Custom Search



Barley Candy

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: John 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 2:58 PM
  Subject: barley water candy 


  Can you find any recipes for barley water candy which was popular 
  in the late 1800's, early 1900s? 



Hi John,

Your seemingly simple request turned into quite an investigation. Barley water is a popular "soft drink" in the British Isles, right up there with Coke. It's easy to make at home, but it's sold bottled like soda pop. See the first two recipes below. "Barley water candy", more commonly called "barley candy" or "barley sugar", was orginally made by taking barley-water, adding a lot of sugar, and then boiling it down to a candy-like consistency. See the third recipe below.

However, barley candy or barley sugar is no longer made this way. See the bottom two recipes. There's no barley in them now, they're just sugar candies. They're very popular in the U.K. and in Canada and Australia. In the U.S., the FDA said that since they didn't contain barley, they couldn't be sold under that name. I suspect that our lemon drops are very similar to lemon barley sugar.

In searching for "barley sugar", it was easy to take a wrong turn, because there is also a "barley sugar" that is:
"a light-brown sugar which is made from white sugar that has been liquefied by heating to 320 F, allowed to cool, and then mechanically crushed. "

So, if you want to make authetic barley water candy or "barley-sugar", use the first "barley sugar" recipe below, the one with barley in it.

On a side note, barley-water has long been recommended for a number of medical conditions and is still used for that purpose.


  To make barley-water, Smith said: 

  Take of pearl barley four ounces, put it in a large pipkin and 
  cover it with water; when the barley is thick and tender, put 
  in more water and boil it up again, and so do till it is of a 
  good thickness to drink; then put in a blade or two of mace, 
  or a stick of cinnamon; let it have a walm or two and strain it 
  out; squeese in the juice of two or three lemons, and a bit of 
  the peel, and sweeten it to your taste with fine sugar; let it 
  stand till it is cold, and then run it through a bag, and bottle 
  it up; it will keep three or four days. 
  Barley Water

  An old-fashioned drink that was traditionally given to children.

  2 ounces pearl barley
  3 teaspoons sugar
  Peel of 1/2 lemon 1 pint boiling water

  Put barley in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring 
  to a boil and boil for about 3 minutes. Strain barley and put in 
  a jug with sugar, lemon peel and boiling water. Cover and let 
  stand until cold. Strain. Serve plain, or add lemon juice and sugar 
  to taste, or dilute half and half with milk, or serve over ice. 
  It is usually served in small tumblers.

  Serves 2 to 4.
  Barley Sugar 

  This is an ancient sweet originally made from hot sugar syrup 
  and an extract of barley to colour it.

  Barley - 250g (9 oz), hulled
  Water - 5 litres (9 pints)
  Sugar - 1 kg (21/4 lb), warmed


  Gently cook the barley in the water for 5 hours.

  Strain the jelly-like liquid and return it to the pan. Add the sugar, 
  stir over a gentle heat until dissolved.

  Boil the mixture until it just reaches the hard crack stage, 
  150 C (300 F). Pour the mixture over an oiled marble slab.

  As soon as the mixture begins to cool, cut it into long strips and 
  twist them.
  Barley Sugar

  500 g glucose powder
  150 ml water
  1 tbsp honey
  A good pinch of saffron powder
  1/2 lemon, juice strained, rind thinly pared in one continuous strip
  A small pinch of cream of tartar. 

  In a heavy saucepan, heat the glucose, honey, saffron powder and
  water until the glucose has completely dissolved. Add the lemon
  rind and the pinch of cream of tartar. Boil the syrup until it
  reaches the Soft Ball Stage, more than 116 Celsius (240F) but remove
  the lemon rind before it begins to go brown.

  Continue to boil the syrup until it reaches the Hard Crack Stage,
  more than 154 Celsius (310F). Keep testing with iced water and
  don't over cook them as I did the first time. (They had a bitter
  taste and I had to throw them out.) Stop the cooking by dipping
  the base of the pan into cold water. Add the lemon juice without
  stirring. Pour out the syrup in a thin layer on to a lightly oiled
  metal baking tray. Leave the mixture to cool for a few minutes then
  use a palette knife or spatula to fold the sides to the middle
  without wrinkling the sheet of syrup. Oil some scissors and use
  them to cut the mixture into strips. Twist the strips into corkscrew
  shaped sticks while they are still warm. This is fun. If the mixture
  cools too rapidly put the metal tray over a bowl of boiling water.

  To store, wrap the barley sugar sticks individually in cellophane
  or waxed paper.

  From an 1890 cookbook:

  189. -- Barley Sugar.

