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Coal Candy

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Coal Candy
(c) 2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Looking for a Christmas candy for folks on your naughty list? Give them a bag of Coal Candy this holiday season! This candy looks exactly like rough chunks of coal, but tastes like a sweet mint treat. I love to give this as gifts packaged in cute novelty stockings.

This recipe calls for mint extract, but it also works well with other flavorings, such as almond extract or anise extract.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp mint extract (can substitute other flavors)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 – 2 tsp black gel food coloring

Preparation:

1.Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside for now. Combine the granulated sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then insert a candy thermometer. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it reaches 260 F (126 C) on the candy thermometer.

2. While you are waiting for the sugar syrup to cook, combine the egg white with 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar, the mint extract, the salt, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of black food coloring. Whisk everything together until there are no lumps of powdered sugar remaining and the food coloring is evenly dispersed. The texture of this mixture should be very thick and almost hard to stir, and the color should be a deep, dark black. If it is still runny or a light black color, add more powdered sugar and food coloring as necessary until it is thick and black.

3. Once the sugar syrup reaches 260 F, add the egg white mixture to the pan and stir it in. After a few moments of stirring, it will start to foam up and triple in size, taking on a crumbly, grainy appearance.

4. Once it is completely foamy, scrape it out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into an even layer. Let it cool completely at room temperature.

5. Once cool, break the candy apart with a knife into small, uneven chunks. Store Coal Candy in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

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