I was hesitant when researching making these since it seems they can be quite fickle. After some reading I decided to base mine off a recipe from At Home with The Culinary Institute of America, Chocolates and Confections. I had zero issues each time. These were incredibly fun and I quickly discovered that root beer was by far the FAVORITE we had made. (Just made using a few drops or root beer candy flavoring). If you don’t want to add flavor or coloring they will come out white. And it seems the flavor of sugar is just fine with kids 😉 Make sure your pot, jars, etc, are all clean. Be careful not to disturb the syrup either. Okay, we cheated on this one a couple times.. still did fine 🙂 Now before summer is over, go do some kitchen science!
I didn’t have luck re using the syrup to make more, but if I figure that out I’ll report back.
DIY ROCK CANDY
9 cups granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for skewers
3 cups water
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Food coloring and candy flavoring, optional
6 quart size wide mouth canning jars with metal lids
In a large clean pot bring the 9 cups sugar and 3 cups water to a boil. Cover the pan and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool, covered, for 1 to 1 and a half hours.
While the syrup is cooling, prepare the skewers. The first batch I made I used the long skewers as is, the second time I trimmed them in half since the sticks seemed longer than necessary. I just used the uncut end for the rock candy side, then I’ll wrap the other end in some washi tape.
Brush the egg white on the bottom 3 inches of the skewers then roll in the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
This is where the crystals will go. If you are using a different size jar, you want it to be the section of skewer that will be inside the jar, just remember the skewer should be about an inch above the bottom of the jar.
Place the skewers on a parchment paper or silicone lined baking sheet.
Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes to allow the sugar to adhere to the skewers.
Allow the skewers to cool.
If coloring or flavoring your rock candy, put a small amount of food coloring and candy flavoring in each jar.
Drill 3 holes in each lid for the skewers. Place the skewers through the holes, being careful not the get the sugar off the skewers.
Use a clip to keep them at the right height.
Divide the room temperature syrup between the 6 jars. If you used coloring or flavoring, stir just enough to combine. You want to mix the syrup as little as possible.
Place a lid with skewers into each jar. Adjust skewers and clips as needed.
Place in a dark, cool corner where they won’t be disturbed. I found that on top of my piano was a good spot, it’s in the corner of the room.
Even after a day you can see the crystals starting to grow.
After a few days they are getting pretty big!
After 7 to 10 days they are ready to pull out of the syrup. You may need to chip at the crystals that grow along the bottom of the jar to get them out.
Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet and allow to dry overnight.
Ta da! One note, you can see some have rock candy formed over the end of the skewer and others don’t? If you leave a little more room between the skewer and the bottom of the jar it’s better for getting it to form around the bottom of the skewer. I thought they looked cute in a vase filled with rock salt. These will keep for quite a few weeks at least. I put ours inside small candy bags. You may want to add labels if you did different flavors.