  Put some sugar in a pan with water and place it on the fire to boil; 
  when it is at the feather add a little lemon juice and continue boiling 
  to the caramel; when done add a few drops of essence of lemon. Pour it 
  on a marble slab previously oiled, cut into strips. When nearly cold take 
  the strips in your fingers and twist them, and when quite cold put them 
  into tin boxes and keep them closed down. The reason that barley sugar 
  is so named is that it was originally made with a decoction of barley. 

  190. -- Barley Sugar Drops.

  These are made in the same manner as the preceding. You pour the sugar 
  while hot into impressions made in dried icing sugar. 

Chocolate Peanut Donuts

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Shirley 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 12:45 AM
  Subject: donuts (Peanut sticks)

  Can you help me  find the recipe  for peanut stick  donuts. They were 
  at all donut  shops up  in the New York area  years ago and since  
  have vanished. They are a cake  type stick  donut, rolled in crushed 
  peanuts. Very tasty  but can't  find any where.
  Thank you  so much

Hi Shirley,

Were they chocolate? I can't find anything as "peanut sticks" or "peanut stick doughnuts", but I did find the recipe below - chocolate doughnuts covered with ground peanuts. If that's not it, give me a better description and I'll look some more.


For a peanut sticks recipe, see: Other Donut Recipes

  Chocolate Glazed Peanut Doughnuts
Recipe from Chocolatier, October 1991
Article "Dazzling Designer Doughnuts"

Chocolate Glazed Peanut Doughnuts

Yield:  Approximately 14 doughnuts and 14 
doughnut holes
Difficulty:  X
Preparation:  1-1/2 hours plus chilling, 
resting, frying and cooling times

Peanut doughnuts:

3-1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), divided
1 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Vegetable oil for frying

Chocolate glaze:
18 ounces Swiss dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chopped peanuts, for garnish

Make the doughnuts:

1.  In a food processor fitted with the metal 
chopping blade, combine 1/2 cup of the four 
with the peanuts.  Process for 20 to 30 
seconds, until coarsely chopped.

2.  In a large bowl, using a wire whisk, stir 
together the remaining 3 cups of flour, 
chopped peanut mixture, sugar, baking powder 
and salt, until thoroughly blended.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the 
milk, egg, oil and vanilla, until blended.  
Make a well in the center of the flour 
mixture and pour the milk mixture into it.  
Using a rubber spatula, stir until the 
mixture forms a soft, moist dough.  Dust a 
work surface with flour.  Scrape the dough 
onto the work surface and lightly sprinkle 
the top of the dough with flour.  Gather the 
dough into a ball and knead it gently 5 or 6 
times, until smooth (do not overhandle).

4.  Dust a large baking sheet with flour.  
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.  Dust 
your hands with flour and pat the dough into 
a circle that is about 11 inches in diameter 
and about 1/2-inch thick.  Cover the dough 
with plastic wrap and place the baking sheet 
with the dough on it in the freezer for 15 to 
20 minutes, or until firm.

5.  Using a floured 2-3/4 inch round cookie 
cutter, cut 12 rounds from the circle of 
dough.  With a floured 1-inch round cookie 
cutter, cut a hole from the center of each 
doughnut.  Using a floured pancake spatula, 
transfer the doughnuts and the doughnut holes 
to a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.

6.  Gather the scraps of dough together, wrap 
in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 
minutes.  Pat the scraps into a circle 
1/2-inch thick and make more doughnuts as 
above.  Cover the doughnuts and refrigerate 
for up to 6 hours, until you are ready to fry 
them.  Let the chilled doughnuts stand at 
room temperature for 15 minutes before 

Fry the doughnuts:

7.  Pour enough oil in a deep fat fryer or 
10-inch, high-sided skillet to come up to a 
depth of 3 inches.  Heat the oil to 375oF.  
Dip a pancake spatula in the hot oil and use 
it to transfer the doughnuts from the baking 
sheet to the hot oil.  This will prevent them 
from losing their shape.  Three at a time, 
fry the doughnuts for 1 minute on each side, 
or until golden brown.  Using a slotted 
spoon, remove the doughnuts from the hot oil 
and transfer them to paper towels to drain.  
Set the doughnuts on a wire rack to cool.  
Six at a time, fry the doughnut holes in the 
same manner.

Make the chocolate glaze:

8.  In the top of a double boiler over hot, 
not simmering water, melt 8 ounces of the 
chocolate.  Gradually add the remaining 10 
ounces of chocolate, stirring frequently 
until smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat.

9.  In a small saucepan, combine the water, 
sugar and corn syrup.  Cook over medium heat, 
stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar 
dissolves completely.  Do not let the mixture 
boil.  Remove pan from the heat.

