** I am tickled to mention that the article below is currently being included in a beautiful magazine called The Gatherings. They have published a gorgeous issue this month called "The White Issue" especially for the winter season. Please follow the link and enjoy all of the other wonderful articles.
Many of us recall that scene in the movie “The Lion, The
Witch, and the Wardrobe” when Edward is tempted by the evil White Witch with “Turkish Delights”. So many of us had to experience the taste of
those soft pillowy little treats.
many others, we had never encountered sweets like these before. With the fluffy white snowflakes falling and
Edward wrapped up, nestled in that gorgeous winter sleigh, those Turkish
Delights rested so innocently in the beautiful candy bowl and enticed many
viewers to seek out their pleasures.
Our family, too, became fascinated by those wintery-looking soft little squares. We seemed to stumble across them in each place we’ve lived. My son, like many young Edwards in the world, was most fascinated by these sugary confections.
I went on a quest to find these delights and bring the movie to reality for us.
Every Christmas, since my son was eight, regardless of which new city we called home, he finds a little box of Turkish Delights tucked into his holiday stocking. Right near the Public Market in Seattle, Washington there is a little shop, called Turkish Delight that sells all varieties of these pillowy soft powdered sugar treats.
We reveled in selecting a few flavors to try and throughout the day in Seattle we enjoyed these little bites.
Again, in London, England we unexpectedly came across
another source for Turkish Delights. It was a brisk and windy November day in the
city of London. We decided to visit the
wonderful Borough Street Market (a
must see if you are a foodie). We came
across a Turkish stall that offered an array of Turkish Delights. We scooped
up little bags of assorted flavors and enjoyed the wintery London day, wrapped
up in big scarves, and little nibbles at our fingertips.
Now, we find ourselves in the vast metropolis of
Houston. We knew Turkish Delights could likely be found in this huge multi-cultural
population. It didn’t take us long to discover
the popular and fascinating Middle Eastern market, Phoenicia, right here in the city.
While fresh pita bread slides down a circular conveyor belt right in the
middle of the market, tucked in the back of the store, Middle Eastern sweets
are prepared and sold in the store’s bakery.
And, of course, an array of Turkish
Delights is offered in assorted flavor varieties.
We have always enjoyed the intriguing flavor of rose water
in these sweet confections. Making them
at home was a fun candy endeavor as we attempted to master the art of making
these candies. We have always stumbled across Turkish
Delights during the cold winter months.
The scene from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is so filled with
frosty wind-chilled moments, just like during the cold of winter when we enjoyed
The powdered sugar flutters
all over scarves and mitts and the velvety texture of the candy is such a
contrast to the iciness all around.
Turkish Delights…depicted in a captivating moment in a childhood
film…that inspired a generation of winter holiday tradition in our family, from
Turkish Delights found in Seattle,
Washington to London, England and now in Houston, Texas.
Microwave Turkish Delight
4 qt. microwave safe glass bowl - such as Pyrex (we used a
plastic mixing bowl)
8x8 pan or standard loaf pan (we used an 11x14 tray)
3/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1/2 cup for dusting candy squares
1 tbsp. pure rose water extract (or known as syrup)
2 drops red or pink liquid food coloring
Cooking spray, or cooking oil (light taste, like canola) for
Ground pistachios *optional
Pour the water into a 4-quart glass bowl. Whisk in the
3/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup at a time until dissolved. Microwave mixture
for 2 minutes; whisk smooth. Return to microwave and heat for 2-3 more
minutes, or until the mixture starts to turn opaque. Whisk again -
mixture should have the appearance of white paste.
Add sugar and corn syrup. (we used a hand mixture
until it got too thick)
Heat for 5 minutes in microwave. Remove bowl with pot
holders and whisk smooth. Heat for 5 more minutes; remove and whisk
smooth again. At this point the mixture will be thick and
Heat for an additional 5 minutes and whisk in rosewater
syrup and food coloring. Whisk until mixture is smooth and color is
evenly distributed. Heat 3 more minutes in microwave.
You'll know when the mixture is done when you try to whisk
the mixture and a large portion of the candy batter holds in the balloon of
your whisk. Mixture will be very thick. You can check consistency
by letting a small bit candy batter sit for a few minutes in a condiment
cup. When cooled a little, you should be able to pick it up and roll it
into a ball without it being tacky. **This is an important step.
F it isn’t tacky, they will be too soft to
hold a nice shape.
If your batter has
not reached consistency, heat at 3 minute intervals until consistency is
Grease the 8x8 or loaf pan (we used an 11x14 tray) with
cooking spray or oil and pour in candy batter. Spray/grease the back of a
spoon -the batter doesn't spread well, so just do the best you can to spread it
evenly with the back of greased spoon. Let candy set up at room
temperature until firm enough to handle. This may take several hours - mine set
up in about two.
Cut candy with a sharp knife or scissors into even squares.
You can do this in the pan or turn the block of candy out on a cutting board dusted
with cornstarch. I cut mine a little larger than usual at about 1
1/2" square. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch and
1/2 cup powdered sugar. Roll candy in mixture. Serve candy topped
with pistachios on a tray with cocktail picks, or in individual paper cups.