Boston cream candy

I'm now about to do something that I've never done before—radically change an entry after it's been posted.

This entry originally appeared on 11/17/2001; today is 11/21/2001. Originally, I ranted about how the Moving Fairy seemed to have discovered my January 2000 issue of Fine Cooking and taken it for her own. The problem: that magazine contained the Boston cream candy recipe I loved dearly.

I tore my house apart looking for that magazine. I believe I must have loaned it to someone and forgotten to ask for it back.

I dug around online to find another version. I found one that sounded somewhat similar to the one I'd made, but when I made the recipe, it was a ghastly, awful mess. It wasn't Boston cream candy. It was more like an oozing taffy with very little flavor.

This, of course, maddened me. I'm like that, you know.

The magazine's web site does not list this recipe, but they did have back issues of this particular magazine for ordering. So I called, and explained my predicament—putting on my best, smoothest phone voice.

I got transferred to the shipping department, and to a lovely woman named Joanne who offered to grab a copy of the magazine and read me the recipe. She pulled up my subscription information and could see that I'd been a subscriber when this magazine had been distributed. Since I'd offered to order the magazine before she offered to read me the recipe, she knew I wasn't looking for a freebie.

Thus, she was more than happy to read me the recipe.

I do not wish to perpetuate the distribution of that ghastly, awful gunk that my substitute recipe created, so let me now give you the real recipe for Boston cream candy. As I remember it, this is an incredibly rich, smooth candy; fudgelike in texture and consistency yet with flavors of vanilla and butter instead of chocolate.

Oh, and if you make this with margarine and imitation vanilla, I shall hunt you down and hurt you severely.

Boston Cream Candy—the real thing

4T unsalted butter; more for the pan
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecan pieces (I omit this)
2 cups sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line an 8"x8" pan with parchment. Butter the paper and exposed sides of the pan. If using pecans, chop them and have them handy.

Use a larger pot than you'll need for this recipe; the mixture will expand more than you're expecting.

Combine the butter, sugar, salt, syrup, half-and-half, and cream. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved; this takes a while. Turn the heat to medium. Stir constantly; the mixture will eventually foam to a boil. At this point, add the baking soda and stir madly; the mixture will double in volume, subside, and turn golden.

After it settles, put a warmed candy thermometer in the pan. Stir on medium heat until the mixture hits 240F. Get the pan off the heat before it hits 241.

Add the vanilla. Stir. A lot. The mixture will thicken and lighten, but it will still be glossy. The moment it starts to lose its shine, get it out of the pot and into the buttered pan right then; you won't have a lot of time. If you wait until the mixture is completely matte, you're going to need a crowbar to get it out of the pot.

Let it cool. Cut apart. Feast.

(This recipe was originally printed in Fine Cooking, issue 36. They undoubtedly hold the copyright. The magazine has pictures and stuff, and the directions are a lot more detailed. I'd suggest you buy a copy.)

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thank you for this! my grandma used to make this at christmas time and i haven't had it in probably 20 years. i'm so sad that i didn't get the recipe from her before she died. but, i think this is the one!

I have read a few recipes for boston cream candy and none of them come close to the one i have. I got mine from my dad and it was passed down from his dad who made it in the early 1900 for he made it and sold it in his butcher shop. tis a pass down recipe i have.

[...] Oatmeal Cookies Recipe … though without the white chocolate chips and gonna try a batch of Boston Cream Candyagain minus the nuts. Also going to make a batch of deviled eggs and a large bowl of potato salad to [...]


sounds tasty))

My mother who is 84, thinks this is the same recipe as what her mother made when they were young...only difference they added walnuts or black walnuts from their own trees or left if plain with no nuts.