The 4 Expert-Recommended Tools You Need For Making Your Own Candy

Assortment of candies
Assortment of candies - Apomares/Getty Images

Making homemade candies is a labor of love, whether you're making a simple Irish potato candy or something a bit more involved, like saltwater taffy or candy corn. Now, while some of these recipes might be easy enough to make with tools and utensils you already have on hand, some recipes might call for special equipment. The question is, do you really need to invest in special gear in order to create great candies?

Mika Shino, CEO and founder of Issei Mochi Gummies, spoke with the Daily Meal and provided some insights into this age-old question. She explains, "The important tools are a candy thermometer, a digital scale, a spatula, and sometimes a stand mixer." Beyond these, Shino goes on to say that you can pick up other fancy tools, and you may need extra equipment for making your treats depending on what kind of candy you're creating. However, with these utensils, you're able to properly mix and measure your candies. Plus, you can prevent waste.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Why These Tools Are So Important

using stand mixer
using stand mixer - Fg Trade/Getty Images

Although some of these tools might seem superfluous, they're key to getting balanced treats that turn out just right. For its part, a digital scale helps you to get accurate measurements of ingredients. With measuring cups, it's easy to accidentally over or underfill them, which can throw off your candy's consistency. Candy thermometers are also important for making sweets since they help you get accurate measurements and tell you when your confections are done; although you can eyeball things with tricks like the soft ball stage or hard crack stage, a thermometer provides a more precise indicator. Look for a thermometer that has one-degree increment markers to get the most precise reading.

Spatulas and stand mixers are a little more straightforward. Stand mixers help with ensuring ingredients are well-mixed and can assist with candies like British fudge that require rapid beating or whisking to come together. Meanwhile, spatulas help to ensure you get all your candy base out of your mixing bowls and don't let any go to waste. A good silicone spatula will work best for getting up all the last drops. Just make sure it's heat resistant and that it doesn't have any other materials on the handle for easy cleaning and use.

Don't Just Rely On These Four Tools

man opening oven
man opening oven - Violetastoimenova/Getty Images

Depending on what kind of candy you're making, there might be some other tools to invest in, too. Mika Shino says of her own candies, "The kind I make is rice starch-based, not [with] animal-derived gelatin, so if you are interested in making mochi candies, you can simply bake it in a regular baking tray in the oven. Or, if you want to get fancy, get a pressure cooker and cook it in there."

It really depends on what type of candy you plan on making. Some bakers might want to pick up caramel cutters, which are designed to make cutting and shaping your confections easier. For those who work with chocolate or liquid-based sweets, candy molds might make your life in the kitchen a little easier.

If you don't want to invest in tons of fancy new equipment to make candy, Mika Shino explains that picking up these kinds of utensils isn't an end-all-be-all rule. She says, "You can use basic kitchen tools. I didn't have those things when I started to make mochi gummies for my kids at home. I used basic tools I already had." She also asserts that to cook her candies, she uses the oven. Still, the four tools she recommends can be a great place to start if you're just getting into candy-making. Or, they can be an easy way to make your life easier for those who are already seasoned confectioners.

Read the original article on Daily Meal