Not surprisingly, honey candy was the first type of candy ever made. For many centuries, honey was the only sweetener available. And in the middle ages, when sugar began to become widely available, it was extremely expensive. Only the wealthy could afford to use sugar until around the 1700’s.
So for most of human history, if someone made candy, they made it with honey. The first known candy, made by the ancient Egyptians, was a mixture of sesame seeds and honey. The modern version of this candy, called Halvah, is still popular in many parts of the world.
Another of the earliest candies was fruits and nuts candied in honey. Arabs, Egyptians, and the Chinese were making this type of candy as early as 3000 B.C.
And as early as 2000 B.C., the ancestor of the modern marshmallow was created when Egyptians mixed honey with the thick, white sap from the root of the marsh mallow plant. (Did you know there is a marsh mallow plant? I didn’t! Note: The marsh mallow plant is no longer utilized in the making of marshmallows.)
Today, of course, sugar is cheap and plentiful. But honey is still used as either a primary or secondary sweetener in many candies. Honey is also valued for the unique flavors and textures it can add to a candy.
And in fact, some very famous and popular candies contain honey. Who hasn’t heard of the venerable Bit-O’-Honey candy bar, for example?
Have a Hankering for Some Honey Candy?
If your sweet tooth is demanding some of these sweet treats, you have two options: Buy some, or make some yourself.
If you want to buy some online, there’s a world of different honey candies you can buy online with just a few clicks of the mouse (followed, of course, by the dreaded credit card bill a few days later!).
I’d recommend the world’s largest online candy store, Candy.com. They have a breathtaking selection of honey candies available. Prepare to spend some time sorting through the selection! (And be sure to check out these novel honey tea spoons – tea spoons made of candied honey in many different flavors including Tupelo, Clover, Blueberry and even Pomegranate.)
And of course, you can have some honey candy without spending a dime (well…unless there are some items missing from your pantry necessitating a trip to the grocery store!). Just roll up your sleeves and make your own candy featuring honey as either a primary or complimentary ingredient.
If you’re interested in making your own, have a go at the recipes below. You can see some additional honey candy recipes on the honey recipes page – just scroll to the bottom of the list of recipes.
Paraguay Honey and Peanut Candy
Makes 8-10 servings –
- 2 cups pure honey
- 1 lb. toasted whole peanuts
- 8-10 small paper candy cups
Pour honey into medium cooking pot. Heat honey to boiling over high heat. Lower heat to medium. Continue to stir honey until you can see the bottom of the pot. Add the peanuts slowly. Continue to stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Pour 1-2 Tablespoons of mixture into the paper candy cups. Freeze for 15 minutes. Peel candy cup off of peanut candy before serving.
- 1 1/2 cups pure honey
- 6 cups sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. allspice
1. Toast 6 cups of sesame seeds in a skillet or oven.
2. Blend the seeds in a blender one cup at a time.
3. Add honey, ginger, cinnamon and allspice and mix in well.
4. Pat into a 13″ X 9″ pan and refrigerate. Cut into squares.