If you’ve never made candy before, don’t panic! We'll walk you through it. With just a few simple instructions, tools, a little bit of matcha and a lot of stretching, pulling, and rolling, you can have the cutest candy canes on the block!
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE MATCHA CANDY CANES?
- Jade Leaf Ceremonial Grade Matcha
- You can absolutely use our Culinary Grade matcha in this recipe!
- Granulated sugar
- Light corn syrup
- Peppermint extract
- White gel food coloring
- Red gel food coloring
- Candy thermometer
- Heat-proof gloves
- Bench scraper
- Nonstick spray
- Two rimmed baking sheets
GETTING SET UP
First thing’s first, we have to set up our workstation. Since the sugar will be super hot, and you only have a limited amount of time to work with it until it cools and becomes stiff, we want to be fully prepared!
So, go ahead and spray your baking sheets, bench scraper, and scissors with the nonstick spray and set them aside. You can also preheat your oven to 200°F, this is where we will keep the candy that we’re not working on so it doesn’t harden before we can shape it.
STEPS TO MAKING MATCHA CANDY CANES
No matter what kind of candy you’re making, the processes are all pretty similar. To start off, we need to bring the sugar mixture to a boil. For candy canes, we need to boil the sugar until it gets to the “hard crack” stage - about 290°F-300°F. After that, it’s all a matter of pulling the candy until it's stiff but pliable, and finally, forming it into the right shapes.
The sugar mixture - granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water - makes up the base of our candy canes. Once that is up to temperature, we need to separate the mixture into two parts. One half will be red, flavored with peppermint extract, and the other half will be green, (colored with white gel food coloring to enhance the green color) and flavored with matcha!
We’ll start with the red half. Carefully pour half of the mixture onto one of your prepared baking sheets. (Meanwhile, place the other half of the candy that’s still in the pot back on the stove, over medium-low heat, to ensure it doesn’t harden - but don’t let it boil and burn).
Since it is very hot, the mixture will be quite liquid. At this point, you can add a few drops of peppermint extract and the red food coloring. Using the bench scraper, start to mix the candy by scraping and folding it back on itself. As you mix, the sugar will cool down, causing the candy to become harder and more pliable. Once it gets to a solid enough state where you are able to hold it and shape it with your gloved hands, roll the candy into a log, about 1.5 inches in diameter.
Using your greased scissors, cut the log into 4 pieces. Space them out on the baking sheet and place them in the oven while you work on the matcha half. Work fast though- the red pieces might melt and become liquid again if you leave them in the oven for too long (if this happens, just take them out, reshape them and let them cool again.)
Next step, the matcha candy. Add a few drops of the white gel food coloring, sift in the matcha, and mix using a spatula until everything is combined.
Pour the candy out onto your second greased baking sheet, and repeat the folding and kneading process with your bench scraper until the candy is cool enough to roll into a log.
Cut the matcha candy log into 4 pieces.
Now, take the red segments from the oven, and place a red piece on top of a green piece.
Start twisting the pieces together until it resembles candy cane stripes, then roll the candy out to your desired thickness while stretching, pulling, and twisting. Form a hook at the top of the candy rope, and cut the candy to your desired length. Repeat until you have a few candy canes and run out of rope.
Repeat the process of stacking the two colors on top of one another, twisting, rolling, and pulling. You should get about 3 regular sized candy canes out of each segment you make (more if you’re doing mini ones!)
TIPS AND TRICKS
- While you’re forming the canes, if the candy is hardening faster than you can shape it, pop the candy into the microwave for five seconds, and then continue shaping. While you work on one segment, you can also keep the others in the oven so they don’t harden, or pop those in the microwave before you start working on them.
- If you don’t have heat-proof gloves and you don’t want to purchase them, try wearing a pair of knit gloves under a pair of food-safe plastic gloves. Just make sure there is enough insulation between you and the candy- it is super hot!
- Feel free to add more or less peppermint extract to taste!
Matcha Candy Canes
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½-1 teaspoon peppermint extract (for the red half)
- ½ teaspoon Jade Leaf Ceremonial Grade Matcha
- 2 drops red gel food coloring
- 2 drops white gel food coloring
- Prepare your baking sheets, scissors, and bench scraper by spraying with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Add granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine and cook over medium-high heat. Stir with a heat-proof spatula until the sugar is dissolved.
- When the syrup comes to a boil, insert the thermometer and cook without stirring, until the thermometer registers 300°F. Remove from the heat and let the bubbles subside.
- Pour about half the syrup onto prepared baking sheet and return the other half in the pot to the stove over low heat, making sure it doesn’t boil or harden.
- To the syrup on the pan, add red gel coloring and ½-1 teaspoon peppermint extract. Using the bench scraper, “knead” the candy-scrape and fold the mixture onto itself, mixing in the coloring and peppermint extract until the candy starts to cool and become harder. Once the candy is solid enough to handle and shape with gloved hands, form the candy into a log shape, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Using greased scissors, cut the log into four even segments. Space them out on the baking sheet and store in the oven while you work on the matcha half of the candy canes. Keep checking on the red part while it’s in the oven, to make sure it doesn’t melt completely. If the segments start to lose their shape, remove them from the oven so they cool and harden again.
- Remove the other half of the syrup from the heat. Add two drops of white gel food coloring and sift in ½ teaspoon of Jade Leaf Ceremonial Grade Matcha. Stir with a heatproof spatula, until combined. Pour the candy onto the other greased baking sheet, and repeat the kneading process that you did on the red candy, until it gets cool and hard enough to form into a log. Cut the log into four even segments.
- Remove the red candy from the oven. Stack a red segment on top of a green segment, and return the remaining candy to the oven. Using gloved hands, twist the candy together until it resembles candy cane stripes. Next, start rolling the candy into a rope, using stretching, pulling and rolling movements until it reaches your desired thickness. Form a hook at the top of the rope, and then cut to your desired length. Repeat until the whole rope is used up (you should get about three candy canes out of one rope, or more if you’re making mini ones!)
- Repeat with the remaining candy.
- Place the candy canes on a clean surface to cool and harden at room temperature.
- To store, wrap in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.
We hope you enjoy the matcha recipes we're bringing to you this holiday season. Happy Holidays, from our Jade Leaf family to yours!