Best Candy Recipes
In the early, hard days in the
Pennsylvania Dutch country, candy was an unheard of luxury, of
course. Sweetening was hard to come by, sugar was precious,
molasses had many uses, and maple syrup was a godsend. Probably
the first Pennsylvania candy was a little maple syrup stirred in
a saucer with the last snow of winter - a special treat for good
children. When at last, the day came when there could be popcorn
balls, apples dipped in taffy, and even taffy pulls. That was
As soon as they had sugar, there were lemon
drops, butterscotch, and horehound candy. The Moravians began to
make their famous mints. However, the special holiday treat was
marzipan, a carry-over of Old World confectionery that appeared
on days of high feasting. These charming molded fruits were
delicious but so beautiful that they saved as treasures rather
than eat them. They brought them here by way of Switzerland,
probably on their way from many other places, for marzipan seems
to be universal.
It used to be considered a poor Christmas if,
along with ornamented dangling cookies, there were not strings
of sugar candy, clear toys, and candy canes on every
Pennsylvania German Christmas tree. At Easter, in addition to
the traditional dyed eggs, there were also some of the
chocolate-covered eggs filled with mashed potato and sugar in
Times have changed, but many of us remember
these candies and some of them are still with us. You will find
recipes for some of them in the pages that follow. I have not
tried to bring them up to date; I describe them pretty much as
they have been made hereabouts for a long time.
Pennsylvania Dutch Did You Know?
The Pennsylvania Dutch are the descendants of Germanic peoples
who emigrated to the U.S. (primarily to Pennsylvania), from
Southwestern Germany and Switzerland.