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Athena Scalzi

A Sweet Treat For You This Fine Friday

Athena ScalziEarlier this week, one of my favorite food bloggers, Dessert For Two, posted a homemade black licorice recipe. I don’t particularly like black licorice, but I was intrigued by the recipe nonetheless. It hardly ever occurs to me to home-make candy. Candy is something that you can only buy from the gas station or the movie theater, in my mind. It’s not something you can whip up at home.

Except, it totally is! And I totally did!

Behold, the very simple ingredients it took to make homemade black licorice:

I realize now that y’all have no idea what’s in the black containers but it didn’t occur to me before because knew what was in them so why wouldn’t you? Well, probably because you don’t live in my house. Anyways, it’s just sugar in the small one and flour in the bigger one.

Besides those two essential things, there’s molasses, dark corn syrup, butter (not pictured), sweetened condensed milk, salt, and anise extract, which I ordered off Amazon. So basically, this black licorice recipe ended up just being black licorice flavored caramels. Which isn’t a bad thing, in my opinion, just not what I expected. I expected them to be like Twizzlers, but I could tell from the assortment of ingredients that that wasn’t going to be the case.

This was my first time ever making candy! Which was really exciting for me, because I love candy. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any black food coloring, so I was just going to leave them caramel colored. However, my dad had the idea to use green and blue to make black. As you can see, that didn’t turn out so well.

We got a weird, olive colored… olive looking thing. And my dad stained his hand. But hey! It tasted pretty good. These little caramel thingys had such a nice mild anise flavor. I don’t hate black licorice, but I don’t really love it either. The only reason I made these was because I wanted to do something nice for my dad. But I actually ended up liking them a lot!

After letting them set, they firmed up a good amount. Then I kept them in fridge overnight and they turned into rocks. So we let them sit out on the counter, but they never really got any softer!

Then, last night, I decided to make another batch, but with vanilla extract instead of anise. And they turned out so amazing!

I was determined to not let them be rocks this time, so after the set in the fridge for 30 minutes, I took them out and cut them, then let them sit out on the counter overnight. This morning, they were so soft that you couldn’t pick them up without totally squishing them, and they were sticking to each other! You might be able to tell from the picture just how squishy they are.

These taste so amazing and honestly I prefer them super soft to super hard, so I’m happy with how these turned out!

I highly recommend this recipe. If you end up making it, let me know in the comments whether you used anise, vanilla, or some other extract! Let me know if you’re a hater or a lover of black licorice. I feel like no one is indifferent like me! And have a great day!

-AMS

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A Bucolic Moment

It’s been an eventful week here at the Scalzi Compound, mostly for good reasons, although some reasons were unexpected, and others deeply annoying. Be that as it may, I’ve been getting work done, and I’m happy with it, and because of that I’m mostly able to tune out the world to focus on my own knitting. More accurately, I’m not tuning the world out entirely, but I’m caring less about it because the world I’m working in is more interesting to me at the moment. Sorry, world.

It’s been cold and snowy here, and next week is going to be miserably cold: single digit highs, negative digits lows. But there is some beauty in it, of course, as this picture of my Amish neighbors heading down the street shows. If not for the reflective bits on the buggy, and my plastic mailbox, this picture could have been taken anytime in the last hundred years. It’s a reminder life does go on, and can be lovely no matter what. It’s good to be reminded of that.

— JS

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