Today's Guest: How Does She

One trip over to How Does She and you won't be able to stay away. You'll find a little bit of everything over there. And today, we are pretty excited to have Lara, one of the amazing How Does She girls, sharing a yummy recipe we are going to have to add to our October To-Do List. 

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We are about to embark on a wild candy making ride!
This, my friends, is one recipe you HAVE to try out this Fall!
I remember making these delicious caramels every Halloween since I was a little girl.
Just for the record,... I don't like black licorice at all.
This black licorice treat, however, is amazing.
Our neighbors would beg us for huge bags every Fall.
I even remember my friends mom hiding the entire bag so she,
and only she, could eat every last piece ;)
Get ready. After one bite... you won't be able to stop eating!

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white corn syrup
1 teaspoon licorice or anise oil
1/2 teaspoon black paste food color

In a pot mix the first 5 ingredients together:
sweetened condensed milk, sugar, butter, salt, and corn syrup.

Cook and stir the mixture constantly over medium high heat. Use a heavy metal spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan while stirring, this will prevent it from burning on the bottom.

Cook until the caramel is to the soft ball stage or light brown. If you have a candy thermometer it will be done once it reaches 232 degrees.
*there will be little flecks of brown in the mixture, this is normal.

*If you don't have a candy thermometer here is how to test if it is done:
Fill a cup with cold water. Spoon out some of the caramel mixture into the water. Squish it together with your fingers and let it cool down a bit in the water.

Remove it from the water, feel it, taste it and make sure it is set up enough. This is the consistency the caramel will be once it cools.

Once it is done cooking, remove from the heat and add the licorice or anise oil. Stir it through the mixture.

Next measure the black paste food coloring, stir it through the caramel.

Stir till the mixture is black all the way through.

Butter a 9 x 13 pan (don't miss any spots, we want this to come out after it sets up).
Pour the caramel mixture in the pan. Do not scrape the bottom and sides out, there is usually a bit of sugar residue that you don't want to crystallize in your caramels.

Set aside and let it cool.
When it is firm and cooled completely loosen with a spatula and place on a buttered counter.

Tear a piece of waxed paper and place over the slab of caramel.
Cutting on top of the paper and this will prevent the caramel from sticking to your knife.
Cut the pieces into 1 inch wide strips.

Go back over the strips with the waxed paper and cut them into 1 inch squares.
Separate the caramels after cutting, if you pile them on top of each other they will stick together.

Tear pieces of waxed paper about 4 1/2 inches wide.
Lay the strips on top of each other and cut in thirds.

Place the caramel square in the center of the waxed paper piece.

Pull two opposite corners together and pinch.
With the other hand twist the caramel.

This will create a nice little wrapped piece of caramel.

This was my favorite part when I was a kid. My mom would gather all of us and have us wrap while she would cut.. and we would wrap as fast as she was cutting. So get those kids and put them to work! It's a fun family activity!

There you have it! Package them up and share them with friends.. or keep them all for yourself ;)
I wouldn't blame you.. they're delicious!

This creamy licorice caramel treat will be a hit that the whole family will look forward to every year!
I Promise.

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