Crazy for Crust


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Growing up, my best friend lived a block away from me. We practically lived at each other’s houses; her mom and dad were my second parents and vice versa.

Back then, as pre-teens, we were allowed to come and go as we pleased as long as an adult knew where we were going. Only a few blocks from our neighborhood was a business district with small stores, a pizza parlor, and an ice cream/candy shop, both which had been there as long as our parents could remember.

Often, we’d take a break from our marathon Super Mario Bros. 3 playing, dress in our Paula Abdul outfits (bike shorts with lace, button down white blouse, and Keds) and walk downtown for lunch. We’d share garlic chips at the pizza place and then head to the ice cream shop for dessert.

It’s funny how memories stick with you; how the sound of a bell or the smell of a place can still be in your mind even so many years later. Preston’s was a place like that, and it still is today. When I take Jordan there it’s like visiting the past in so many ways.

Sometimes my BFF and I would get ice cream as our treat, but more often we would get Honeycomb. It’s a sweet and crumbly confection, basically pure sugar covered in chocolate. We’d each get a few squares and eat it on the way back to beat Bowser and his gang of thugs in our favorite video game.

I haven’t had Honeycomb very often since moving away from my childhood home, but whenever I do eat it, I think of my friend. So, when I saw this recipe in Food Network magazine a few months ago I knew I had to make it for her for Christmas.

I was surprised at how easy it was to make, given the need for a candy thermometer.

You just mix your sugar, water, and corn syrup and cook to 300 degrees.

Then you mix in baking soda, and something wonderful happens. If I had four arms, I would have taken a photo but since I only have a barely coordinated two, you’ll have to take my word for it. The clear sugar turns amber and bubbles up, so that when you pour it on your oiled cookie sheet, it looks like this:

Once it hardens, you break up the pieces and dip them in chocolate.

And that first bite? Takes you right back to your childhood; to pizza and Paula Abdul, to Mario, Luigi, and friendship.

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  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips


  1. Generously oil a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  2. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a saucepan, stir to combine, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and heat without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 300°, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Stir in baking soda (make sure there are no clumps in your tablespoon, and sprinkle it over the candy mixture, don’t just dump it in; you don’t want lumps in your finished product) and pour quickly onto the oiled baking sheet. (The candy will bubble up and become amber in color when you add the soda.) Let harden completely, then break into pieces.
  4. Melt chocolate chips, adding a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil (or shortening) if needed. Dip the hardened honeycomb candy in the chocolate and place on waxed paper to set. Enjoy frivolously.
Recipe from Food Network Magazine, December 2011

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  1. Add peanuts and you have peanut brittle.

  2. I’m positive that you are an American, so I am very surprised that you do not refer to nor include the most common North American name for this confection — SPONGE TOFFEE. Honeycomb Toffee is its name in Britain, Australia and South Africa. You can also get a better rise to the mixture is you add a bit of vinegar to react with the baking soda. Makes it lighter, less like hard candy.

    • Thanks for the tip Beth! Before I’d posted this a few years ago, I’d never heard of it being called sponge candy. It was always referred to as Honeycomb where it was sold in my town in CA, and I never knew there was another name, even though, yes, I am an American. I guess different locales call things by different names.

    • Yep… sponge toffee it is! I was puzzled at first myself. 😉
      I am buying myself a candy thermometer JUST to make this recipe, btw. An early Christmas gift to me from me! The results of owning it will be the gift for everyone else! LOL!

  3. Definitely looks like what us Michiganders called Sea Foam when I was growing up. LOVE this stuff! Can’t wait to try it. Another thing to add to my Christmas candy list.

  4. I made this today and it came out perfectly but it has a slight baking soda flavor. Should I use less? Thanks!

    • You can try using less, but it might not rise as much. It’s been awhile since I made that, but i remember I made it twice: the first time the baking soda didn’t distribute as evenly as I would have liked, giving it a baking soda taste. I think the second time I made sure there were no clumps and I sprinkled it instead of dumping it in. You can always use a small strainer to sift it in too. The second time I didn’t have a problem. If you’re sensitive to the taste of baking soda (I’m usually not) you can try using a little less, let me know how it turns out if you do!

  5. I can’t wait to make this tonight. I live at 6000 feet do I need to change anything? Also can I dump the mixture on parchment paper instead of an oilled cookie sheet?

  6. Are you supposed to stir after adding the baking soda?

    • No, you won’t need to. It will dissolve and disperse immediately. Just make sure your pot is tall enough to give the water some room. It will bubble up when you add the baking soda!

  7. They look so cute! I think I wouldn’t be able to stop eating them tonight. Thank you!!

  8. How high is “medium-high” as mine burnt the sugar?

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