This simple candy recipe is usually found around the Christmas Holiday, but why not use it year round for last minute treat requests. It is simple, pretty quick and not a ton of clean up albeit maybe not the safest to make with the little due to super hot and sticky part (except the breaking/whacking step is fun for all) and older kids will enjoy learning about the science of candy making and crystal changes that happen.
To make it seasonally relevant, lets call it Broken Heart Candy.
Ingredients (yield about 2.25 pounds):
1 cup water
3 3/4 cup sugar (white, granulated)
1 1/4 cup light karo syrup (aka corn syrup, gasp)
1 teaspoon of candy flavoring or extracts (add a little more if baking extract)
food coloring (a few drops to a lot more drops)
a cup or two of powdered sugar, for coating
1. Prep two jelly roll or rimmed cookie sheets (about 11 x 15 inches) with parchment paper and then a layer of powder sugar. this helps the candy ‘fluff up’ by making the sugar structure less organized (chemistry portion) and coat it when done. I have also added to this powdered sugar layer some candy sprinkles which will show up in lighter colored candies, like a blue sprinkles with yellow tropical flavored candy.
2. In a large sauce pan combine sugar, corn/karo syrup and water in heavy saucepan. Stir most of the time over medium heat until sugar dissolves completely.
3. Insert/affix your candy thermometer to side of pot. Continue to heat syrup but now no longer stirring until syrup reaches 290 F, or hard crack stage. It will be boiling vigorously.
4. Moving quickly but safely – remove the pan and molten candy from heat and add food coloring to desired color intensity and then the extract or flavoring. You don’t need to stir because of bubbling if you do make sure it is silicon or something to take the high heat. I prefer stronger flavors and add a little more, especially if baking extracts and the high heat will evaporate some of its flavor.
5. Pour colored/flavored molten candy onto cookie sheets. It will start to harden quickly but try to get it pretty even in pan.
6. Let candy cool all the way and then break into smaller pieces by whacking with the back of a spoon etc. Here is the broken ‘heart’ or broken glass part of the name.
7. Toss with more powdered sugar if you like. this keeps and stores very well in sealed containers.