Homemade Hard Candy is easy to make and really easy to customize to whatever flavor and color you want!
How pretty is this homemade hard candy? I like that it looks like broken glass.
I didn’t realize hard candy was so simple to make, it’s just a little time consuming. Only six ingredients and really, the food coloring & powder sugar dusting at the end are optional.
The flavors we used were strawberry and lemon but you can use whatever extracts you can find. Meijer had orange, cherry, mint, etc. in the baking aisle.
HOMEMADE HARD CANDY INGREDIENTS
- Sugar – White, granulated sugar. This is candy, after all.
- Light Corn Syrup – Karo syrup is used for a light sweet flavor, in sauces and jams and such. It is made with real vanilla.
- Extract Flavoring – We used strawberry and lemon in this batch but there are many possibilities.
- Food Coloring – Not necessary, but candy just isn’t as pretty without it.
- Powdered Sugar – You’ll dust the finished candy with powdered sugar.
You can easily adjust how much flavoring/color your candy has and you could color coordinate for a party or shower.
HOW DO YOU MAKE HARD CANDY?
Making homemade hard candy is probably easier than you think. You’ll combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until dissolved.
Then, you use a candy thermometer to make sure the temperature gets to 290 degrees, which takes about 35-45 minutes.
Once it hits temperature, you remove from heat, add whichever coloring and extracts you’re using, stir it up, then pour it onto a baking sheet to cool.
Once it’s cooled, you break it up into whichever size pieces you want. Sprinkle in powdered sugar & you’re done. Easy!
TOOLS TO HELP MAKE HOMEMADE HARD CANDY
- Candy Thermometer – You NEED a candy thermometer to make this hard candy. Not optional.
- Lipped Baking Pan (Jelly Roll Pan) – You also need a pan with a lip. You’ll pour the hot mixture onto the pan to cool and without a lip…you’ll have a mess.
- Silicone Baking Mats – It’ll make your life easier to line the baking pans with silicone baking mats. It’s easy to peel the cooled candy off of.
- Flavor Extracts – Like I said, you can likely find individual flavor extracts at your grocery store, but this set has some unique ones – crisp champagne or salted caramel, anyone?
- Food coloring – I always recommend this color performance kit. It has a really helpful color chart that makes mixing whatever color you want really easy.
Homemade Hard Candy
- 3 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups light corn syrup Karo syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon extract flavoring we used strawberry & lemon
- food coloring 7-10 drops, depending
- powered sugar for dusting
- Line cookie sheets (it's best to use cookie sheets that have a lip) with silicone liners. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and set aside.
Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan and continuously stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Once dissolved, insert a candy thermometer to the pan (it should rest about an inch from the bottom of the pan) and continue to cook, without stirring, until the thermometer reaches 290 degrees. It should take around 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add food coloring and extract. Eyeball the coloring to get the color you want. We matched red with strawberry and yellow with lemon.
- Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and allow it to cool completely.
Once cooled, lay a clean towel over the candy and tap with a hammer (we used the back end of a knife) to break into pieces.
- Sprinkle candy with powdered sugar & toss to coat.
- Repeat process for each flavor/color you're making.
Each batch makes a cookie sheet worth of candy, which you break up into whatever size pieces you want. So, it makes a lot.
Originally published December 31, 2012.