Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

panning is the process for making sugared almonds, comfits, dragées, jelly beans, M&M’s, and numerous other items in which nuts, spices, and pieces of candied fruit, fruit paste, sugar paste, or chocolate are coated with sugar shells. See comfit; fruit pastes; and jelly beans. The principles behind it have been known since at least the early medieval period in the Middle East.

Confectioners differentiate between hard panning—using sugar syrup in a slow process to make smooth, hard-centered items—and soft panning, which uses sugar and glucose syrup in a rapid process to make irregularly shaped candies with a soft bite. Chocolate can also be used as a coating in panning, as in chocolate-covered raisins.