I love simple old fashioned recipes. I am not a candy maker by any means, but if you want to try your hand I suggest starting with simple peanut brittle. It's easy lets you get familiar with sugar techniques.
Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1 lbs shelled unroasted peanuts*
Butter 2 large baking sheet thoroughly, making sure to include sides.
In a medium bowl mix baking soda, 1 tsp water and vanilla and set aside.
In a 3 quart sauce pan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup and cook over medium heat.
Stir occasionally. Once temperature on candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees mix in peanuts and butter. Stir constantly until candy temperature reaches 305-310 degrees. (the higher the temp the harder your candy) Do not go over 310 degrees.
Quickly remove from heat and mix in baking soda mixture. Quickly pour half of candy mixture into baking sheets. Spread quickly and let cool. Break into desired size pieces.
*Note* You can use salt roasted peanuts but do not add them until candy reaches 300 degrees.