Making hard candy at home is an easy thing to do. This is a fairly standard recipe that can be used for making candy drops, lollipops, and other types of sucking candies. All you need to get started is some fairly standard ingredients, and tools. The nice thing about making candy is it really allows you to experiment with coloring, flavor, and form.
Step 1: Hard Candy Ingredients
To make hard candy you will need:
2 scant cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon flavored extract (to preference)
Food coloring (to preference)
You will also need a sauce pan, cake pan, aluminum foil, a candy thermometer, a bowl, measuring spoons, a large knife, and a spatula.
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Step 2: Aluminum Foil
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
It also helps to grease the aluminum foil. Candy likes to stick to things.
Step 3: Mix the Candy Ingredients
In a large sauce pan mix together the sugar, corn syrup, and water until just dissolved.
Step 4: Cook Hard Candy
Cook the mixture until it reaches the hard crack stage -- approximately 300 - 310 degrees.
Dropping a little bit into a cold bowl of water and seeing if it hardens is the best indicator it is done.
You will also see it start to yellow around the edges of the pan.
When ready, immediately remove it from the burner to begin cooling.
Step 5: Final Ingredients
Add the flavoring and food coloring to preference.
I wanted to experiment with marbling the color, so used an opaque white base with a few drops of various other colors.
You can also just mix the color uniformly in. This is the chance to get creative and experiment.
Whatever you do, just do it quickly.
Step 6: Pour
Pour the candy into the aluminum foil lined pan.
Step 7: Mark the Candy
Use a spatula to lightly push lines into the surface of the candy every 1/2". Continue doing this until you have made a grid of 1/2" squares.
Repeat this process until you have managed to push down all of the rows to the bottom of the pan.
Step 8: Candy Time
Once hardened, remove the candy from the aluminum foil. Use a knife to cut the candy into individual pieces. If you made decent indents, you may be able to just break them cleanly apart by hand.
The candy is now ready to be eaten.
If you would like, you can also coat the pieces in powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together.