When I quit watching TV, talking on the phone for hours, and trying to occupy the very same space as my boyfriend 24-7, I had to get better hobbies. So, I took up cooking, crafting, and barbershop singing. It always tickles me when someone says something I’ve made in my kitchen is “too hard” to make. I think what they’re really saying is that it’s intimidating or that they don’t have the time/chutzpah to practice. So, let’s tackle this not very hard candy together. We’re going to make all the grannies and folks with oral fixations in your life very, very happy.
Tools you’ll need:
-candy thermometer (Here’s what mine looks like. It even has the different stages of candy hardness right on the face.)
-candy mold that can withstand “hard crack” temperatures or a cookie sheet
-wooden spoon or silicone spatula (that’s just my preference, ‘cause they don’t melt)
- 2-½ cups sugar
- ½ cups water
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- ¾ teaspoons flavoring oil (It’s on the candy making supplies aisle at the craft store. You can add more if you like stronger flavored candy. Works better than extracts from the baking aisle, not as watery.)
- 2+ drops food coloring (Basically as much as you need to get it the color you want. Gel color users, a blob or two from the tip of a toothpick should do you just fine.)
First, put some nonstick spray on your candy mold/cookie sheet.
Next, mix sugar, water and corn syrup in a pan and cook to 298 degrees F(“hard crack”). Stir constantly, measuring the temperature as you go. Most candy thermometers have a little clip on the side, you can sort of clip it to the pan that way. Make sure the little bulb is down in the mixture most of the time. Keep stirring. Some freaky alien crap is about to happen, but rest assured, it’s supposed to look like bubbly, frothy frog eggs. Stirring and temperature monitoring are key to your success.
Once your mixture hits 298 degrees, turn the heat off and take the pan off the burner. Then, you’ll stir in flavoring oil and food coloring. Immediately pour into your prepped mold(s)/cookie sheet (don’t dawdle, or it’ll get too cold and you’ll have a pot of crazy) and let it set until hard. If you’re going the cookie sheet route, do yourself a favor and score the surface of the candy while it’s about the consistency of taffy, so it’ll be easier to break later.
This particular batch is sticky. Thanks, humidity. It kind of reminds me of edible glass. Fun horror movie themed cupcakes garnished with this come to mind…or perhaps a candy version of a certain blue drug of tv fame. 😀
- The flavor oils come in many flavors! I like cinnamon best. I just picked up some root beer oil, so root beer candy will be a “go” soon.
- If you add a teaspoon of oil and close to a dozen drops of food coloring, the mixture’s probably going to smoke. Just saying.
- Wilton “candy molds” aren’t for hard candy. *cue sad trombone* However, Confectionery House has a bunch to choose from. Suckers shaped like buttons, hoorah! 😀