DIY Rock Candy

My regular posts will return after I get back from vacation.  We celebrated my son's first birthday back home with my family and close friends.  I haven't seen my father or brother in four years. 

When I was on the plane, as we flew closer and closer, I started to tear up just thinking about seeing my loved ones.  It took three canceled flights, 10+ hours of flying to cover 4,752 miles but we made it!

One of the first things we did was travel to the eastern side of the island so that I could see the beautiful Koolau mountain range that I dream of when I am not in Hawaii.

We spent the first two days getting the house ready for the party.  In some ways being jet lagged actually helped as we woke up around 2 a.m. to finish things up.  It definitely helped that I made things beforehand.  Shipping costs to Hawaii are ridiculous so I wanted to make my own rock candy for my little man's birthday.

From what I read online making rock candy can be hit or miss.  It can be harder to make if you live in an especially warm or humid area.  Since it takes about one week for the crystals to develop into a good size I decided to start making rock candy several weeks in advance.  

Most recipes online call for 2 cups of sugar for every cup of water.  I found one that uses a slightly increased amount -- 2.5 cups of sugar for every cup of water.  I figured that since most problems tend to occur when the solution is not supersaturated with sugar, this is the recipe that I would go with.  I'm glad I did because it worked!  Here is a picture from the dessert table of the finished rock candy.

Glass jars
Bamboo skewers (cut off sharp pointy end)
Sugar - 5 cups (will fill two spaghetti jars)
*Extract and food coloring optional*

1. The night before you want to begin making the rock candy, prepare your skewers.  Soak them in water then roll in sugar.  It's important that the skewers are completely dried out before you begin.

2. Using medium heat, heat two cups of water in a pot then stir in 1 cup of sugar until it dissolves.  Continue stirring in one cup of sugar until you've put in 5 cups total.  Each time you add a cup of sugar, it will take longer for the sugar to dissolve. 

3.  Once all 5 cups of sugar has been dissolved, remove the pot from heat and add food coloring/extracts as desired.  Remember do not boil the sugar solution.  If you'd like to use an extract, add it now.  Use 1/2 teaspoon for regular extracts.  If you're using an oil (example: LorAnn's candy flavoring), use 1/4 teaspoon.  Let the sugar syrup cool for 10 - 15 mins before pouring into jars.  

4.  Pour carefully into jars.  Slowly insert sugared skewer and secure with clothespin.  *If you have a wide mouthed jar, you can actually put in two sticks per jar.*

  • Don't put jars on a sunny windowsill.
  • Strain any crystals with a coffee filter that do not dissolve in your pot before pouring into the prepared jars.
  • Do not let the sugar solution boil. Heat it enough so that the sugar dissolves but don't let it get too hot.  Why?  The sugar comes off the skewer too easily and I found that the crystals develop quicker.

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