My "Famous" Old-Fashioned Rock Candy Recipe

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by The Chicken Lady, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    West Michigan
    Someone else on BYC PMed me asking for this recipe. After responding, I thought I'd send it to everyone else too by posting it here. I inherited it from a ladies' group at the church I grew up going to. It's very old, but very delicious. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask! [​IMG]

    Here is the recipe (it's really easy in theory but I've added a lot of information and how-to's based on many years of experience).

    Old-fashioned Rock Candy

    3 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1 cup water
    bottled flavoring oil (3.7 mL) -- I use the LorAnn brand oils. You can find these everywhere.
    powdered sugar
    food coloring

    Kitchen equipment: 1 or 2 metal pans (like a small soup or stock pot), large metal spoon, 3-4 cookie sheets (2 for each batch, preferably with rims or the molten candy will just roll off like a lava flow), sifter (for powdered sugar), pizza cutter or knife (for scoring the candy), glass candy thermometer, tea kettle (for boiling water), potholders/oven mitts

    ***It's easier to make this with a friend or some older kids nearby to help! There are some steps that smaller (elementary school) kids can help with, too. Attempting this by yourself might be a bit annoying...you'll see why when you read the recipe. A team effort is best.***

    This is what I do to set up before cooking:

    1. It's best to have a cool place for the candy to harden, and it works faster if you have a place for this to happen outdoors. I usually make the candy during fall and winter, so it's cold outside. I use TV trays or my deck table with some dish towels on them to protect them from the hot cookie sheets (you'll see why during the recipe).

    2. Use the sifter to dust a layer of powdered sugar on the cookie sheets. This will prevent the rock candy from sticking to the cookie sheets while it cools, so make sure the surface of the cookie sheets is covered completely with powdered sugar. You'll be able to reuse the powdered sugar for other batches of rock candy, so it's okay to be a little generous. Keep the cookie sheets indoors near where you will be cooking the rock candy.

    To make the candy:

    1. Combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water in one of the pans. Decide IN ADVANCE which flavor and food coloring you will want to use for this batch and have them ready. (You won't have much time to choose later. ^_~ )

    2. Insert the candy thermometer into the candy mixture, attaching it to the rim of the pan. It is extremely important to position the thermometer so that the tip of it is in the cooking mixture but NOT touching the bottom of the pan. If it does, it may break (and it's really hard to find a replacement around the holidays!).

    3. Cook the candy mixture, stirring occasionally, over medium to medium high heat until the temperature reaches "hard crack" on the thermometer (300 degrees Fahrenheit). This may take a while (15-20 minutes, possibly, depending on your stove, pans, etc.).

    4. Meanwhile, fill the tea kettle with water and get it boiling. (This will be useful for cleaning your candy-coated pan and spoon... The only way to get the candy off will be to melt it off with boiling water).

    5. ***This is a part where it's very helpful to have a friend neaby.*** When the candy mixture reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the candy thermometer and turn the heat off. Quickly (as the candy will already begin to set up) add the 3.7 mL bottle of flavoring and STIR to incorporate quickly. Also, add as many drops of food coloring as will make the color you desire. ***CAUTION: Some of the flavors are really strong in concentrated form. Stirring them in will cause a nice big cloud of steam to rise from the pan. While your house will smell amazing after, sticking your face directly into a cloud of peppermint- or cinnamon-scented steam is not advised. It won't kill or injure you, but it's VERY INTENSE. ^_^ ***

    6. Once the flavor and food coloring is stirred in, pick up the pan and drizzle a layer (about 1/4" thick) of molten candy over the powdered sugar on your cookie sheets. Your friend can grab the spoon and scrape it out while you hold the pan (or vice versa). It is nice to have oven mitts if the pan is really, really hot.

    7. Take the cookie sheets outdoors to cool. Meanwhile, dump the boiling water into the pan and stir it around with the spoon to get the molten (now hardening) candy out of your pan. This will take you to the next batch more quickly (especially if you only have one big pan to use for this) because you need to have a clean pan each time (so that the flavors don't mix, etc.).

    8. Depending on the temperature outdoors, the candy may harden very, very quickly. It's nice to station kids outside to watch the candy. Yes, they will try to eat it after it feels cool on the outside, but a few mildly burned tongues will tell them they still need to wait. ^_~ They will learn quickly. Have them test it with a butter knife or pizza cutter. If you can leave a line in the candy that doesn't disappear, have them go ahead and cut a sort of checkerboard pattern into the candy with vertical and horizontal lines, marking off bite-size pieces. (The knife and pizza cutter will not actually cut it. You need to do that by hand). This will just make it easier to break.

    9. Once the candy has cooled, bring the pans indoors. Begin breaking the candy into pieces along the lines (the lines should make this part really easy). Again, this is something that kids can help with. Have them put the candy into the sifter and shake the excess powdered sugar off before putting it into a big bowl. This will also help eliminate tiny, tiny shards of candy that you wouldn't otherwise eat.

    10. When the candy has been broken up and the powdered sugar shaken off, you can reuse the powdered sugar to ready the cookie sheets for the next batch.

    This sounds complicated, but it's really not. I've done it with as little as two people (at home) and as many as ten (in a big church kitchen with industrial stove). If you can get a whole bunch of friends together, you can do a candy making party and try lots of different flavors. The work will go faster, too.
     
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  3. happyhen

    happyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    Northeastern Ohio
    I can't wait to try this! I bet pretty jars of these candies would make great gifts too.

    Thanks so much for sharing. [​IMG]
     
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Yes! I've done that before for Christmas gifts.

    I use the Ball jars and put a piece of Christmas fabric over the lid. Then I make a label for the jar with my computer. The label has a flavor/color guide. I tie the label to the jar (and over the fabric) with a matching ribbon. My DH's grandma LOVES this.
     
  5. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Cool, thanks, sounds fun for me and the kids to do on a rainy day![​IMG]
     

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