You can find many recipes online or in your heirloom recipe books. They only vary by dark or light corn syrup and white or dark brown sugar. If you use the dark corn syrup or sugar you get a deeper toffee/molasses flavor. Whatever you choose this confection only has four ingredients and is super easy.
Sponge Candy/Honeycomb Candy
1 cup (white or brown) sugar
1 cup (light or dark) corn syrup
1 tablespoon Distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda (Sifted)
Candy thermometer with clip
9 x 13 pan
Pam non-stick cooking spray
Note: Be sure to do these on a dry day or they become sticky.
Before you start pre-measure your ingredients, doing this lets you focus on the candy temperature and timing. Next foil line a 9 x 13 dish with 2" sides (a casserole dish works) extending the foil over the sides. Spray the foil lined dish with Pam generously and set aside. Combine corn syrup, sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar crystals dissolve, once dissolved clip your candy thermometer to the saucepan about halfway into the syrup. Being careful not to touch the bottom of the pan. Wait unit it comes to a boil. Continue cooking without stirring until the thermometer reaches 300 degree, swirling the pan occasionally. This should take 18 to 20 minutes.
Now remove from heat and add the sifted baking soda, stirring rapidly. When you add the baking soda the mixture will puff up. This is where it goes for a transparent amber like color to an opaque color.
Once its combined, immediately pour your opaque mixture into the prepared foil lined dish. Don't spread it out or thump the dish to distribute the mixture. You will only deflate the air bubbles and they are what gives this candy its honeycomb texture. You are almost there, now let it cool to set.
Once the candy is cooled and set lift it out of the dish using the foil. Pull the foil slowly from the candy. Once it's been remove break the candy in small bite size pieces. Now you can leave your candy as is or dress it in chocolate.
We dressed ours in chocolate and added Wilton Valentine sprinkles. You can customize this treat for whatever holiday when you submerge it in melted milk chocolate or candy white coating and adding sprinkles.
Finish your candies off by adding holiday paper cups and box or bag them up. By using a hole punch, and adding two holes to a folded top of a treat bag, loop a string through and tie bow.
Store these treats in air tight containers or jar to keep fresh.
It's really important to sift the baking soda of any little clumps.
If you don't you will get clumps of soda in your candy.
Photo credits: G. Smith