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!


18 Comments on “A Sweet Treat For You This Fine Friday”

  1. Wow! You are so! enthusiastic in your writing today!

    I’m no lover of licorice but would gladly try a taste of your recipe!

  2. Not a fan of black licorice so I don’t think I’d ever make that flavor but it would be fun to play around with other flavors. I started making cinnamon caramels a few years ago. I dip them in chocolate when the caramel is set. The combination of the cinnamon extract and caramel tastes pretty good, IMO.

  3. Gotta have a candy thermometer to make candy. There is a small difference between what is called soft ball and what is called hard ball.

    Soft ball (232 degrees F) makes soft candies, hard ball (260 degrees F) makes hard candies.

    Rock candy happens at 300.

    If you know the science of cooking, them you can make an art of it.

    Those do look tasty, though.

  4. When I make gummy bears, I was told that they wouldn’t stick so bad if you roll them in something fine & powdery, like corn or tapioca starch. I don’t need a candy thermometer for that, but if you really want to dive into making candy, it’s good to have, and there are good ones for a good price on Amazon, if you don’t have a local store that sells them.

  5. You made evil olives!

    Okay, okay, I also don’t like black licorice, but I’ll bet they’re great! If the anise flavor is mild it might be nice. :) And the vanilla ones look amazing.

  6. Finely chopped almonds, almond + vanilla flavoring, no coloring added… Fireplace, cozy comfy chair and good book, not required, but adds immensely to the evening!

  7. Licorice is not my thing. I bet you could get the candy covered anise seeds or sugar crusted fennel seeds, called mukhwas, in the mail.

  8. Ooh, I love vanilla caramels! (Not so much licorice but..if they make you happy, go for it!)

    Also: look at you, experimenting with the recipe! Go Athena!

  9. I have found the red licorice/black licorice divide at around 1967, with those born before liking it and those after, not.
    And as you allude to, there are very few who are indifferent. In fact you are the only one I have ever heard of.

  10. So many non-black-licorice lovers, I feel I have to speak up for those of us who do. Grew up getting licorice allsorts from my grandparents every Christmas, so it may be a taste you have to acquire in childhood, more nostalgia than actual enjoyment. I may have to give these a try, although we only do gluten-free flour so hopefully that will still work out.

  11. I don’t hate black licorice; I don’t go looking for it.
    But I’m just flabbergasted by your “first time ever making candy”. Not even fudge? Or that hot syrup poured over packed snow that everyone makes as preschoolers? I had no idea your childhood was so sad!
    You know I’m kidding, right? Now get off my lawn.

  12. I am also a member of the Anti-Black Licorice League, but I like red. Go figger. The vanilla adaptation sounds quite interesting, I’ll have to give that a shot. Thanks for the post and the inspiration!

    Today’s experiment will be a recipe from the Bush Bean web site: black bean brownies! I’m going to be starting those in an hour or so.

  13. Personally I am on a shortbread kick. I love shortbread! Made maple pecan shortbread bars last weekend. Yum. Horrible teenagers devoured them quickly leaving too few for me! Also, love the pic of the hibiscus. I’m working on forcing some early tulips in the basement and this reminded me I need to go water them.

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