- 1 ¼ cups cornstarch, plus more for dusting
- 3 cups sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean
- Cooking oil, for greasing pan
- ½ cup powdered sugar
About 120 pieces
- Pour 2 1/2 cups water into a 4-quart glass bowl. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup cornstarch until smooth. Transfer to the microwave and cook on high power for 2 minutes. Using oven mitts or potholders, carefully transfer to a countertop and stir with a heat-resistant spatula. Return to microwave and heat 1 minute at a time, stirring between heatings, until the mixture thickens, bubbles and becomes translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Then heat on half power for 3 minutes.
- Mix in the sugar, corn syrup and saffron. Heat on high power for 5 minutes. Stir and repeat, then stir and repeat again. After the last time, stir in the lemon juice. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape all the seeds into the mixture and stir to combine. (Save the bean for another use.)
- Continue to heat on high power for 3-minute periods, stirring in between, until a little syrup scraped onto the edge of a cold plate quickly sets to a tacky solid, from 12 to 21 minutes.
- Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking oil and scrape and spread the mix into it. Allow to rest, uncovered, until it is firm enough to handle, several hours or overnight. Dust the top with cornstarch. Invert onto a small cutting board, using a spatula if needed, and dust the other side with cornstarch. Transfer the board to the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into 3/4-inch squares with scissors or a knife.
- Combine the remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch and the powdered sugar, and toss the squares in it. Store the candy in this mixture in a wide, shallow container.