Candy corn is a fall staple that almost all of us buy in the weeks leading up to Halloween. The colorful candy corn kernels are a great way to brighten up your candy dish or your seasonal tablescape, even if you’re not a big fan of eating them. Whether you’re a fan or not, there have probably still been times when you found yourself with an extra bag or two that you didn’t know what to do with. My new favorite way to use leftover candy corn is to make Candy Corn Simple Syrup.
Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made from equal parts sugar and water. It is common used to sweeten cocktails, coffee and tea drinks because, unlike granulated sugar, it blends instantly into other liquids, even if the drink is already cold. This simple syrup isn’t quite as “simple” as the original recipe, but it is easy to make and I can just about guarantee that you’re going to love it. It is made by dissolving candy corn – which is mostly sugar – in water, then adding in honey and a touch of vanilla. I add in additional honey and vanilla because candy corn is already flavored with these two ingredients, and adding in extra amplifies their flavor and really makes the resulting syrup taste just like candy corn – perhaps even better!
The syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or two and used to sweeten any kind of drink that you might be able to think of. Pictured here is a very simple (and non-alcoholic) candy corn themed drink that is made with crushed ice, unsweetened pineapple juice and candy corn simple syrup. The syrup and the juice should be layered over the ice before serving so that you can clearly see the colors, but the ingredients should be stirred together before you drink it so that your pineapple juice becomes infused with the flavor of honey. You can also use the syrup to make a Candy Corn Latte, which is a great way to start your morning, or to make a Candy Corn Swizzle cocktail, a rum-based variation of this recipe, as a more grown-up treat for Halloween entertaining!
Candy Corn Simple Syrup
1 cup candy corn (approx 6 oz)
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Combine candy corn, water and honey in a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the candy corn, but do not bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature slightly if needed. When the candy corn is dissolved, remove mixture from the heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Candy Corn Pineapple Punch
3 tbsp Candy Corn Simple Syrup
6 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
Add a small scoop of crushed ice to the bottom of a large glass (a hurricane glass, if you have one) and add in Candy Corn Simple Syrup. Fill glass top the top with more crushed ice. Pour in pineapple juice and make sure that a little of the ice, which will be the white layer in the candy corn look, is still visible at the top of the glass. Serve immediately.