How to Make Sugar Crystals on a Stick

Picture of How to Make Sugar Crystals on a Stick
You would think that this is easy, and it is, if you don’t overcook it. I have a tendency to want to create suckers (you should see my extensive sucker mold collection), instead of sugar crystals.  So here is how I finally was able to come up with sugar crystals on a stick.  This is way fun and a way to learn patience, especially for the young people who are learning how to make their own sugar crystals.  So here we go to make Sugar Crystals on a stick.
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Step 1:

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1 cup water
2 ½ cups sugar
Food coloring
Flavor oil ($2 a bottle)
Sauce pan
Tall narrow glass jar (mine used to have hot pickles veggies in it)
Clothes pin
Short skewers (about 6 inches)
Rubber scraper

Step 2:

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First wet the bamboo skewer and then coat it with sugar.  These will be the seed crystals for the growing of the bigger sugar crystals.  Let it dry while you make the sugar syrup.

Step 3:

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Place the water in the sauce pan.  Turn the burner heat to medium.

Step 4:

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Add the sugar a little at a time, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved, before adding any more. Then add a little more and keep stirring.   

Step 5:

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Once all the sugar is gone, it will be boililng, take the pan off the heat.  The syrup will be a little thick, but that is what we want, the water is now saturated (as full as it can be of sugar).

Step 6:

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Add some food coloring.  I used the cake decorating paste I have from past projects.  If you need to use regular food coloring, add a lot, like 40 drops to make good color in the crystals.
Then add ½ tsp. of oil flavoring.  Flavoring with alcohol burns off to quickly and doesn’t leave much flavor behind, you may use it but it won’t have a lot of flavor.  Stir until the color and flavor is well blended.
Thank you! You just explained why the first batch didn't go well. Wish we had seen your instructions first!
WilliamB17 months ago

what if i made it reast in the fridge, or a freezer, or the oven (when its turned off off course)

Thank you very much, I tried but fail many times, I hope your method will help, please show me how to make them for commercial. Thank you.

Can you help me figure out why whenever I try to make this my syrup hardens the next day after I poured it into my cup. I use a plastic cup is that an issue?
craftknowitall (author)  Hungrybearfire2 years ago
Congratulations, you are making, as my mother called it, " hard tack" candy, or in other words, add sticks and you have suckers. The problem is you are cooking the syrup too long and to, too high a temperature ( problably around 150 degrees C or 300 degrees F , that's called hark crack). You want to desolve the sugar until it won't hold any more, then stop cooking. It is better to use a clear glass jar and then put it in a sunny place. Hope this helps. Thank you for asking.
WOW! I sure wish I had seen this a couple months ago! We attempted to make these for my daughter's science project and it was a complete disaster. We ended up with a super-saturated solution that turned into a huge sugar blob in the jar after 3 days.

We'll have to try your method because we really want to make rock candy! Thank you!
craftknowitall (author)  mrscoloradogal2 years ago
Be sure and put the jar in a sunny place, it helps a lot.
Thanks, we will! The ones we made before weren't anywhere near a window!
flixs2 years ago
question: at the time when you remove this , couldnt you coat it in sugar again, and drop that into a new jar that was cooled for stick insertion... maybe a differnt color?
craftknowitall (author)  flixs2 years ago
YOu could, I don't see why not. Sounds like an experiment to me. Try it and let me know how it turns out.
rimar20002 years ago
Jakwiebus2 years ago
cool, you can make small ones to stir in you tea en sweeten it at the same time. worth a shot :D
nice work
craftknowitall (author)  Jakwiebus2 years ago
Yes that would work. Thanks for looking.
mrmath2 years ago
I tried this once in college, but didn't seal up the container, and ended up with a jar full of dead ants instead of a tasty treat. :P
craftknowitall (author)  mrmath2 years ago
I had a problem like that once in Florida. I can smile now, hope you can too. Thanks for looking.