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YIELDS:

24 servings

PREP TIME:

3 hours 5 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

TOTAL TIME:

3 hours 15 mins

ingredients

1/3 Cup sugar

1/3 Cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 Cup molasses

4 Tbsp. butter, unsalted

1 Tsp. kosher salt

1 Tsp. Anise extract

10-12 drops black food coloring

Maldon flakey sea salt (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Coast a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper leaving an overhand on the ends. (This will help with removing the candy when done.) Lightly spray the parchment paper with the cooking spray. Put to the side.
2. Put the sugar, condensed milk, molasses, butter, salt and 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring with a rubber spatula until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. The mixture should be smooth,

3. Put a candy thermometer on the side of the pot and let the mixture come to a boil, stirring constantly and constantly scraping the bottom of the pot to keep it from burning. You want the temperature to reach 240 degrees. At that moment, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the anise extract and the food coloring. Immediately pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the salt.

4. Cover with a piece of tin foil and let it stand until the caramel is cool (about 3 hours).

5. Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the caramel rectangle out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Peel away the parchment paper.  The caramels will be soft and chewy.

6. Cut into 6 x 4 pieces creating 24 candies. Wrap them individually in wax paper, parchment paper or candy foil wrappers you can buy online.

7. You can store these in an air tight container at room temperature. Enjoy.

NOTE: Dave’s Salted Black Licorice?  Who’s Dave?  Listen, when you need the IT guy to do you a favor or make some magic happen, you bring him his favorite treat.  Everyone knows this, right?  Well, this particular IT guy (Dave) has a thing for black licorice and when I came upon this recipe, I had to make it.  I switched it up a bit to make it more to my liking and used ingredients easily found in supermarkets.

Truth be told, while he liked the flavor the first time, the consistency wasn’t quite right.  I had cooked it a couple of degrees to long and it came out somewhere between a soft caramel and a hard caramel.  Look, you have to make a decision…a hard candy or a chewy caramel.  LOL  He wanted a softer caramel so the recipe above is the result of that.  Making candy is all about the temperature so before making this, or any candy, be sure you have a good candy thermometer. For this recipe, keep the temperature between 240 – 245 maximum for a chewy consistency. There are a couple of other things you must have to make great licorice caramels.  They are:

While I have made these multiple times, there is always this debate about two things:  the black food coloring and the salt.  First, you don’t have to use the black food coloring…it is a mental thing.  When you “think” black licorice, you want to see black.  If it isn’t black, your brain is confused.  If you are opposed to coloring your food, don’t use it.  The taste is still great it just won’t look like licorice.

Salt.  Personally, I can’t say enough about it!!!  Sweet and salty has to be an all time favorite combo of mine.  I love it.  So, I was shocked when a couple of people asked why I “ruined their licorice” with salt?  Listen, if you don’t want it, don’t add it.  You won’t hurt my feelings.  But for me, it makes this candy sing!

I’ve used Maldon Flaky salt (it is my favorite) but feel free to use another type of flaky salt if you have a preference.

These make great gifts too.  Just box them up and add a bow.  So make up a couple of batches and be sure to gift your IT guy…believe me when I say it, it gets things done!  Thanks, Dave.

Looking for other easy candy recipes?  Try some of my favorites:

Swirling Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Sunflower Seed Brittle

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Fudge

 

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