10.  Pour the sugar syrup into a medium bowl. 
 Whisk the melted chocolate into the sugar 
syrup, until smooth.  Stir in the vanilla.  
Keep the glaze warm by setting the bowl over 
a pot of warm water.  (The water must touch 
the bottom of the bowl.)  Tilt the bowl on 
the edge of the pot to create a deep pool of 
glaze for dipping.

11.  Gently drop a doughnut onto the surface 
of the glaze.  Using a fork, turn the 
doughnut over so that it is fully coated in 
chocolate.  Lift the doughnut out of the 
glaze, scraping off the excess glaze onto the 
bowl's edge.  Place the doughnut onto a wire 
rack set over a baking sheet, and carefully 
remove the fork.  Sprinkle the doughnut with 
chopped peanuts before the glaze sets.

12.  Coat the remaining doughnuts and the 
doughnut holes in the same manner.  sprinkle 
the doughnuts with chopped peanuts, if 
desired, before the glaze sets.  Refrigerate 
the doughnuts for 5 minutes to harden the 
glaze.  Store the doughnuts in an airtight 
container at room temperature.  The doughnuts 
should be served the same day they are 

Chinese Donuts

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Shirley
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 9:56 AM
  Subject: Re: donuts (Peanut sticks)

  Thanks so much for answering. No, these are  not the ones I speak of. 
  The ones I had were not chocolate. They were a cake  type  donut  with 
  what seemed to be a glaze like a glazed donut (white) and they were 
  rolled in crushed peanuts. They were about 6' long like a log and  
  1 1/2-2" thick. In Syracuse several donut shops always had them. 
  I remember Empire Donut Shop and Harrison Bakery, but can't think of 
  the other donut shop names. 
  I really appreciate your time and effort. I am  craving for  them again. 

Hi Shirley,

Well, this is one of those times when I have to admit defeat. I searched extra hard because these sound really good, but there's just not a recipe for them online that I can find. I think they're called "peanut sticks".

While I was searching, I came across the below recipe that caught my eye because I like exotic recipes. I thought I'd share it with you.


For a peanut sticks recipe, see: Other Donut Recipes

  Chien Doi (Chinese Doughnuts) 

  This you must try. If you've found your way here, you need to stock up 
  on a few calories and there is no better place to get them. 

  6 ozs brown sugar 
  6 fl ozs hot water 
  1 lb rice flour 
  2 teaspoons baking powder 
  1 tablespoon dry sherry 
  2 ozs grated coconut (unsweetened) 
  2 ozs crushed roasted peanuts (crush between two sheets of greaseproof 
    paper with a rolling pin) 
  3 tablespoons caster sugar 
  2 ozs cup toasted sesame seeds 
  Oil for deep frying 
  Dissolve the brown sugar in hot water, add the sherry and allow to cool. 
  Stir enough liquid into the sifted flour and baking powder to make a 
  stiff dough (do not knead). 

  Shape into a roll, 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut the roll into 1/2" slices 
  and flatten them to around 2" in diameter.

  Combine the coconut, peanuts and caster sugar and place a tablespoon of 
  the filling in the middle of each slice. Bring the edge of each slice 
  together and roll in your hands to form a ball. Put the sesame seeds on 
  to a flat plate and roll each ball in them. Deep fry in the oil for 4-5
  minutes until golden brown. 

  Drain on paper towels. Serve warm or room temperature. 

Louisiana Hot Sauce

----- Original Message -----
From: Sharon 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 1:35 AM
Subject: ISO~

> Hi Uncle Phaedrus~
> I've spent quite a bit of time searching and have not found a clear
> recipe for making Louisiana hot sauce from my little hot red peppers
> that are ready to be processed.  It involves only the peppers, vinegar
> and salt, but I'm not sure how to proceed.  (Seeds in or out? Peppers
> fresh or dried? Hot or cold vinegar? When to blend? How and how long to
> keep? Refrigerated or not...etc.)  My favorite Brands are Crystal,
> first, then Tabasco, which I know are both "secret" recipes.
> I would appreciate any help with this.
> Best wishes,
> Sharon

Hi Sharon,

Hmmmmm. Well, I appreciate good hot sauce myself. We grew a garden full of various kinds of peppers a couple of years ago, and I did a bit of research at that time. The first hot sauce of this type to be sold commercially was Tabasco. The product called "Louisiana Hot Sauce" has become almost as well known, but people tend to get it confused with Tabasco. Crystal hot sauce is spreading all over the country now , but for years it was really difficult to find outside of Louisiana. Tabasco Sauce is made with Tabasco peppers that are aged in wooden barrels for three years. Tabasco peppers are a variety of cayenne, but not all cayennes are tabasco peppers. Louisiana hot sauce and Crystal hot sauce are made with cayennes, but not Tabasco cayennes. Other than that, the differences are that Crystal is a bit milder and both Louisiana and Crystal are slightly less vinegary tasting than Tabasco. There's no recipe for Crystal to be found, but there are a few copy-cat recipes for Tabasco below.

