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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pennypacker Mills's Clear Toy Candy Demonstration 11/21/2015

Pennypacker Mills doesn't start their holiday tours until November 24, but they did have a clear toy candy demonstration today at 11 AM. Mom and dad dropped me off at 10:15, thinking it was actually at 10 AM, but when I arrived I saw the mansion decorated a little bit.

Ella, the historic site manager, opened the door and greeted me for the tour. The mansion's inside was decorated for Christmas and it was beautiful. I couldn't take pictures. She explained that usually they have a German theme, but this year they were going with British. The Pennypacker Family was German and British. The British decorations were lively and bright - lots of silvers and whites. I loved seeing the real tree decorated with candles, garland, and simple Victorian ornaments with simply wrapped gifts underneath. I loved the simple red and white wrapping paper - some had Curier & Ives pictures attached. Even the way the fireplace was decorated with the evergreens was breathtaking. The children's room had gifts wrapped and huge stockings filled with gifts that they would open on Christmas morning. The parents would place the gifts and fill the stockings on the night of Christmas Eve.

After a half an hour tour, I was led to the kitchen and watched the hobbyist prepare for her demonstration. She made it clear that she is an etymologist by day, historical candy maker by hobby. She was awesome, though, and really knew what she was doing. To make candy, you have to keep the water, sugar, and cream of tarter at 300 degrees, but you can't really put food colouring into it because it'll burn. She was saying for a red hue, she uses the scales of one insect that is safe to eat.  Just watching her prepare the molds, then pour the candy substance in, then watching her get the candy figures out with an oyster shucker was amazing.

She did give us a recipe for clear toy candy, taffy, and moshey. I'm going to post the recipe for clear toy candy. I would love to try it.

4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

Place ingredients in unlined copper pot or other cooking pot that you can easily pour from. Turn on heat. Do not stir.

Once the mixture reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, remove pan from the heat. Let the mixture stop boiling and cool for a minute or two.

Pour slowly into well oiled molds. This can be used also to make hard candy.

Before I left for the day, I wanted to get pictures of the outside. I did take selfies, but they didn't turn out right. It was a fun day and I'm happy I went, I learned a lot. I love Pennypacker Mills.


  1. Hi again, dear Jessica Marie!

    I must say, you get around to more interesting, historic and educational places than anybody else I know! I admire you for always wanting to learn something new. Thank you for taking me inside Pennypacker Mills for a fascinating look at how clear toy candy is made. My mouth was watering as I gazed at those intricate figures fresh from the mold. I know you will have fun making those treats at home.

    Thanks again, dear friend JM. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Calling all rock lovers! I have some rock music for you and I'll be introducing a brand new series in Monday's post. I hope you can stop by for a visit. Take care!

    1. Hi again, dear friend Shady!

      My dad works for the county and always brings the fliers home. If it's something interesting, he'll take me. I had always wanted to see how clear toy candy was made and I'm glad I went. Sadly, we couldn't eat any of it. She is a hobbyist and by FDA regulations, since it's a hobby the public can't eat it. Though, I don't think I'd eat it anyway... better for decoration! I still have the toy candies my parents bought me ten years ago as decoration.

      You too, Shady! I look forward to reading your blog tomorrow! Especially since it involves new rock music. :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friend!

  2. Those candies are beautiful. Just by luck, we got to watch maple candy being made recently - similar process, actually.

    1. Yes, this was a pretty modern demonstration... except she continued to use cream of tarter instead of corn syrup. In a few weeks when they have the historical open house, she'll stay true to history by using the old thermometer that doesn't beep when the liquids meet the boiling point.

      I would LOVE to make something like this, but it's a very expensive hobby. I already have enough expensive hobbies. :) I'll just buy them from Pennypacker Mills and display.