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Turkish delight

Turkish delight, lokum or rahat lokum and many other transliterations (Ottoman Turkish: رَاحَة الْحُلْقُومrāḥat al-ḥulqūm, Turkish: Lokum or rahat lokum, from colloquial Arabic: راحة الحلقومrāḥat al-ḥalqūm, Azerbaijani: /lɑːtiɡum/ ) is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; traditional varieties are often flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon. The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra, or powdered cream of tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common flavors include cinnamon and mint. In the production process, soapwort may be used as an emulsifying additive.

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Microwave Turkish Delight Yield: 40-60 pieces of candy Note: Make candy the day before serving so it will have time to set. Equipment: 4 qt. microwave safe glass bowl - such as Pyrex Whisk 8x8 pan or standard loaf pan Two pot holders Knife or scissors Make the candy: 2 1/2 cups of cold water 3/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1/2 cup for dusting candy squares 3 cups sugar 1/4 cup light corn syrup 1 tbsp. pure lemon extract 2 drops red or pink liquid food coloring Cooking spray, or cooking oil (light taste, like canola) for greasing pan 1/2 cup powdered sugar 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. 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 translucent. Heat for an additional 5 minutes and whisk in lemon juice 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. If your batter has not reached consistency, heat at 3 minute intervals until consistency is achieved. Grease the 8x8 or loaf pan 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 cuttingboard 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. sites.google.com

Contributed by Jen Lee

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