Start by reading the recipe through and noting:
about making candy right here.
- what equipment is needed
- how much attention is required
- how long it will take to cook
- if any cooling, beating, and/or drying time is required
Be sure to use the proper equipment and allow plenty of time to prepare the recipe successfully. Don't be fooled into thinking that a short recipe is necessarily going to take little effort or be fast to prepare.
Next, assemble all of the equipment you'll need and measure all of the ingredients. For example, have the walnuts chopped before the fudge recipe says to beat them in. The time it takes to chop the nuts is too long for the fudge to sit idle.
Measure accurately, and don't make substitutions for basic ingredients. Never alter quantities in candy recipes. Do not halve or double recipes; the proportions have been worked out for the recipes as they are printed. The only safe way to double your yield for a specific recipe is to make two separate batches.