About once a year, my mom visits me in Reno and we take a day visit to Virginia City with my aunts, cousins, and grandmas. Since I’m already aware that you have no idea what Virginia City is, Mark Twain used to write there, and it’s a pretty popular place to take “old-timey” photographs dressed in stockings and boas with a sepia filter.
Virginia City is also the home to multiple candy shops, which are famous for their cinnamon candy. If you ask my mom or aunts, all of them will tell you about how much they used to look forward to visiting Virginia City just to get their famous cinnamon butter candy.
This year for Christmas, my mom and I decided we would try to recreate the recipe for our friends and family. It took 3 batches and multiple trips to the store, but we got pretty close.
First off, let me give you a few opinions on cinnamon oil vs. cinnamon extract. We first tried cinnamon extract, because it’s much cheaper and easier to find than cinnamon oil. First, we tried 2 tsp., and it was not flavorful enough. The next batch, we tried 4 tsp., and it still wasn’t what we were looking for.
We then researched where we could find cinnamon oil, called a special store, made a trip to said store, spent $15 on a bottle, and used it in the third batch. While it was spicier than extract, it still wasn’t exactly what we wanted out of our cinnamon candy.
The candy isn’t really what we thought it would be (since we had the high expectations from Virginia City), but we ended up loving it! While we were looking for that artificial cinnamon flavor (like in Red Hots or Cinnamon Jolley Ranchers), we actually got a real cinnamon flavor, which was a pleasant surprise.
In the end, if you like spicy, get some cinnamon oil online (it’s cheaper over Amazon!), or just go the easy way and buy cinnamon extract. Either way, you’ll end up with a buttery, unique hard candy that’s really easy to make and can be packaged up as a gift (alternative for peppermint bark??)
*Photos courtesy of my brother*
*Song of the Day: Inside Out by Spoon*