December holds some of the sweetest days. One of which occurs on December 19th and is known as National Hard Candy Day. Whether it be peppermint flavor or a good old butterscotch we all most likely have our favorite. My favorite is root beer. What is your favorite flavor?
Hard candy day celebrates every hard candy from lollipops to candy canes to the hard candies grandma would keep to keep her breath fresh. Speaking of grandmas did you know that hard candy can be traced back centuries to Ancient Egypt, Arabia and China. Fruits and nuts were dipped in honey and sticks were stuck in so they could keep their hands from getting sticky.
Sugar was expensive and was something only the wealthy could afford. This brings my mind to Laura and Nelly in the show Little House In The Prairie. While Nellie had the chance to get candy when she wanted because her family was wealthy Laura always wanted just a bit but always loved the candy that she got at Christmas time.
Hard candies were created for medicinal purposes in the beginning. Hard candies were found useful for sore throats and coughs. When the candy makers took note of how popular the hard candies were they started to create more flavors to be used as candy.
3¾ C. Sugar
1 C. Light Karo Syrup
1 C. Water
1 TSP. Flavoring: I use LorAnn candy flavors, and for this I used cinnamon oil
Food Coloring (optional)
⅓ C. Powdered Sugar
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (I used a light cooking spray on the paper just in case but this is optional)
Combine sugar, syrup, water and color in saucepan, dissolving the sugar as much as possible.
Bring to boil and reduce to medium, let simmer until the candy thermometer reads 302 degrees (VERY HOT BE CAREFUL!) (Anywhere from 20-45 minutes)
Remove from heat, then add your flavor. Be sure to turn your face away if using cinnamon oil, it is very potent. Mixture will bubble and shoot up some steam, which is normal.
Pour mixture onto prepared pan and cool completely. My candy was cool in about 45 minutes.
Break candy into pieces, and make sure you break of the sharp points by just tapping the piece lightly to smooth it out. You can avoid this by cutting the candy while it is still warm. That isn't as fun though.
Add your powdered sugar to a ziploc bag, add the candy and shake to coat
recipe source here