I’ve been making rock candy since I was 15 years old. One summer, I taught myself how to bake out of boredom, using one cookbook and trying everything. I’d always loved Christmas Rock Candy, with its yummy layer of powdered sugar, such a great confection to indulge in as a teen. These days I still make it the same exact way I did then, with just a few ingredients. I think I love making it because it is like food chemistry, breaking down sugar and syrup so much that it becomes a new product. I admit I am a food science nerd, I could be Alton Brown’s assistant very easily.
NOTE: You really should use a candy thermometer for this one, hard crack is very hard to reach with just testing the sugar in water.
- 3¾ C. Sugar
- 1 C. Light Karo Syrup
- 1 C. Water
- 1 TSP. Flavoring: I use LorAnn candy flavors, and for this I used cinnamon oil
- Food Coloring (optional)
- ⅓ C. Powdered Sugar
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (I used a light cooking spray on the paper just in case but this is optional)
- Combine sugar, syrup, water and color in saucepan, dissolving the sugar as much as possible.
- Bring to boil and reduce to medium, let simmer until the candy thermometer reads 302 degrees (VERY HOT BE CAREFUL!) (45 minutes)
- Remove from heat, then add your flavor. Be sure to turn your face away if using cinnamon oil, it is very potent. Mixture will bubble and shoot up some steam, which is normal.
- Pour mixture onto prepared pan and cool completely. My candy was cool in about 45 minutes.
- Break candy into pieces, and make sure you break of the sharp points by just tapping the piece lightly to smooth it out. You can avoid this by cutting the candy while it is still warm. That isn't as fun though.
- Add your powdered sugar to a ziploc bag, add the candy and shake to coat.