In a medium stovetop pot, add sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
1 cup white sugar, ⅔ cup light corn syrup, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Boil for about 3-5 minutes stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Use a candy thermometer to bring the mixture to 350 - 360 degrees F. Be sure not to overcook or brown this mixture. It should remain white and will begin to thicken.
When the mixture has reached the needed temperature and consistency, remove immediately from heat.
Add in the powdered sugar mixture and mix together with the rubber spatula for about 4-5 minutes until it’s fully incorporated in. It will be thick and difficult at first.
Once fully mixed in, allow the mixture to sit in the pot for about 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken slightly. It is ready to transfer once you can mix it easily with a spoon but the peaks take slightly longer to descend.
When ready, use your rubber spatula to pour out the mixture onto a silpat mat. Allow it to rest here for another minute.
Use a sharp knife to divide the mixture into 3 even portions. It may be sticky but it shouldn’t stick to the mat. Use your fingers to remove the cut portions away from the knife’s edge to separate them.
Using food coloring drops, add 2 drops of yellow and 1 drop of red to one of the three portions. Use the back of a spoon to mix the color in. Continue to mix, folding the mixture on top of itself for about 3 minutes until the color is solid and fully mixed in.
Orange and yellow food coloring drops
Repeat this method for another section of the mixing, adding 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring.
Remaining on the silpat mat, roll each color of the mixture into small round logs using your hands. You will want to pinch off a small handful to do this. Each log should be ¼ - ½ inch round.
Place three logs side by side in the order of white > orange > yellow. Pinch together the logs so they stick to one another. Then take a rolling pin and roll gently on top of the full log. This will help combine the colors together further.
Use your fingers to press downward on the white side creating a wedge shape of the logs. Your log may have a few curves on the edges, see notes for tips on how to clean them up before cutting.
Repeat steps 12-14 for all remaining mixture.
Allow these logs to sit until they have fully reached room temperature.
Use a sharp knife to cut the candy corn from the logs. You will want to cut 45 degree lines (in a zig-zag) pattern across each log. See photos for example.
Gently separate the triangles from one another. They shouldn’t be sticky.
Allow all candy corn pieces to sit on a baking sheet (you can transfer your silpat mat to the baking sheet if easier) overnight to harden and dry out. See notes for additional tips.
To Store: Store your candy corn in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks or until they become too dry to chew.
BE SURE NOT TO BURN THE CORN SYRUP MIXTURE. If you notice any “browning” while cooking, this mixture is burnt and there is little saving.
You will notice the corn syrup mixture slightly thicken as it gets close to being done.
Do not use your hands until after the dye is added. The mixture will be very hot.
Let these sit out at room temperature overnight. They need to dry out and harden so they do not need to go inside the refrigerator or soak up in moisture. They also do not need to sit out in the heat or a warmer environment. This can cause the texture to change and get “sticky”.
Use a wooden straight edge spoon (a large wooden cooking spoon with a straight-edged head) to help straighten the edges of the logs before cutting. Tap the spoon again the white tops and again the yellow bottom. This will help create smoother pieces and smoother edges.
Half of the candy corn pieces will have the traditional pattern of a white tip, orange middle, and bottom yellow. Then the remaining half will have a yellow tip and reverse order. This is due to how you cut them.