Dried hot chile peppers, ground fine, to taste- no seeds (seeds will char and cause the candy to burn)
1/2 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
Heat: 1/4 tsp coarse Scotch Bonnet or Habanero flakes, ground fine, will be quite hot, as will be 1/2 tsp coarse Tabasco flakes, ground fine. See Things To Do With Chile Peppers for information on drying and grinding chiles.
Lightly spray a glass 9"x13" casserole dish and a plate with cooking spray.
Combine water through cream of tartar in a medium saucepan (saucepan should not be more than half full to prevent it from boiling over). Heat over medium heat with stirring until all sugar has dissolved. Once candy starts to boil, stop stirring and add finely ground chiles. Boil without stirring until the mixture reaches hard crack stage (300 degrees F, keep a candy thermometer in the pot while boiling to confirm temperature).
Be very careful with the next steps; the candy is extremely hot and is loaded with capsaicin it can burn you severely. Pour the molten liquid into the prepared pan. Working from the edges, allow the candy to cool until manageable but still quite hot and malleable. With scissors, cut a 1 1/2" wide strip from an outside edge of the candy and roll it into a cylinder. Place the cylinder on the greased plate to cool, and repeat with the opposite outside edge of the candy. If necessary, allow candy remaining in pan to cool some more after the outside edges have been cut off. Continue until all candy has been formed into cylinders.
Once cylinders have cooled, cut into lozenge-sized pieces and coat with powdered sugar by placing the candy in a one-gallon zip-top bag with 1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar and shaking until candy is coated. Store in an air-tight container.
Yield: about 1 1/2 cup candy pieces
This candy is super-hot! You've been warned...
This recipe last updated: 12 December 2003