Turkish Delight: Candy for the Lips and the Hips


One of my favorite lip combinations is NARS Turkish Delight and M·A·C Angel. Here’s Kim Kardashian wearing this great combo:

16th Annual Race To Erase MS - Red Carpet

The soft lips with smoky eyes – so pretty! Makes the overall look sultry but not skanky.

So I got to wondering about the name for the NARS lip gloss, “Turkish Delight… why such an odd name?” I just chalked it up to running out of names to give to cosmetics. But then I was listening to NPR and a British cook and author was being interviewed. She talked about making and baking gifts at home (the interview was being aired during the holidays).

She went on to describe a British favorite confection, Turkish Delight. When she described the light pink color of the candy, the light bulb went off.


Ahhhhh, now the NARS name makes a lot of sense!

So in addition to appealing to my hair and makeup friends with the recommended lip combo, I thought I’d throw in a recipe for Turkish Delight.

But remember, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Unless of course, you skip the recipe and just stick with the non-caloric lip gloss 🙂


The candy is delicately chewy and scented with rosewater.

Turkish Delight

courtesy of Elizabeth LaBau


  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4.5 cups water, divided use
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.25 cups cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1.5 tbsp rosewater
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside for now.

2. Place the sugar, lemon juice, and 1.5 cups of the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and bring the mixture to a boil. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and insert a candy thermometer.

3. Allow the sugar mixture to continue boiling, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees on the candy thermometer.

4. When the sugar syrup is around 225 degrees, begin to get the rest of the candy ingredients prepared. Place the remaining 3 cups of water in another, slightly larger, saucepan. Add the cornstarch and cream of tartar and whisk until the starch dissolves and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring or whisking constantly. The mixture will become thick and pasty.

5. Once the sugar syrup is at 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Slowly, carefully, pour it into the cornstarch mixture, whisking until it is fully incorporated.

6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking it every 8-10 minutes, for about an hour, until the candy has turned a light golden-yellow color and is very thick and gluey.

7. After an hour, remove from the heat and stir in the food coloring and the rosewater. Pour the candy into the prepared pan and allow it to set, uncovered, overnight.

8. The next day, remove the candy from the pan using the foil as handles. Dust your work station with the powdered sugar, and flip the candy onto the powdered sugar. Remove the foil from the back and dust the top with the sugar. Use an oiled chef’s knife to cut the Turkish Delight into small squares. Dust each side of the square with powdered sugar to prevent stickiness.

9. Turkish Delight is best soon after it is made. It doesn’t keep very well, but if you want to try keeping it, store it in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers, and dust the sides with powdered sugar again before serving.

2 thoughts on “Turkish Delight: Candy for the Lips and the Hips

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