My cold little black heart: licorice heart chews!

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!

My Cold Black Heart: Licorice Heart Chews

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.

Homemade Black Licorice Hearts (My cold black heart!)

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.

Cold black heart candy

So, licorice step-by-step:

Anise Candy recipe

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).

Black Licorice Recipe Steps

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!

Homemade Candy recipe: black 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?

Yield: 25

My Cold Black Heart(s): Licorice Chews!

My Cold Black Heart(s): Licorice Chews!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan or silicone mold
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • â?¨2 tablespoons molasses (blackstrap or regular)
  • Pinch of salt
  • â?¨6 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black food gel
  • 2-3 teaspoons anise extract (or more!)

Instructions

  1. Use the extra butter to grease two heart-shaped silicone molds with 15 cavities each (or use a bread loaf pan lined with parchment paper--butter the parchment, too).
  2. Clip a (calibrated) candy thermometer to the side of a heavy 2-quart saucepan, being sure that the gauge is not resting directly on the bottom of the pan. Add the 4 T. of butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, molasses, and salt. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent scorching in the corners.
  3. Once the mixture reaches 238° F, remove it from the heat, and immediately stir in the black food gel. Once it's fully incorporated, stir in the anise extract.
  4. Next, stir in the whole wheat flour very well.
  5. Use a spoon to quickly fill the heart molds with the molten candy--be careful, it is very hot! Let the candy rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before attempting to remove it from the molds. Roll it in extra sugar if you like, and serve.