I remember one Christmas my grandmother showed up to our house with 20 different flavors of homemade rock candy. I think she must of bought every extract on the baking aisle and spent days making candy. Since that Christmas, rock candy, especially peppermint rock candy, gives me a dose of Christmas nostalgia.
And this candy is so simple. Besides the simplicity of this recipe, I love it’s versatility. Say your best friend is have a wedding shower and her colors are mustard yellow and burnt sienna…just buy some food coloring and a few different flavor extracts and make beautiful matching candy. Daughter wants a Frozen party…again…purple and teal, no problem.
A candy thermometer is ideal but if you don’t have a candy thermometer close-by do the cold water test. Spoon a teaspoon of candy into a cold (not icy) bowl of water. When the candy makes brittle threads that snap easily you have reached the “hard-crack stage.” The candy will need to boil for a good 20+ minutes to reach desired temperature.
- 2 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 c. light corn syrup
- 2/3 c. water
- 1 tsp. flavoring oil or extract
- 1/2 c. or less powdered sugar
- food coloring (optional)
- Line cookie sheet with tin foil. Sift powdered sugar on tin foil until completely covered.
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water on medium high heat until boiling. Turn down to medium heat and do not stir after boiling.
- Heat until 310 degrees or hard-crack stage.
- Add flavoring and food coloring (if using).
- Pour hot candy onto powdered sugar tinfoil.
- Once cooled a little sprinkle with more powdered sugar.
- When completely cooled and crack into small/medium sized pieces.
- If you have no candy thermometer "hard-crack stage" separates into hard, brittle threads when dropped into cold water. The threads should break easily.
- This is a very versatile recipe. Change extract/flavoring oil and color to fit any holiday or special occasion.