Coal Candy
Christmas tradition says that boys and girls who have been naughty get a
lump of coal in their stocking rather than a fun to or a sweet treat.
But in the mining towns of Pennsylvania, coal would never be used to
signify bad behavior. Here, coal is a good thing, and children are
delighted to find lumps of coal in their Christmas stocking. Coal candy,
that is.

At the cash register in the old diner section of the Dutch Kitchen, you
can buy locally made coal candy by the bucketfuls. It is licorice, black
and shiny like a nugget of freshly mined anthracite. It comes in large,
irregular chunks packaged with a small hammer. The way to enjoy is to
set a hunk out on a clean surface and use the hammer to smash it into
little bite size fragments.

The unique confections was invented over in the neighboring town of
Pottsville, where Ned Buckley's family has been running the Mootz Candy
Store on Main Street since 1908. Mootz is know for chocolate covered
nuts, creamy peanut rolls, molasses coconut strips and chocolate
novelties made in molds that look like hairdressers tools, golf clubs,
antique cars and bingo boards. It was Ned Buckley's grandmother who came
up with the idea for coal candy some time in the 1950s when the coal
industry was still thriving. Mootz sells its coal candy, known as Black
Diamonds, in boxes, miniature miner's buckets, and toy train cars. And
at Christmas, you can buy stockings already filled with it.
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Coal Candy
http://recipes. howstuffworks. com/coal- candy-recipe. htm

Yield: Makes about 1-1/2 pounds

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 teaspoon black paste food coloring

Preparation:
Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending edges over sides of
pan. Lightly grease foil with butter; set aside. Measure sugar, corn
syrup and water into heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat
until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil, being careful not
to splash sugar mixture on side of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer
to side of pan (do not let bulb touch bottom of pan). Cook about 15
minutes until thermometer registers 290F, without stirring. Immediately
remove from heat. Stir in anise extract and food coloring. Pour mixture
into prepared pan. Cool completely.

Lift candy out of pan using foil; remove foil. Place candy between 2
layers of heavy-duty foil. Pound with mallet to break candy into 1- to
2-inch pieces.

Famous Dutch Kitchen Restaurant Cookbook
Jane and Michael Stern (2004)