Though I’m not particularly a fan of candy, I do love anything with sesames seeds or honey. Additionally, it’s a common traditonal sweet in both Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, two of my favorites. This recipe is my version, which is softer than the harder candies found at ethnic grocers. While watching an episode of Lidia’s Italy, I got a pretty good idea of how to make it and what to put into it but not the exact ingredient amounts, which I had to guess. The amounts given below are what I used to result in this soft, Caramel Sesame Candy.
Makes approximately 20 pieces
olive oil for brushing
1 1/8 cup sugar (if using turbinado sugar, be sure to grind it finely)
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
1 tsp. orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped assorted nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts)
½ cup toasted sesame seeds
½ tablespoon freshly ground cinnamon
- Use a pastry brush to cover the flat surface of a cutting board or counterop with olive oil.
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the sugar, honey, butter and water. Stir the mixture as it cooks, until it reaches a soft caramel color and thick consistency, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the citrus zests, chopped nuts, sesame seeds and cinnamon. Stir thoroughly into mixture and immediately pour onto the well-oiled flat surface.
- Use a pastry cutter to mold the mixture into one large square. Tighten the edges with the pastry cutter and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Next, using an unserrated knife, cut into small individual squares. Place each piece onto parchment paper or a cookie rack to dry further. Store in an airtight container. Stays fresh for 5-7 days.