In answer to your questions, here's what we think:

Use fresh peppers to make your sauce. Dried peppers will not ferment.

If you take the seeds out, you'll also remove much of the heat. The seeds are the hottest part. Do remove the stems.

As for heating the vinegar, two of the recipes below call for simmering the peppers & vinegar after mixing.

Refrigerate while aging? Most of the recipes do not call for this, but see below. It seems to me that refrigeration would slow down the fermentation process, but by all means, take the safest route.

There are more recipes and tips at these two sites:


Cayenne Hot Sauce:


2 lbs finely chopped cayenne or tabasco chiles
3 cups distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt

In a medium, non-reactive (not  aluminum - use  enameled or 
porcelain or stainless steel, or corning ware) saucepan,  
combine the chiles and vinegar and heat to just below boiling. 
Add the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender. 
Pour into a container and allow to sit for at least three weeks. (
Commercial  Louisiana hot sauces are aged for 4 months to three years) 
Original Tabasco sauce was aged in white oak barrels. We recommend you 
do it in a covered container in the refrigerator for safety, although 
most pepper sauces, including the local pepper sauce that we put on 
lack-eyed peas, is not refrigerated while aging. The vinegar should 
retard any bacterial growth, but the choice is yours. Finally, strain 
it and pour it into sterilized bottles. Refrigerate after opening.
Orange Rocket Hot Sauce

1 lb Tabasco chiles, chopped [or other hot pepper variety]
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
You can use chiles other than Tabasco for a different-tasting sauce.

Note: The recipe for true Tabasco brand hot sauce is a long-guarded 
secret. In addition, the Tabasco folks make a hot pepper "mash" and 
let this ferment long before the peppers are used in their secret recipe. 
This process is what gives Tabasco brand pepper sauce its unique flavor.

This recipe does not attempt to replicate that sauce. Instead, this is a
standard Louisiana hot sauce recipe. If desired, you can add some garlic 
powder and/or onion powder to flavor the sauce somewhat.
Ground white pepper added is also a nice touch.

Combine the chiles and the vinegar and heat. Stir in the salt and simmer for
5 minutes. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. 
Add more vinegar if the sauce needs thinning.
Allow to steep for a couple of weeks before using. 
[Note: Store in a dark place, or in light-resistent bottles as the sauce 
will discolor otherwise. The bottles can be processed in a boiling-water 
bath for extra safety and for longer storage.]
Tabasco type hot sauce

The amount of salt and vinegar will vary according to the amount of chiles,
and the amount of chiles I use is generally what I have on hand. But, I'll
take a stab at being a little more specific: I usually use 1.5 pint canning
jars...the freezer type with the tapered "a bit wider at the top than
bottom" mouth. Each jar should hold about a pound of chopped chiles, so if I
had a pound of chiles on hand, I'd take a few out to allow for some space
between the chiles and the jar top. BTW -- that includes seeds, I just wash
'em, cut the stem out, and throw 'em whole into a food processor. If you
want, you can clean out the seeds, in which case you might get the whole
pound of chiles into a single 1.5 pint jar (if you packed 'em a bit). I
measure the coarse salt by my fingertips and in, whatever I can
pick up with 'em. Two fingertips full on the bottom of the jar, one between
each layer of chiles (each layer being about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick) and two
or three on top. All totaled, I'd guess it amounts to 4 to 5 teaspoons per
pound of chiles. BTW -- I suggested individual discretion as to how long to
leave the chiles to ferment in the salt. For me, that's usually 5 or 6 days.
Longer might mellow out the flavor, but I can't get over the worry about
mold or other I don't let it sit for too long. When it's time
to add the vinegar, I had however much it takes to cover the chiles by about
1/4 inch...don't have a clue as to how much that'd be.

Wood Sealer

 ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: elizabeth 
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 1:10 PM

  Got a good question for you...can you use dry lock (paint normally 
  used for masonery, cement, basement walls, etc.) on outdoor wood trim.  
  My trim around the garage door seems to have water running on it, it 
  faces the wind and rain, and the door is now rusting in a corner with 
  the wood in the same place damp...If I can't use dry lock do they make 
  another paint for just such a situation.thanks...

Hi Elizabeth,

From what I can determine, Dry Lock is for use on concrete & plaster only. What you want is a wood sealer. There are many of these available. If your trim is unpainted, then you can use the same sealer that is used for wooden decks. If your trim is to be painted, then you want one that is a combination sealer/basecoat. Just look for or ask for a wood sealer or a wood sealer basecoat.

Several of these products are advertised online. Here are some pages for this type of product:



Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Phaedrus