My dad has always loved black licorice; I have always not loved black licorice. This worked out great when we would have jelly beans, as Daddy would always eat the black ones. He & I have a lot in common, but not this one thing.
One thing we do have in common is that we are impossible to buy gifts for. I generally request “no gifts” for this reason; my dad does too. But Daddy is turning 67 this November and, well, I want to give him something while we are both here & of sound mind. (I am talking about me, btw–he’ll live for years, mind intact. Me? Not so sure about that.) At some point yesterday, the idea of making black licorice dawned on me.
For a long time, I have been afraid to make candy. Don’t know why, but something about the high temperatures and the possibly of burnt shit all over the place…maybe that was it? At any rate, it is much easier than I thought and here is how I did it:
Spray an 8×8 pan with Pam or whatever you use. Set it aside.
Put 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 c Karo syrup, 2/3 c butter and 2/3 of a can of Eagle brand milk into a saucepan. Stir. Turn on the heat and keep stirring. Clip on your candy thermometer and cook and stir until you get to 232 degrees. Remove from heat when you get to that magic number. (Obviously, I could not take any pictures, BECAUSE I WAS STIRRING! Sorry to shout. I’m just not one of those take a million pictures every 10 seconds bloggers).
Now, put in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of anise flavoring and black food coloring. WTF?? You ask. Where the hell am I gonna get black food coloring? Well, you probably aren’t, so do what I did: buy the multi-colored pack of food coloring and slop it all together. I mixed red, blue and green and got a black color! Sweeeeet!
Now, pour the black mixture into your pan and let it sit. When it hardens, slice it into pieces.
A few notes:
* The anise flavoring was overpowered by the butter. So, I dabbed some anise onto a paper towel and blotted it on the tops of the candy. It enhanced the “licorice” flavor and tasted more like how I wanted it to.
* Is this what licorice is supposed to taste like? If so, it’s f’in awesome! The characters in the Matrix raised a similar question, wondering if the Ro-Bots had gotten the taste of their cereal right. Take cream cheese for example…I love Philadelphia Cream Cheese too (mmmmm, on a bagel with lox, please!) but it isn’t what cream cheese is supposed to taste like.
*If, for some ungodly reason, you sat down and nommed the entire pan, you would consume 2,720 calories. You’d need to do about 6 hours of Jazzercize to burn it all off…but it might be worth it.
Recipe adapted and modified from Epicurean.com