Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chewy Chinese Peanut Sesame Candy

Chewy Chinese Peanut Sesame Candy

As I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog, my Chinese father was born in Hawaii. Therefore, a lot of our family favorite goodies are from the islands. When talking about this treat last night, my dad said that the woman who owned the little shop where he would buy this confection would not let people buy all they wanted. She would ration it for her customers, so it was a rare treat indeed. My dad really shouldn't eat much of this, but we are all together this summer at my parents' house, and my brother sent me a recipe for this. I looked up a few more recipes because the first one called for it to be cooked to a hard crack stage, but we all remember the chewy version. Some called for brown sugar, and some called for white. I used white because I thought it would turn the golden color I remember, but it didn't. Next time I think I'll use a mix of white and brown, or try adding some honey---or maybe even some corn syrup--because this batch got all grainy on one side. (Don't tell my mom, but I had to throw 1/3 of it away due to graininess--she would be horrified.)
In the spirit of full disclosure, I don't think I ever actually ate this candy until today. It tastes pretty good. My brother thinks it's too sweet, so maybe the brown sugar would help with that. Not sure. My dad likes it, though, so I'm posting it. I'll post an updated version if I ever get around to trying it with the brown sugar.
Oh, and although my fingers still smell like vinegar, the candy doesn't smell or taste like it at all.
Update: I did try it again, and I think it turned out better. Click here for that recipe. 

Chewy Chinese Peanut Sesame Candy

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/6 cup vinegar
  • 1/6 cup water
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 pound peanuts, roasted & unsalted
Line a brownie pan ("9x9") with parchment paper or nonstick foil. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sesame seeds evenly over the bottom of the pan.
In a medium size heavy saucepan over medium (maybe a little higher) heat, mix the sugar, vinegar,and water. Then DO NOT STIR until it comes to temperature. Place a candy thermometer in once it starts to boil, and cook candy to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Once the candy is at 350 degrees, pour in the peanuts and stir with a silicone spatula to combine. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, smooth out the top as much as you can with the silicone spatula. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds evenly over the top.
Allow to cool completely and then cut into pieces with a very sharp knife that's been sprayed with non stick spray.

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