Every year around this time, I start making Hard Rock Candy!
My favorite is Cinnamon, my husband loves Banana. There are literally dozens of different flavors you can make this in. Watermelon, Strawberry, Lemon, Pina Colada, Bubble Gum, Rootbeer, Licorice, Apple, Peppermint and many more.
If you’re having a hard time finding the little bottles of flavored oil at your grocery store, look near the Pharmacy Counter. These bottles are so small that they’re easily picked up and put in pockets without being paid for (that’s what I was told was the reason they keep them at the pharmacy)
The recipe calls for 1 bottle but I normally put 2 bottles in each batch because I think it just kicks the flavor up a notch.
Today I made a batch of Banana
A candy thermometer is a MUST for this recipe.
Make sure you don’t have any distractions when you start making this because you can’t leave it until it’s done.
Start by pouring your Sugar, Light Corn Syrup and Water into a large heavy saucepan.
This is what it looks like at a full boil. You’ll think it’s NEVER going to reach 300 degrees but it does and it MUST so be patient. Just put your candy thermometer in the pan and watch for it to rise to 300 degrees. It takes about 10 minutes from the time it starts to really boil.
After it’s reached 300 degrees, remove it from the heat and add whatever flavor you want, stirring constantly then add food coloring. I used yellow…DUH, it’s banana.
Here’s a tip….open your bottles of flavored oil and your food coloring BEFORE starting so you can pour both in immediately after it’s reached 300 degrees. You do NOT want this to set up on you before you’ve added everything to it.
Once you’ve added your flavored oil and coloring, pour it into a well-buttered cookie sheet. Be careful….That cookie sheet will be HOT after you pour the mixture in.
Now here comes the tricky part. You don’t have to do it this way but since I’m a little more “anal” than most people, I score mine. The trick is knowing exactly when to start scoring. Too soon and it’s still too runny, too late and it’s already set up. I take the flat end of a spatula and score mine. Your arm is TIRED when you’re done but I think it’s worth it. You’ll have to score it over and over a few times because it tends to want to close back up on you.
Now, if you don’t want to score it, that’s fine too. Just let it harden up completely and take a knife and start pounding away on it until you break it up into bite-size pieces.
I sprinkle powdered sugar on it so it doesn’t stick together once it’s broken apart.
Now you can either leave it on the counter until it’s completely hard or you can do like I do and put it in your freezer for a few minutes.
Now the fun part…breaking it up. See how pretty!?!
I bought these little jars at The Dollar Tree. This batch makes enough to fill 2 jars completely full. Makes a really cute Christmas gift for a Teacher, Postman, Co-Worker, etc….OR you can keep it all to yourself and enjoy!!
This is Watermelon
HARD ROCK CANDY RECIPE
- 3-3/4 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 or 2 bottles of flavored oil
- 10 drops of food coloring
In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees (hard-crack stage). Remove from the heat; add flavoring and food coloring. Pour into a well-buttered 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. cookie sheet.
If you plan on scoring it, wait for about 10-12 minutes. If not, let it completely set up, sprinkle some powdered sugar on it and break into bite-size pieces. I use the handle of a butter knife.
Store in a cool, dry place.
Each batch makes about 3 Lbs.