[HFF] Valentine Crunch (1961)

It's time for Historical Food Fortnightly challenge number four! No surprise to anyone, I'm sure, this challenge's theme is based on Valentine's Day and it's sweet traditions.

Now, HFF technically describes "historical" to mean anything up to 1960, so I'm fudging it a little here with this 1961 recipe. It comes from the Lakeland Ledger, a newspaper based in Florida. 
The Challenge:
4. Sweets for the Sweet (February 12 - February 25) It’s sugar, and maybe spice, and definitely everything nice. Test out a historic recipe for sweets, sweetmeats and candies - but don’t let them spoil your appetite!

The Recipe:
Valentine Crunch
Yield: 1 pound

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut, optional
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

Melt margarine in a heavy saucepan. Add sugar and combine well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is well blended and begins to bubble. Add water and corn syrup and mix well. Continue cooking mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, until 290 degrees F. registers on a candy thermometer or until a drop in cold water "cracks" or is brittle. Remove from heat.

Stir in nuts, coconut, and rum extract. Pour out onto a cooky sheet. Cool to room temperature. Melt semi-sweet chocolate pieces over boiling water. Spread evenly over candy and set aside until firm. When firm, break into pieces
The Verdict:
Unfortunately, it seems that I've already got my recipe for challenge 24, "Redo". I'm not sure if it was the temperature or the corn syrup substitution, but my candy went from liquid and glossy to thick and crumbly. There was no "crunch" at all. I hoped it would keep together well once it cooled down, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. Also, I found it way too sweet for my tastes - I think maybe having the chocolate mixed in instead of just on top might help...on the other hand, Mr. Man really loved it!


* I can't get corn syrup here, so I tried using mizuame.
* I didn't have a thermometer, so I used the cold water method.
* I used almonds and peanuts as my nuts.
* I forgot the rum extract, so I sprinkled some on top at the last minute. I couldn't really taste it.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.


  1. Did you make it with margarine? I realize the recipe calls for it, but I don't cook or bake with it because it contains a lot of water and/or oil and can really mess up a recipe. Just a thought.

    1. I did use margarine, but that's a helpful thing to know, thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for such a nice post. It looks very delicious and also like the Pakistani cooking recipes they have great taste as well.

  3. Wow........ it was an wonderful recipe i have tried it my new house and it was awesome.

    Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets Bangalore

  4. I like sweets very much. Valentine has good and bad impression.
    find an accountant in London

  5. Yumm, I hoped it would keep together well once it cooled down.
    meet and greet Manchester