Confession: I was so nervous about ruining this butterscotch the first time I made it that I didn’t boil the concoction long enough. I had to make this a second time to get it right. I was afraid of burning the mixture the first time but the second time I wasn’t as worried about it. This recipe came from my “The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices” which, amongst many other things, contains recipes! And this book is special to me. I need to stress to everyone out there the absolute importance of buying older cookbooks. I know they may not look as fancy or colorful as the new ones coming out these days, but having a few of these older ones around is worth the space they take up on your bookshelf and then some. A lot of these cookbooks are much more than just recipes and pretty pictures. They may contain information about the foods you’re working with or how to make things other than food. For instance, I got this book because it contained information about herbs and spices and all sorts of other stuff. The recipes are unique and they’re for a lot of things we don’t make anymore (an entire section on jam?! Count me in!). The book even has instructions for making candles, furniture polish, sachets, etc. and tips on landscaping based on the size and needs of the herbs. It really is brilliant. Of course, publishers are still publishing cookbooks like this, but so often I buy a cookbook and find that it’s really just a venue for gorgeous pictures, recipes that include things I don’t usually have around the house or have any other use for, and a lot of white space. Meh. I’ll pass. Give me a book like this one any day. I can spend hours going through it learning new things. That’s a keeper. So there’s you go. My little plug for buying some of these older cookbooks.
While you’re contemplating which new cookbook to buy (which is pretty much every Saturday morning for me—even though it’s usually window shopping) you should make some of this butterscotch candy. It’ll make you proud and smug. Yum.
Butterscotch Flavored with Coriander
1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
1 cup butter
2 2/3 cups brown sugar
juice of half a lemon
1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan or soup pot.
2. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice, stirring over low heat till dissolved.
3. Boil the mixture fast until a drop in cold water turns brittle.
4. Stir in the coriander seeds. Pour the butterscotch mixture onto a well-oiled baking sheet.
5. Let it sit for about 1 minute and then mark it into squares.
6. When cooled, break apart the butterscotch candies into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container.