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  • Writer's pictureDairy Keen

Heber Valley Licorice Caramels

My neighbors will be getting these fun caramels for Christmas. I will also include the recipe. Another fun idea for neighbor gifts is to just give some copies of your favorite recipes on recipe cards.

I fell in love with these caramels years ago. I have only found them here in the Heber Valley. I know there are a few recipes that are floating around the valley. The first time I made these I used too much black food coloring and everyone that ate them ended up with very black teeth. It was very funny and we are still laughing about it years later.


Heber Valley Licorice Caramels

1 Cup Butter 2 Cups Sugar 1 Can Sweeten Condensed Milk – 14 oz. 1 ½ Cups Corn Syrup, light or dark ¼ teaspoon Salt 1/8 teaspoon Black Food Coloring Paste 1 teaspoon anise oil (not extract)


In a heavy large saucepan melt the butter. Add sugar, salt, corn syrup and sweeten condensed milk and mix well. Cook over medium heat and stir with a heat resistant rubber spatula. STIR CONSTANTLY. Cook to a firm ball stage, or 250 degrees (See note below). This will take 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat then add black coloring and anise oil. Mix thoroughly with the rubber spatula. Pour into a buttered 13 X 9 pan and set aside to let cool. Remove entire mass onto cool cutting surface and cut into desired size pieces with a pizza cutter coated with cooking spray. Wrap each piece in waxed paper. This recipe makes about 150 pieces.


*You can find black food paste in cake decorating supplies at craft stores.


To make Awesome Vanilla Caramels replace black food coloring and anise oil with 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla.


**To Test what your thermometer will read at your altitude, place the tip of the thermometer into plain boiling water. At sea level, it would read 212° F. (Boiling point) but at high altitude it will be different. Minus the difference of 212° F and the temperature it boiled at, make the necessary adjustments when cooking your candy syrup. Here in the Heber Valley I minus 9 degrees from the amount on candy recipes. When ready to remove from heat, take out thermometer and lay it where it can cool before washing; otherwise, it may break.

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