Make Hard Candies for National Hard Candy Day

How to make your own hard candies.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Hard Candy Day (cue Dolly Parton) than by making my own edible sweets and treats. It’s likely you’ll be as surprised as I was to find out just how easy it is to make hard candy bites in the comfort of your own kitchen, and you’ll go and try it for the sake of national holiday celebrating. Celebrate we will.

Needless to say, I think you’ll be happy with this recipe, and no one is going to stop you from making only the flavors you prefer, like cherry and grape and that new delicious blended concoction, cherrygrape. With inexpensive ingredients (the mold and flavor may only run you $3-$5 and you probably have the other ingredients stocked in your pantry), DIY hard candies will be a sure addition to your seasonal to-do list.

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Step 1

 Open GalleryBoil the sugar, corn syrup, and water together until it reaches 300 degrees when making hard candy.Heat 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup, and 1/2 cup of water over medium heat in a saucepan on the stovetop. Using the candy thermometer, allow the temperature to reach 300 degrees without stirring.

Step 2

 Open GalleryPerform the drip test when making hard candy to see if it will solidify properly.Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add a 1/2 teaspoon of flavor oil (I used cherry, and I’ve read that you can substitute for popular natural extracts as well, like orange or cinnamon!) and dye (I used a red gel for bold color). Stir until mixed.

When it’s mixed, you can test your solution to see that it works by dripping it into a cup of cold water — notice how it immediately solidifies as a thread of hard, brittle candy? That’s right, what you’re seeing there is a hard piece of candy, not a liquid drip in motion. So easy! So seriously delicious.

Step 3

 Open GalleryTransfer the melted candy into the mold.Use a candy mold tray if you’re looking to form hard candy shapes, first spraying the tray lightly with oil and then using a baster to easily transfer the solution into place.

You can also pour the solution into a sprayed cookie sheet, and use a knife or pizza cutter to score the candy as it cools and solidifies. (Note: If you go this route, be prepared to snap them apart on the score lines after they are completely cool.)

Step 4

 Open GalleryHow to make DIY hard candies for National Hard Candy Day.Once cooled in 30 minutes to an hour, remove the candies from the molds. You will find it helpful to dust the pieces with a light powdered sugar to prevent sticking. And if you’re working with star molds, prepare for point fractures and just eat up the ones that don’t look perfect enough to showcase in your candy dish.

Enjoy!

Materials

  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 c. Water
  • 1/2 tsp. flavor oil
  • 1-2 drops of food coloring
  • Vegetable or canola oil spray
  • Powdered sugar
  • Candy mold tray

Tools

  • Range
  • Saucepan for melting
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Candy thermometer
About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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