How to Make Hard Candy  

Learn how to make hard candy. These recipes should remain hard and should not crystallize after making. This candy takes a little more technique to master than making taffy and caramels. To accomplish this do not make the candy when the conditions of your environment are humid and damp. Stir the mixture only until the sugar dissolves; never after. Keep the crystals wiped down from the sides of the pan and after flavoring is added stir only enough to mix. After the candy mixture registers 280F degrees on a thermometer, by reducing the heat will avoid the color darkening.

How to Make Hard CandyHow to Make Hard Candy


If you are learning how to make hard candy, the recipes like butterscotch and lollipops are shaped by casting on a lightly oiled metal tray or marble tray. Form the candy into disks or scoop up a spoonful of syrup. Quickly work and slant the spoon one inch above tray and allow syrup to flow all at one point from the side. One you have achieved the desired size, give the spoon a quick turn to immediately stop the flow of syrup.

How to Make Hard CandyHow to Make Hard Candy


If you are learning how to make hard candy, these recipes can be poured into buttered or oiled shallow pans. It should be creased or marked while hot for breaking when cold. This must be done as soon as the surface has cooled enough to hold an indentation. The knife should not cut down through the surface; only enough to leave mark.


When learning how to make hard candy, these recipes can be made in molds of rubber or metal; they must be well oiled. To fill the molds hold the pan of syrup close to a mold and dip with a tablespoon into each mold. If you are using sticks (as lollipops) insert them while syrup is still hot; about 1/3 of the way into the candy and give a slight twist. Remove candies from molds when just firm.


If you are learning how to make hard candy, you must know that these recipes tend to absorb moisture and will eventually grow sticky. Candies should be wrapped in wax paper or cellophane and kept in tightly covered container.

NOTE OF CAUTION: Some oils are very powerful when adding to this hot candy syrup. Be careful not to have your face close to the hot fumes. I really have a problem with the cinnamon oil to the point of having to take a Benadryl tablet for an allergic reaction.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Use caution when adding strong oils like peppermint and cinnamon to hot syrup. It can be overcoming and take your breath away. 


Cinnamon Crystal Hard Candy RecipeCinnamon Crystal Hard Candy Recipe
Peppermint Crystal Hard Candy RecipePeppermint Crystal Hard Candy Recipe

You can learn how to make hard candy using any of your favorite flavorings.

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • ½ Cup light corn syrup
  • ½ Cup water
  • Dash of salt
  • Food coloring (I use red for peppermint/ brown-red for cinnamon).
  • 6 Drops oil (Cinnamon, peppermint or favorite)

Lightly butter 8X8 inch square metal pan; set aside.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and water in a medium saucepan.

NOTE: I have oil and food coring ready to add quickly.

Bring saucepan mixture to a boil stirring to dissolve sugar.

Reduce heat to medium high; place thermometer on side of pan.

Cook WITHOUT STIRRING until thermometer registers to 290F-300F degrees.

Quickly add oil and coloring swirl pan to blend; quickly pour into pan.

Let mixture stand a few minutes for a film to form on top.

Starting at edges, mark candy with knife in ¾ inch squares. (Edges cool and firm faster).

NOTE: I found that each has to work to find their own best technique for dividing into pieces. This sticky candy is tricky! I usually end up breaking the candy in pieces with my meat mallet.

Keep marking the candy as it is setting up and cooling.

When the candy becomes firm turn it out onto a cutting board and break the pieces apart.

When candy is cold store in an airtight container in a cool place.


Butterscotch Hard TackButterscotch Hard Tack

Learn how to make hard candy with a delicious butterscotch flavor.

  • ½ Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • Yellow food coloring

Lightly butter metal pan or baking sheet; set aside.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in medium saucepan.

Prepare butter, vanilla and few drops of food coloring in small bowl for quickly adding; set aside.

Bring mixture in saucepan to a boil stirring to dissolve sugar.

Reduce heat to medium; place thermometer on side of pan.

Slowly boil WITHOUT STIRRING until thermometer reaches 290F degrees.

Quickly add butter, vanilla and food coloring swirling to blend; quickly pour into pan.

As candy cools indent with a knife for small pieces.

When cool break into pieces; store in airtight container.


Peppermint Candy RecipePeppermint Candy Recipe

After I learned how to make hard candy, I wanted to keep the peppermint around for upset stomach, sinus trouble or indigestion. What you buy is not strong enough for me for health. Here is the recipe I use. HOLD YOUR HEAD BACK when adding the peppermint. I mix the coloring and peppermint together in a cup and quickly dump holding my head back.

