A twofer: This makes a chewy anise-flavored candy that you can eat out of hand or use to garnish fruit salads and desserts. The syrup is great for making lemonade or mixing into subtly flavored cocktails.
Make Ahead: The candy can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. The syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Yield: Makes 3/4 cup candy and 1 cup syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 5 to 6 ounces fennel stalks, cut on the diagonal into thin slices (1 1/2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes, until the fennel is crisp-tender. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain the syrup into a container.
Transfer the syrup-coated fennel slices to the lined baking sheet, spreading them in an even layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, then separate any fennel slices that are sticking together. Bake for 30 minutes or until the fennel is dry and just a bit sticky.
Cool completely on the baking sheet before serving or storing.
Adapted from "Root-to-Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable," by Tara Duggan (Ten Speed Press, 2013).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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