When I was a little girl, living in Southern California, my family used to take weekend trips to Tijuana Mexico every once in a while. My greatest memory was visiting the candy shops during the Autumn when they had displays full of Dia de la Muerta (Day of the Dead) candies: little sugar skulls, bright colored marzipan figures, and cubes of buttery caramely brown sugar fudge that had a bit of a salty finish. I had no idea what it was but I loved it, and I got some every time we went.
This recipe is an homage to the candy I had and loved as a child.
If you don't have a candy thermometer, which I highly recommend having if you make candy with any frequency, you can use the cold water method to check the state of your candy. With a bowl of very cold water (throw a piece of ice in there for good measure) once the mixture has been boiling for about 10 minutes (this is totally an estimate, look up water method if you've not used it before, please) over medium to medium low heat, drop a small bit of sugar mixture into the cold water and create a ball, it should smoosh like a pancake when you take it out of the water hence “soft ball stage.”