Monday, October 08, 2007

Rock Candy

The article said, "it is the easiest candy you will ever make." I thought, "how could I possibly mess this one up." I got the kids involved and let them measure and stir. I told
start to grow on the string and we would get to watch it change each day. I told them the candy would look like diamonds growing on the strings. Well...that was the plan. The recipe said it would take about 2 weeks. Not bad. It also said we would see growth on the string after 3 days. Maybe in the lab that is how it worked but not in my kitchen. After getting all the them we were making candy but it takes a long time. I explained how the candy would ingredients together I realized I messed up by adding the vanilla too soon. I added it before boiling but you are supposed to add it after boiling. If you remember my caramel making - I did the same exact
thing. But it didn't seem to have quite the same effect as last time so I thought it would be okay. When I poured the liquid in the jars I didn't have enough for the four jars I had originally planned on making. That is what the recipe said I would need. Then I wanted to make 3 different colors to I add the food coloring to each jar. I got them so dark we could barely see the string (duh...)! Two weeks later we didn't really see much of anything. Then we went out out of town. When we came back a week later there were crystals growing everywhere except on the string. So....we do have rock candy but not the conventional way. What did you expect from me? I'll probably need some Ingersoll Rand air tools to get the candy out of the jars.


4 (12-oz.) glass canning jars
4 (7-inch) pieces clean kitchen string
4 wooden skewers or pencils
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
10 drops red food coloring*
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon oil* (I did not add this)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Arrange jars in bottom of a large Dutch oven, and fill with enough water to cover jars by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil 2 minutes (this is to sterilize). Carefully remove jars with kitchen tongs to a wire rack; cool completely, and dry.

2. Tie strings around centers of wooden skewers or pencils. Place one string in each jar, resting skewer or pencil across rim of jar, and making sure strings do not touch bottoms of jars. Set aside.

3. Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring, cinnamon oil, and vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Pour about 1 cup syrup mixture carefully around skewer into each jar. Loosely cover with aluminum foil (including skewer); pierce aluminum foil several times with a skewer or knife. Let stand 10 to 14 days or until crystals form on strings. (Occasionally break up hard sugar layer on surface using a wooden skewer.) Remove strings from jars, and suspend strings between jars until crystals are dry (about 1 hour). Remove strings from skewers or pencils.

*10 drops of your favorite shade of food coloring may be substituted for red food coloring, and 2 tsp. of your favorite flavored extract, such as mint, strawberry, or orange, may be substituted for cinnamon oil.


Makes 4 candies

Charlie Cundiff, Los Angeles, California , Southern Living, APRIL 2006

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh cool! This looks like fun!