Victoria Fringer of Woodstock, Ill., wrote that she wanted help finding a recipe for vinegar candy. She noted she had been seeking this recipe for a long time and that "We used to make it as children."
Kathryn Vaile of Catonsville responded. She wrote: "Hope this will do the trick. This is my grandmother's recipe -- she called it `crack candy.' Once the candy had cooled, she would crack it with the handle of a knife into pieces. My grandmother lived to 104. I have her handwritten recipe."
Makes about 20 small pieces
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons vinegar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
Combine first four ingredients and cook over medium-high heat until a droplet of the mixture forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water (until the mixture reaches 270 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes). Swirl pan gently but do not stir. Butter an 8- or 9-inch cake pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts, if using, on bottom of pan. Pour candy mixture over nuts and let cool. When cool, break into pieces.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This is like an old-fashioned hard toffee brittle, with the rich flavor of brown sugar tasting a bit like molasses. Break it up gently with the back of a knife (and watch out for flying shards) or, when the candy is cooling, score the surface deeply with the point of a knife and break along the lines when the candy has cooled completely. Store in an airtight container, but not in the refrigerator as the candy will sweat and soften."
A.C. Bailey of Columbia writes: "I am looking for a recipe for prune whip. Hope someone can provide it."
Mary Ann Schmitt of Baltimore is seeking a recipe for "making creme de menthe balls. As I recall, they were not baked but refrigerated and made with crushed vanilla wafers and creme de menthe."
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.