Making Hard Candy
Our first new adventure was….Making hard candy.
What a wonderful experience. Not only was it a easy recipe to follow but the process was one that could be easily followed. Due to it being such a positive adventure I’m convinced to do it again and even work it into a very affordable option for gift giving.
The first step was finding the flavors. I found a limited assortment of 2 packs at Hobby Lobby and a larger assortment of single flavors at our local pharmacy. I was surprised by the pharmacy option. I went with the single assortment first so I could try some of the flavors to see what ones I liked the best.
When exploring the Hobby Lobby options I did purchase for a very reasonable rate a candy thermometer. There were a couple different options for me to pick from and one of them being digital and the other being the typical reading type. I went with the typical reading option as I wasn’t sure on the battery life of the digital. Last thing I need to a thermometer failure for my fellas to tease me about bad candy.
The recipe I used was taken from the LorAnn Gourmet oil recipe. It was just a little recipe card I found at that quaint pharmacy I found the single flavors at. The recipe called for:
2 cups of granulated sugar
⅔ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 dram of flavor
½ tsp liquid food coloring
***Before starting this process: Find a cookie sheet with sides and your aluminum foil. I put a layer of foil on my cookie sheet and made sure the sides were covered. I also put a could old towels under the cookie sheet so that the very hot candy didn’t heat up the pan and burn the counter. I then put a layer of powdered sugar on the cookie sheet. When your candy is finished you won’t want to take the time to set up the cookie sheet so I encourage you to do this step before starting your candy.
Once the candy is done it will be extremely hot so keep pot holders at the ready.
So I gathered the ingredients and armed with my stainless steel pan and my metal spoon at the ready I hit the stove. I put the candy thermometer on the pan and made sure the tip that goes in the liquid didn’t touch the bottom of the pan. The thermometer came with a clip on the side that moved up and down the thermometer so I was able to adjust it easily to make sure it fit the pan I was using. I put the ingredients in the pan and turned on the burner to medium heat. I didn’t want to burn the sugar so I stirred the sugar quite a bit at the beginning to make sure none of it stuck to the bottom of the pan. After it got to boiling I left it on the medium heat but let it just keep boiling. I did stir it a bit but I didn’t stand and stir it the entire time. According to the directions once it hit 260 degrees I put about 4 drops of food coloring it. Sure enough the boiling action of the liquid spread the color throughout the mixture. I was starting to doubt myself a couple times as the thermometer would look like it would stall out when it was climbing but patience was on my side and within a few minutes of each stall the temperature would start to climb again. Once the thermometer read 300 degrees F I turned the heat off and added the dram of flavor. Ohhhh the smell. I could tell it was going to be very tasty and my mouth began to water at the shear smell of what was going to be headed it’s way. I took the thermometer out of the liquid and stirred the flavoring around. It looked like it was full of bubbles and stirred very easily but it was very hot so I carefully poured the liquid candy onto the powdered sugar on the cookie sheet. It spread out and I could tell it was going to be great.
I made sure that I was careful when putting the pan into water as it was hot and I didn’t know what the reaction of cold water onto such a hot pan would do. I also was able to make sure that I put hot tap water in the pan with the metal spoon and the leftover candy dissolved in the water. As the candy starts to hardened you can easily break it apart into bite size pieces. Enjoy.