Honey Lemon Spoons

Tea party ideas
 Honey-Lemon Spoons.  The perfect gift for a tea lover!   You may have all made those chocolate dipped spoons to go with hot cocoa for a cute gift years ago. These honey-lemon spoons are a nice twist on that same idea.This recipe makes a  honey-lemon toffee that hardens  onto the spoons. You can then use them to stir into a hot mug of tea, and the honey-lemon toffee melts into the tea as you stir.  
Tea Spoons
 They are perfect to go with a mug and some tea for a gift idea or for a sick friend,  take with some Gingerale Syrup for making an anti nausea tea or Honey-Lemon Sore Throat "Tea" Base .  My picture has some Non-caffeinated Russian "Tea" mix tucked in the mug, 
Honey Lemon Spoons
You can use plastic spoons (there are some realistic looking silver ones out there), but there are concerns about the plastic releasing cancer causing agents when heated, so take that into consideration.  I chose to buy inexpensive real spoons from the dollar store (4 for $1.00), but mismatched ones from a thrift store are cute too!
 I decided to paint the ends of my spoons to add a little pizzazz to the gift, so here's what I did:
Using painters tape, I taped off the first 1/2 inch or so of the spoon handle (you can choose any spot). I then wrapped the bowl of the spoons in plastic to avoid my inevitable mess ups, so only the parts I wanted painted were uncovered. I got busy and forgot to take photos of the painted spoons. I used spray paints that I already had at home, but you can dip them in enamel craft paints as well. Mine took 2 coats.  Once dry, unwrap the tape and plastic from the spoons and they are ready to dip. The best photo I can offer is this one:
Sore Throat remedies
Ok let's get started on making the toffee:

Honey-Lemon Toffee
This recipe fills approximately 20-24 spoons depending on how much you fill the spoons
1/4 cup Honey
 1 cup Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon White Vinegar
 1/8 cup water
 Lemon Flavoring
  Additional Supplies:
Pie Plate or Lid that you can use to rest the handles of the spoons on (this will lift the bowl of the spoon and keep the liquid toffee from spilling out while it hardens).
 Waxed paper (or cereal bag liner recycled)
Heavy bottomed sauce pan
 Candy thermometer (I will show you how to do this without one)

Before starting: Line a cookie sheet or work surface with wax paper.
 You will need to find something that the handles of your spoons can rest on while the toffee cools. Lifting the handles slightly will keep the toffee from spilling out of the spoons. such as a pie plate.
 Place the selected item in the center of the waxed paper.
Test this by filling a spoon with water or honey and laying the handle on different items at different heights till you get the test liquid to stay in the spoon.
 I used a plastic lid from a plastic food storage container.

To make Toffee
Mix honey, sugar, and vinegar in saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Turn the heat down to a medium heat that will keep it at a gentle boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the hard crack stage. (I used a candy thermometer, but it took at least 10 minutes to get there for me). You can see the color deepening between the stages:

           Soft Crack Stage                                                           Hard Crack Stage

 To test for hard crack stage without a thermometer: Drop a small drop of the toffee into a glass of ice cold water.
Reach in and pull the drop out. If it is at a hard crack stage, it will have instantly turned into a hard piece of candy:
Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for a minute or so.
Mix in desired amount of lemon flavoring: (I used 1 teaspoon. It smelled strong, but was a subtle flavor, but you could easily double it to 2 teaspoons. Start  with one and see how you like it.) Here's how it looked after the Lemon Flavoring:

Jan's tip: The candy hardens as it cools so you have a few minutes to work, but not a ton or time. So this is why I had you set up the waxpaper work surface for your spoons at the beginning.

Dip your spoons in the toffee. I filled mine almost all the  way to the brim, and  had a few overflows, so play with it just a bit on the first one.
Rest the spoon handles on the lid/pie plate:

Once it has cooled and hardened, wrap the spoons in plastic (I cut down small cellophane treat bags to fit) and tie with a ribbon.

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