Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Peppermint Humbugs

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

With all of the fantastic food happenings in the world of Harry Potter one might assume that meals aren't capped off with a run of the mill after-dinner mint. Instead, the breath freshener of choice with the Hogwarts set are these Peppermint Humbugs. And making these Potter-centric candies at home might just be the most fun-filled project in Dinah Buchholz's The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

These vibrantly green, minty sweets are equal parts hard candy and taffy. Sugar, water, and cream of tartar are boiled together and thicken, poured into an oiled pan to cool slightly and then pulled and twisted into a shiny, spiraled log. Pulling the hot candy is pure hands-on enjoyment much like working with clay, but made even better here due to the edible nature of your final product.

And speaking of final products, once your candy has stiffened, cutting with a pair of oiled kitchen sheers works much better than a knife, which tends to get a little sticky. Since these little guys are so sticky, it's important to wrap them individually in parchment, cellophane, or wax paper, as to not end up with a stuck together pile of little humbugs.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Buchholz, copyright © 2011. Published by Adams Media.

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