Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Microwave Hard Candy - No Thermometer Needed

I enjoy trying out new candy recipes, and the children love the job of candy tasters. But, I'm always sad, I can't include them more in the process. Most of the time, candy making involves a hot stove, sticky liquids, and precise timing, that don't mix well with small children.

So, I was pretty happy to find a homemade hard candy recipe, that trades the stove top for the microwave, and leaves the candy thermometer in the drawer.

Just mix a 1/2 cup of sugar, and a 1/4 cup of corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 1 minute (my microwave is low power, so I increased this to 1 minute 15 seconds).

Remove the cover, and stir.

Cover, and microwave for an additional minute.

Remove the cover, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the flavored extract, or oil of your choice, and as much food coloring as you desire.

Pour candy into a hard candy mold, that has been oiled, or onto a greased cookie sheet. Break candy apart with a rolling pin, or hammer, or remove it from the molds, if you used them, and coat the pieces with powdered sugar, so they won't stick together.

I did a couple of test runs of the recipe, myself, before introducing it to the children.

It worked okay with the candy molds I pulled out of the advent calendars, after Christmas (though I overfilled most of the spots I tried). I sprayed the mold ahead of time with a non-stick cooking spray, and the candy came right out. I'm not entirely sure the spray was necessary.

I also tried dripping a few hearts off of a spoon. It worked best to make the outline of the heart first, and then fill it in. I was going to add sucker sticks, but the candy hardened faster than I expected, and I missed the window.

As to the candy itself, be sure not to add too much corn syrup, and stir it really well, or the candy will be gooey, and grainy.

And, I would suggest doubling, or even tripling the amount of flavoring called for in the recipe.

Also, if children are going to help out, be extra careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, it gets very hot, as does the melted candy.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

Hey a candy I might be able to make. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Martha said...

what about pouring on a cookie sheet, let harden, then break into pieces.

when I make hard candy that's what I do.