an hour to reach 300 degrees on high heat on my ceramic cooktop. Before that, it would make hard-ish strings when dropped in ice water, but at 300 it made fast, brittle, glassy swirly strings. I ate the strings. At 250, they were much too chewy. At 300, they were perfect. If your apples are too chewy, you may not have cooked long and hot enough. Do not stir after you initially blend the ingredients. I found that my temperature rose in spurts. That last stretch from 250 to 300 happened fast. The only stirring I did was to mix in vanilla and food color near the end. Use long, firm sticks. If too short, you might burn yourself. I used bamboo skewers in the BBQ section of my HEB; they were perfect and pretty. I made this in a 3 qt non-stick pot and used a silicone spatula. The silicone can take high heat. Early in the cooking process this stuff spattered tiny candy droplets everywhere. Next time I will use a spatter guard. The spatula cleaned up by flexing it to crack the cool candy off of it. The pan needed a long soak and sponging to melt the candy off in hot water. This stuff is boiling for a couple of minutes off the heat! Pour in a metal can!
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I just did a trial run with this recipe, my first time making candy, much leess candied...