Did y’all know January is National Candy Month? While you can celebrate by pigging out on store-bought candy, I highly recommend you give this rock candy (or as my friend Shelby calls it, hard tack candy) a try! It’s actually super easy to make, y’all, but I do encourage you round up a helper! I’ll explain later….
My friend, Shelby, has all these wonderful recipes that were passed down to her. I took pictures of some of the handwritten recipe cards because, well, handwritten anything makes me happy. It’s such a personal thing, anymore, to have something that’s hand written and I’m thankful to have a friend that is willing to share them with me.
Back to the candy…..Having an extra pair of hands is essential because when this candy starts to cool, you are limited on time in cutting it up into pieces. Most people let their rock candy cool completely, get hard, and then just “break” it but Shelby said that a lot of times, that makes a whole bunch of tiny slivers and pieces or huge chunks. Instead, Shelby uses scissors to cut the candy before it cools. This requires some tough fingers or some sort of tongs. We are country girls so, of course, we toughed it out. Yesssss y’all, our fingertips were quite red by the end of making several batches of candy but it was totally worth it!
A tip to keep in mind when making this rock candy, using scissors, is after you’ve poured into the pan and let it cool a 2 or 3 minutes, you’ll need to start to pull up corners & edges and begin cutting. It will be HOT so if you can’t handle the heat, get outta the kitchen! Just kidding….sorta. If it’s too hot for you, then you might wanna try the other way of letting it cool completely and breaking it. After we pulled up corners and cut into pieces, we started pulling up all around the edges and just cutting a big piece off and cutting that into smaller pieces. Once you get going, it starts to cool off fast and gets harder to cut. Move as fast you can. This is why having an extra pair of hands helps big time!
You can make any flavor you want. We made peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, watermelon, butter rum, and grape. Butter rum was my favorite! Hope y’all enjoy the recipe as much as I did!! Let me know what flavoring oils you make! I think next time, I’m gonna try using my Cinnamon essential oil!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- ⅔ cup white karo syrup
- 1 teaspoon (or a little more) of flavoring oil
- food coloring
- In a saucepan, mix your sugar, water, and karo syrup.
- Boil until temperature of the mixture reaches 300'.
- Take off stove and pour in food coloring & flavoring oil, as many drops as you like. Stir well.
- Pour into a greased cookie sheet. I used cooking spray.
- Let cool for a couple of minutes and start to cut or let cool all the way and break.