Basic Hard Candy
Note: Before starting any hard candy, check your thermometer in boiling water and calibrate to ensure accurate temperature.
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
¾ cup water
1 dram (1 teaspoon)* LorAnn super-strength flavoring, any flavor
LorAnn liquid food coloring or gel food coloring (as desired)
Hard candy molds (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
Sucker bags & twist ties (optional)
Use of a candy thermometer is recommended
*Please note that LorAnn Cinnamon, Clove and Peppermint flavors are particularly potent. You may wish to reduce the amount used for these flavors.
Have all ingredients and tools assembled and within easy reach of the stove. The use of metal spoons and measuring utensils is recommended. Line a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with foil and lightly oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray (such as PAM). If using molds, lightly spray cavities of clean, dry candy molds with non-stick cooking spray. Insert sucker sticks. If using molds, you may also want to spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. If after pouring the syrup into the molds you have excess candy, you can pour it onto the foil for break-up candy.
- In a heavy (good quality) 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil without stirring.
- Early in the cooking process, “wash down” any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.
- Continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 260º F; add drops of coloring until desired hue is achieved. Do not stir; boiling action will incorporate color into syrup.
- Remove from heat precisely at 300° F (temperature will continue rising), or until drops of syrup form hard, brittle threads in cold water (hard crack stage). After boiling action has ceased, add flavor and stir. USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLAVORING TO AVOID RISING STEAM.
- Carefully pour syrup into prepared molds or onto the prepared greased and foil lined cookie sheet. (As the sugar mixture begins to set up, you may want to score with a large knife to mark squares.) Do not refrigerate.
- Cool completely. Break sheet candy into small pieces and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Store in airtight containers between waxed paper. If making lollipops, do not dust with powdered sugar, but place in sucker bags and secure with twist ties. Store hard candy in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.
*Another alternative is to pour the hot candy onto a heat-resistant surface covered in powdered sugar. When the candy is slightly cooled, it can be cut with well-oiled scissors into pillow-shaped pieces (you may want to wear heat-resistant gloves, such as rubber, to protect hands from heat).
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