5 January 2006
I checked with my mom. She is familiar with these caramels, and even has a friend who occasionally makes them for her! She also remembers reading about the fund-raiser sale ‘back in the day.’ She told me the recipe (or one similar) appears on page 289 in my “Savoring the Southwest” cookbook (a product of the Roswell Symphony Guild).
So I checked my copy and sure enough, there’s a recipe for “Sally’s Fours” in the middle of the page, sandwiched between peanut brittle and apricot balls. Roll Twilight Zone music: I even had a bookmark stuck in that page, because a few summers ago I used the last recipe on the page to make those apricot balls! (and my derivative, dried cherry balls rolled in cocoa powder – sadly, dried cherries really gum up a kitchenaid food grinder attachment so it’s best to stick with the apricots!)
Anyway, Baggett explains how the recipe is known as fours in Roswell because of four ingredients with equal amounts. Note that neither one has four ingredients with identical amounts! (unless they mean weight, not volume…) This version is not identical to Ms Baggett’s recipe, so I feel a taste test coming on… I wonder where I can find an inexpensive source for whipping cream?
(For the record, Baggett’s instructions are much more detailed and precise, which comes in handy when making candy. My mom told me “they’re supposed to be hard to make” – and given the brevity of the recipe in Savoring, I’m not surprised they have that reputation. Maybe that was so the altar guild women could protect their fundraiser profits, since this cookbook was published while they were still doing their annual sales. :^)
Edited in 2016 to add: I’ve posted a blog entry that includes my variation on Baggett’s original recipe. Find it here: New Mexico Caramels go to Piedmont