Barley Sugar Candy
A time honored barley sugar candy made festive with food coloring or just for a hard candy treat.
Use heavy molds or silicone candy molds to shape these candies because the syrup gets very hot, as thin metal molds will leak and become too hot to handle. The natural color of barley sugar is a clear pale yellow, but traditionally, some of the candies are tinted.
1/2 cup pearl barley
4 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
Pinch cream of tartar
Food coloring (optional)
In saucepan, combine barley, and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Remove from heat, and let stand, undisturbed for several hours.
Oil molds carefully, making sure every crevice is coated. Turn halves of molds face down to let any excess oil drip off. Assemble molds with clips firmly adjusted; stand them, open end up, making sure they are well balanced and not liable to tip.
When the top layer of barley water is clear, carefully spoon out 1 cup without disturbing sediment; place in heavy saucepan with sugar and cream of tartar. Cook over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, cover and boil for one minute to wash down the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook, without stirring, until syrup reaches 300 to 310 degrees (149-154C) or until a strand of syrup dripped into ice water forms hard, brittle strip. Remove from heat and lower pan into ice water to stop cooking. Add food coloring if desired.
Pour syrup into molds. Let stand until completely cool. Remove clips and pry molds apart. Wrap candies in plastic bags and store in a cool dry place.
These candies can be made festive with food colorings and some enjoy making them into lollipops, or candy "sticks" or "twists"...use your imagination! Keep a candy dish full of these around the holidays.