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2/3 Cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/3 Cups water
  • 1 Teaspoon peppermint oil
  • 1 Teaspoon red food coloring OPTIONAL

PREPARE (9X13 inch) PAN by covering completely with foil.

Coat foil with butter and set aside.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water together in heavy medium saucepan.

Over medium heat bring to a boil; stir until sugar is dissolved.

Cook without stirring until thermometer reaches 310F degrees.

NOTE: It takes me about 50 minutes after boiling begins.

Set off heat and add the peppermint and coloring; stir quickly to blend.

Pour into prepared pan; when beginning to set up score if desired into pieces.

Lift candy with foil from pan to tray to finish cooling; break into pieces.

Sift pieces with powdered sugar; place in airtight container.

Store in cool dry place (Not refrigerator).

 HOW TO MAKE HARD CANDY this recipe is a basic syrup

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2/3 Cup corn syrup
  • 1 Cup water
  • Few grains salt

Combine ingredients in a small heavy saucepan.

Place over medium heat and stir constantly until sugar dissolves and starts to boil.

Cook without stirring until temperature reaches 300F degrees on candy thermometer; lower temperature after 280F degrees to keep color light.

As crystals collect on sides of pan wipe down with a damp cloth.


The basic syrup recipe is used for this candy apple recipe; after dipping apples leftover syrup can be shaped into candies.Wash and dry 6 small to medium apples; insert a stick in the stem end of each.

Prepare basic syrup recipe; add few drops of cinnamon and red food coloring when syrup is removed from heat. Stir only enough to distribute flavor and color. (As little as possible)Holding the apple by the stick, dip it quickly into the syrup making sure the syrup covers the apple.

Remove and twist the apple to distribute the syrup evenly,Place apples upright to dry on an oiled tray.


If you are learning how to make hard candy, you might want to prepare a basic syrup to make lollipops; cook to 310F degrees (very brittle).

Add about ¼ teaspoon oil flavoring and desired color stirring only enough to mix.

For small lollipops drop syrup from a tablespoon onto oiled surface; for larger ones pour directly from pan.

Press stick 1/3 way into each lollypop and give it a twist while the lollipop is still very hot.

If you are going to decorate the suckers the decorations must be ready as soon as the lollipops are poured.

Loosen the lollipops as soon as they are firm.


  • 1 ½ Cups sugar
  • ½ Cup light corn syrup
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon molasses
  • 6 Tablespoons butter

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a heavy saucepan; place over low heat and stir until mixture begins to boil.

Cook without stirring at rolling boil until mixture registers 275F to 280F (brittle) degrees on candy thermometer,

Add molasses and butter and boil slowly to 290F degrees, stirring only occasionally to prevent scorching.

Drop from a spoon onto a lightly oiled slab or pan,

If desired pour into lightly oiled pan; as soon as surface has cooled mark pieces for breaking.


Cook mixture to 242F degrees (firm ball); add butter and molasses; then cook to 254F degrees (very firm ball).

Pour into oiled pan; when top has cooled make crease for breaking.


How to Make Peanut BrittleHow to Make Peanut Brittle
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 4 Teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ Cup light corn syrup
  • 2 ½ Cups raw peanuts

Cook sugar, corn syrup and water together in a heavy sauce pan stirring until sugar melts.

Cook until hard crack stage and thermometer registers 300F degrees.

Add peanuts and stir quickly, only to blend; cook 5 more minutes.

Add baking soda; will cause mixture to rise to top of pan so stir quickly.

Pour onto buttered trays; cool and crack with knife handle.


In the fall of the year Dad would stock up horehound candy because it was good for winter colds.

  • 1 ¼ Cups water
  • 1 Cup dried horehound
  • 4 Cups brown sugar
  • ¼ Cup light corn syrup

Bring water to a boil in saucepan; reduce heat and add horehound.

Cover and simmer about 15 minutes; remove from heat and let mixture stand one hour.

Strain liquid and discard horehound; add the sugar and corn syrup to the liquid.

Bring liquid to a boil and cook to hard crack stage 300F degrees on candy thermometer.

Pour into buttered pan; when candy begins to set mark in squares with a knife.

When cold break candy at these markings.


  • 1 ½ Cups sugar
  • ½ Cup boiling water
  • 6 Drops peppermint oil
  • Food coloring

Put sugar in a saucepan; add boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves.

Boil 10 minutes; remove from heat and add peppermint and coloring.

Beat mixture to the right consistency; drop by teaspoonfuls on slightly buttered parchment paper.