This Valentine’s Day, I’d like you give you a gift. You can hold it in the palm of your hand, it’s chewy, spicy and delicious. It’s my cold little black heart. I hope you like it!
These homemade black licorice chews are a fun addition to a ‘Love Sucks’ Galentine’s Day party. I hope you guys are liking the anti-Valentine’s Day series we have going on. Did you miss my ‘Stab Me In The Back’ Heart Break Cake? I sure hope not!
While I know a lot of people are vehemently against black licorice, I have to say: homemade black licorice is freaking fantastic. There are some great high-quality black licorice brands on the market (I’m thinking of one with a panda on the box), and they are typically softer and have a more rounded flavor than the standard punch-you-in-the-face-anise of black jelly beans. (I love licorice but won’t touch a black jelly bean!) This homemade version just might make you a licorice lover. If you’re new to the black licorice lover team, start with just 2 teaspoons of anise extract. If you’re team captain or MVP, go for a full tablespoon (or more)!
I’m going to walk you through how to make licorice step-by-step below. The photos are from the last time I made it and poured it into a loaf pan, which you can do if you don’t have one of these cute heart-shaped silicone molds.
I haven’t always been a licorice lover, but when I was approaching 40 weeks pregnant/ beached-whale status, the internet told me to eat black licorice to set me into labor. I ate an entire box. I went into labor 4 hours later. I should also mention the double cheeseburger and fried cheese curds I had that night as well, but something tells me it was the black licorice.
Roll ’em in sugar if you wanna.
So, licorice step-by-step:
First, grease a bread loaf pan (or cute heart shaped silicone mold) with lots of butter.
Next, bring a witch’s brew of sugar to a boil. In this pot goes: sweetened condensed milk, molasses, dark corn syrup, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt! Bring it all to a boil with a candy thermometer clipped to the side. (Yes, you really must use a candy thermometer).
Once the mixture reaches 238-degrees F, remove it from the heat, stir in the black food gel, followed by the anise extract. Remember: 2 teaspoons if you’re a newbie, 1+ tablespoon if you love the licorice!
Finally, stir in 6 tablespoons of whole wheat flour. Health?
So tell me: do you have a cold little black heart this year? Or is your heart red velvet?