PISCATAWAY, NJ - Fairy food was made at Christmas time, and only at Christmas time, in our house for as long as I can remember. It is an airy spongy candy coated with chocolate and was always plated and eaten with our other Christmas cookies. 

In some regions a similar confection is made and goes by different names: honeycomb candy, sponge candy, and angel food among them. But our family's roots are in Wisconsin and it will always be Fairy Food to me.

TIPS: Be sure to watch the candy thermometer very carefully, as it seems to rapidly increase in temperature.

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Humidity is not friendly to Fairy Food. If you have to make on a humid day, refrigerate as soon as you pour mixture in the pan and freeze after dipping in chocolate 

Yields 1-1 1/2 lbs

Ingredients

Candy thermometer

1 cup white sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 pound chocolate confectioners' coating or your favorite chocolate chips 

Directions:

Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Heat, without stirring, to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. 

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. 

Pour into prepared pan; do not spread. Mixture will not fill pan. 

Allow to cool completely. 

In the microwave or over a double boiler, melt coating chocolate, stirring frequently until smooth.* Break cooled candy into bite sized pieces and dip into melted candy coating. Let set on waxed paper. Store tightly covered.

*To melt the chocolate, place two thirds of the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set over barely simmering water, and stir gently until totally melted. Carefully remove the bowl from the simmering water - wear oven mitts! the steam can be rather intense - and add the reserved chocolate to the melted chocolate, stirring gently until completely smooth.

TAPinto will feature holiday baking stories and recipes throughout the month of December. Check back often for timeless classics and fresh ideas.  Happy Baking!