I'm a sucker for candy, particularly candy of the sucking variety. Though to be honest, when I'm presented with a stick of rock candy I am much more likely to crunch its crystals to smithereens than delicately decay them with saliva. There is something so terribly pleasing about the obliteration of sugar between teeth. Rock candy is easy to make at home and presents you and your family with a fun little science lesson on crystallization. Set it up in 15 minutes and reap the benefits 7 days later!
- 1 cup Water
- 3 cups Granulated White Sugar (plus a few pinches extra for skewer coating)
- Food coloring and flavoring optional
- 3 Half Pint Jars
- 3 5-inch Skewers
- 3 Clothespins
- In a small saucepan heat the water over medium-high flame until gently boiling.
- Lower the heat slightly and shake in the sugar slowly, 1/2 cup at a time. As it hits the water swirly the pan in a circular motion help it dissolve. Keep the heat medium to low in order to avoid caramelization throughout this process.
- When you've successfully added all the sugar and it is completely dissolved (make sure you see no errant crystals), turn off the heat and let the solution cool for 15-20 minutes.
- While the solution is cooling, dip the skewers into it and then sprinkle extra granulated sugar on them (away from the solution). Coat the skewers and then let them dry.
- If you want to color or flavor the candy, add a few drops of either (or both) to the bottom of each empty jar.
- Pour the warm sugar solution into the jars (and stir briefly if you've added color and/or flavor).
- Pinch the skewers with clothespins about one inch from the base and submerge them in the solution, using the pins to stop them from falling into the jar completely.
- Let the crystals accumulate over the next 7-10 days.
- When you're ready for a treat, remove the crystal from solution (you'll have to shatter a shell that has formed at the surface of the jar) and let it dry.