Introduction: Syrup Soldiers

About: When things don't go the way I want, I still hear my father say: ‘There is no such word as can’t.’ The things I make, I make thanks to him. He taught me how to bake and paint and everything in between, I got h…

One of the things about getting older is that you can talk about the past.  From me no good old days sentiment but an old days recipe: Syrup Soldiers, a candy in the shape of an arrow. 
As a child, you sucked a sharp point on them. The challenge was to pinch each other. Syrup fight! And of course, this sometimes resulted in a visit to the first aid post.
I did not have the recipe but a phone call to my mother who, although in old age, fortunately knew the recipe. I’m happy that I can make those syrup soldiers as she did.  She had two flavors: one with a caramel taste and one with a sour taste.  I made them both.  Make the Syrup Soldiers in small quantities, not more then 100 g of sugar at a time because the syrup hardens quickly.


Syrup Soldier plain:
 1 sheet of baking paper
 100 g of sugar
 20 g of butter
 20 ml of water
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence 

 Syrup soldier with sour taste
 1 sheet of baking paper
 100 g of sugar
 20 ml of water
 20 g of butter
 1 teaspoon citric acid dissolved in a teaspoon of water

 Knife (to cut strips of paper)
 Adhesive tape
 Bake beans or rice to use arrows
 Bowl with cold water
 Pan with a thick bottom
 Measuring cup with ml indication
 Wooden spoon
 Flame distributor (option)
 Sugar thermometer (recommended)
 Wooden spoon
 Silicone brush
 Bowl to weigh sugar in
Baking paper 

Step 1: Making Arrows

Fold a sheet of baking paper in half widthwise and cut.  Now take a half and fold it in three and cut the fold lines.  You now have three long strips.  Repeat this with the other half.  You now have strips for six arrows, which is enough for a batch of 100 g of sugar.
Make an arrow as follows: Take a strip of paper in your left hand between your thumb and forefinger. Now with your right hand, wrap the strip twice around your left thumb and then pull the strip out with both hands until you have an arrow.  Roll the last piece of paper around the tip and secure with a piece of adhesive tape.  Cut them at a length of 20 cm. Barri-kid has made a good instructable about how to make arrows:

Step 2: Make the Syrup and Fill the Arrows

Warning: sugar syrup is extremely hot and causes ugly burns, so never taste it before the mixture has cooled completely!  Do not walk away if you have sugar syrup on a heat source. Between a caramel or a black pan that can never be used again are only a few seconds, not to mention the risk of fire. 

The syrup soldier plain
Once the caramel has the right temperature, you have to work fast because it hardens quickly.
So prepare a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process and a small sauce spoon to fill the arrows.  Place the arrows in the rice or beans so that they are standing firm and do not fall over. 
Put the sugar and water in the pan. I use a fair amount of water (20 ml), a tablespoon is common, but if you use more water, the sugar will burn less quickly during melting and you can work more calmly.  The sugar will only caramelize when the water has evaporated. 
I start heating over a low heat, use a flame distributor and stir very little. Remove sugar crystals by going along the edge with a wet silicone brush.  As soon as the sugar starts to bubble, I regularly test whether the sugar has the right temperature.  I do this by dropping a drop of sugar syrup in cold water.  Now I also raise the heat a little. Once a drop of sugar solution in cold water forms a hard ball, add the butter and stir until the caramel has a nice golden / brown color.  If you use a sugar thermometer, then 160° Celsius is the right temperature. 
When the caramel has the right color, remove it immediately from the heat and stop the cooking process by briefly holding the pan in cold water for one or two seconds.  Now take the sauce spoon and quickly fill the arrows.  You can do exactly 6 arrows before the caramel starts hardening. If it is not possible to fill the arrows in time, you can heat the caramel once more briefly until it is liquid, but be carefull now because it burns quickly. Allow the caramel in the arrows to cool completely and in the meantime clean everything.  The pan is easiest to clean by filling it with water and bringing it to the boil.  Once the caramel has hardened, remove the spilled caramel on the outside of the paper and close the arrow. You now have a syrup soldier.

Syrup soldier with sour taste
Work in the same way as the natural flavor but now add the citric acid as soon as the caramel comes off the heat and stir.

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