On the ninth Day of Sugar, my true love gave to me . .
My 12 Days of Sugar is sadly coming to an end and I don’t know if I’m relieved or sad. There are so many more things I wanted to share, but they will just have to wait until next year.
Do any of you remember years ago the licorice caramels made by Callard & Bowser? My family absolutely loved them. We ate them all the time. I can still remember what the packaging and wrappers looked like. You can imagine how sad my family was when the day came that the company stopped making them. I’m sure there were many tears shed.
I don’t remember how long we had to go without them, but thankfully my grandma came to our rescue and started making her own licorice caramels. May I just say these licorice caramels rock! They are insanely good and I can’t get enough of them. I know there are many black licorice haters out there, my husband used to be one of them, he now thinks black licorice rocks and he absolutely loves these. So may I suggest that before you start judging, you really should try one.
I can’t even put into words how delicious these are. The licorice flavor is not overpowering, I promise. They are just so, so, sooo good! These are simple to make and will leave you wondering how in the world you’ve ever got through life without them.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. anise oil
- 1 tsp. black paste
Lightly butter an 8X8- or 9X9-inch pan and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan (about 4 quart size), combine the sugar, butter, condensed milk, corn syrup, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. Continue stirring gently while the mixture boils and cooks, until the caramels reach a firm softball stage (if using a candy thermometer that is between 235-244 degrees F, or you can do the cold water test like I do by dropping a small amount of the hot caramel into cold water. If the cooled piece of caramel is firm but not hard, the caramel is properly cooked.)
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the anise oil, and the black paste. Pour the caramels into the prepared pan and allow to cool completely to room temperature, at least 2 hours.
When cool, cut the caramels into pieces using a large knife or bench scraper. Wrap each caramel in a piece of wax paper, twisting the ends to secure.
I always prefer to use the cold water method over a candy thermometer. If you choose this way, just make sure the mixture forms a very firm ball in the cold water. If by some chance you undercook them, and they are a little on the soft side, just store them in the fridge and take them out 15 or 20 minutes before cutting and serving them. I'd much rather undercook them and have them be a little on the softer side, than overcook them and not be able to bite through them without busting a tooth.
Recipe Source: My sweet Grandma Saley