Rock candy is a fun treat that both children and adults love. It is relatively inexpensive to make, and will keep the kids fascinated for days. All you need to make rock candy is sugar, water, skewers or lollipop sticks, food coloring and glass jars. When setting up the candy it is also useful to have clothespins or large clips. It does take a lot of time for the rock candy to grow and crystallize, so you will want to start making rock candy about a week before you need it.
A large pot is needed to make this candy. To figure out how much sugar and water you need, you have to first figure out how many pieces of candy you would like to make. The ratio of sugar to water is a little over 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup water. For proper candy growth you will need one cup of sugar and one glass jar to make two pieces of rock candy. For example if you would like make 18 pieces of candy, you will need 9 glass jars, 9 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water. For twelve pieces of candy you would need 6 jars, 6-7 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water.
Follow the step by step photos to see how to make the candy.
Making Rock Candy at Home
To begin making rock candy, add 4 cups granulated sugar, and 2 cups of water to a big pot. If making several pieces of candy, it is okay to start with 4 cups of sugar, and 4 cups of water. Turn on the stove to medium heat, and bring the mixture to a slow boil.
Dissolving the Sugar
As the sugar mixture warms up and begins to boil, stir the sugar until it has dissolved in the water. Add more cups of sugar one cup at a time, making sure that it is fully dissolved before adding the next one. When you reach your desired amount of dissolved sugar, turn off the burner and allow the mixture to cool.
Preparing the Sticks
While the sugar mixture cools, it is a great time to prepare the sticks. Bamboo skewers and lollipop sticks work well with this candy. Soak the sticks in a bowl of water.
Rolling the Sticks
After the sticks have soaked for a minute or two, roll them one at a time on a plate of sugar. The crystals will need the sugar on the sticks to attach to, so it can begin to grow. Set the rolled sticks aside, and allow them to dry.
Filling the Jars
Using a soup ladle or large spoon, add about one cup of sugar mixture to each of the jars. This step can be messy, so if you have one, a funnel will make the filling of the jars a little bit easier. Add food coloring to the jars, and stir well.
Setting up the Candy
Using the clothes pins or clips, stand the sugar covered sticks in the jars as upright at you can. Try not to place the sticks too close together, so each piece of candy has room to grow.
Watching the Crystals
When each of the sticks are set up in a jar, they will need to sit undisturbed in a sunny, warm location for several days. A kitchen window or shelf works well. Kids will love watching the crystals grow bigger and bigger each day.
The Candy is Ready
In about a week, the rock candy should be ready. The top layer of the sugar mixture may have hardened a bit. Carefully break it if necessary, and remove the candy sticks from the jars. Sit the candy out, and watch it disappear.