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Video:How to Make Rock Candy

with Matt Becht

Rock candy is a simple sugar recipe that doubles as a science experiment. Here's how to make rock candy at home.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Rock Candy

Hi, I’m Matt Becht for About.com. Today we’re making rock candy. It’s a simple sugar candy that can double as a science experiment. Here’s how to make it.

Rock Candy Ingredients

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ to 1 tsp flavoring extract or oil
  • food coloring; a glass jar
  • a skewer or thread.

Prepare Your Rock Candy Materials

Wash a glass jar thoroughly with hot water to clean it. Cut a length of thick cotton thread a few inches longer than the height of the jar, and tape it to a pencil. Place the pencil across the lip of the jar, and wind it until the thread is hanging about 1 inch from the bottom of the jar.

Attach a paper clip to the bottom of the thread to weight it and ensure it hangs straight down. Or you can use a wooden skewer as the base of your rock candy, and use clothespins balanced across the top of the jar to clip it into place. Wet the thread or wooden skewer, and roll it in granulated sugar. This base layer will give the crystals something to “grab” when they start forming. Set the thread or skewer aside to dry while you prepare the syrup.

Make Rock Candy Syrup

Next place the water in a medium-sized pan and bring it to a boil. Begin adding the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Continue to stir and boil the syrup until all of the sugar has been added and dissolved. Now remove the pan from the heat.

If you are using a flavor extract, add 1 tsp, but if you are using a flavoring oil, add only ½ tsp. If using food coloring, add 2-3 drops and stir to ensure an even, smooth color. Allow the syrup to cool for approximately 10 minutes and pour it into the jar.

Let the Rock Candy Form

Lower your sugared string or skewer until it hangs about 1 inch from the bottom. Now put your jar in a cool place, away from harsh lights, where it can sit undisturbed. Cover the top loosely with plastic wrap or a paper towel. You should start to see sugar crystals forming within 2-4 hours. If you have seen no change after 24 hours, try boiling the syrup again and dissolve another cup of sugar into it, then pour it back into the jar and reinsert the string or skewer. Allow the rock candy to grow until the size you want. When it’s ready, remove it and allow it to dry for a few minutes, then enjoy or wrap in plastic wrap and save it for later.

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