So when the ice cream truck rolled down my grandmother's street, my brother and I were just as likely to pick a Mexican sweet as a popsicle. In fact, I was pretty obsessed with the Lucas Acidito Chili Powder, a salty tangy slightly hot powder that came in a little shaker with a duck on it. (Unfortunately, it was tested high for lead content in the late 2000s and subsequently pulled from the U.S. market. Lucas powders have been reformulated, and I bought some for my birthday in September and I can vouch that they are still delicious.)
|My inspiration (pic credit Village Voice)|
So after my most recent foray into Mexicandy appreciation, I decided I had to make my own version. As tasty as those lollipops are, I happen to be lollipop challenged. I either somehow stab myself in the mouth or drool on myself while trying to do something two-handed with a sucker in my mouth. Therefore I wanted to make them without the stupid paper stick.
|Some amazing person gave me a Thermapen!|
Chile Mango Candies
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1 dram (approx 1 teaspoon) of candy flavoring (I did mango, but consider watermelon and strawberry)
3-4 drops food coloring (optional)
Mexican fruit seasoning (lime, chili powder, and salt mixture such as Tajín)
|Without a candy mold|
Prepare molds by spraying with cooking spray. If you do not have molds, use a rimmed baking sheet lined in foil sprayed with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Over medium-high heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and let the mixture boil until it reaches 260 degree Fahrenheit, washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush and water occasionally to avoid crystal formation. Add in your food coloring if you want, do not stir but let the boiling action mix it for you. Remove the pot from heat at 300 degrees, and let the boiling subside. When it does, stir in the flavoring.
|With a candy mold|
Now you have two choices, depending on how you want to add your chili powder mix:
For the coating on the outside: Pour the candy into mold or foil and let cool. For foil, you will wait a couple minutes to let the candy harden up, then use a butter knife coated in cooking spray to score the candy so you can break it into pieces later. Do not drag the knife, but press down (or else it will be ugly like mine were). Once they have cooled, take individual pieces and quickly dunk them in hot water until they get sticky, then roll in the chili powder mix, covering any sticky spots. Let dry.
|Ready for taste test at work!|
Store in a cool dry place (not the fridge or they will get super sticky).
For lots of zing, feel free to do both methods!
L.A. Street Dog