Preparation / Directions:
2 pairs white cotton work gloves
Butter 3 shallow baking pans; set aside. Butter sides of 3-qt saucepan. In saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over med.-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar, about 5 min. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 2800, soft-crack stage, about 20 min. Remove from heat; stir in peppermint or cinnamon oil.
Pour about 2/3s of the mixture into a buttered pan. Pour half of the remaining candy into a warm small saucepan. Add red coloring to this portion and pour into another buttered pan. Add green coloring to the remaining portion in the 3-qt saucepan. Pour in remaining buttered pan.
Let candy cool slightly, 3-5 min. for larger, uncolored portion, 1-2 min for smaller, red and green portions. As edges cool, lift and fold edges to center with metal spatula. (If candy is too warm, it will stick to spatula.) When red and green candy can be rolled into balls with spatula, they are ready for shaping.
With gloved hands, pull and twist red candy until light in color, 2-3 min. Shape into 6: rope. Place in 1 of the buttered pans and keep warm in 200 oven. Repeat with green portion. At the same time, have the 2nd person pull uncolored portion until white. Shape into 6" rope.
Place white rope in center of 1 of the buttered baking sheets; place 1 colored rope on each side of white rope. Press all 3 ropes together to form a single flat log. Working quickly, have 1 person stretch 1 end of striped candy, log lengthwise, working to other end until ribbon narrows to about 1" wide. Have 2nd person immediately follow 1st person and turn ribbon onto 1 edge and fold accordion-style to make ribbon shape; break off in 6" lengths. If candy hardens too much, return to oven 3-5 min to soften.