Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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comfit is an archaic word for spices or nuts repeatedly coated with thin layers of sugar syrup that form a shell around the center. Important types include sugared almonds and various spice-based confections, including caraway comfits.

Like the word “confetti,” comfit originates from conficere, meaning “to put together”—the same Latin linguistic root as confection; but comfit, along with sugarplum (which had roughly the same meaning), has almost vanished from English usage. The contemporary industry name, panned sweets, refers to panning, the process of making them.