Rock Candy Tutorial

I was perusing lovely pictures on Pinterest when I came across a sparkly photo of an old fashion fav, rock candy. I clicked the photo to see what it was all about and realized it was a rock candy recipe. Intrigued, I read on.

It actually looked quite simple to make but reading the comments under the rock candy recipe post most people who tried it didn’t have success. Not sure why but I knew I needed to follow the steps carefully and think about it a little more while attempting my own batch. Here’s what I did:

Rock candy ingredients and supplies

  • wooden skewers (I used 6″ or just cut the longer ones in half)
  • water
  • sugar
  • clothespins
  • glass jars/drinking glasses (approx 9-10 medium sized mason jars)
  • large shoe box for holding prepared jars

The amount of water and sugar you need depends on how many pieces of rock candy you would like to make and the number of jars you have available (I recommend no more than 2 pieces per jar) – the standard ratio is 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water, but I found that I had to add much more sugar than most recipes called for. In the end, I used 10 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water.

Rock Candy Tutorial

Prepare the wooden skewers at least 2-3 hours before making your sugar and water mixture.  Soak the skewers by immersing them in a bowl/deep plate of water for about a minute. Take them out and immediately roll them in a plate of sugar to give the new sugar crystals something to “seed” to. Be sure to let them dry all the way! If they are still too wet when you put them into the hot sugar solution, all of the sugar coating will fall off, and the new crystals will have nothing to grow on.

I started by mixing 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar in a large saucepan. Once you put it on the stove it will expand while boiling. Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat and continue to add sugar one cup at a time until you can no longer dissolve any more of it (making a completely saturated sugar solution). Turn off the heat and allow mixture to cool (about one hour or less).
CAREFULLY pour your sugar solution into your glass jars. If you’d like to add food colouring or flavouring to your rock candy, now is the time to do so.
Rock Candy Tutorial
Slowly insert your sugared skewers into the solution. You can use a clothespin as shown to keep your sticks in place. Smaller mouth jars/glasses work best, but only allow room for about two sticks per jar. Be sure that your sticks are not touching the sides or bottom of the glass or each other. They need room for the new crystals to grow.
Set the jars in a large shoebox so moving them around is easier. Place in a quiet corner and wait about 5 days to a week (until you notice the crystals stop growing).
Rock Candy Tutorial
A crust will form on the top, simply tap with a knife or metal spoon to break and lift out the rock candy. Place on a plate to dry. Once you pour out the remaining mixture you may notice a crust along the bottom of your jars/glasses as well. It will easily come off after you crack it with a hard object such as the knife or metal spoon you used to break the top crust.
There you have it, sparkly, colourful rock candy!


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