One of my son’s favorite things to do is collect sea glass. Scouring a sandy beach for treasure is a pretty great way to spend some time and he’s done a lot of it — with bags of sea glass stashed all over our house to prove it. Also high on his list of favorites: candy. So when his third-grade teacher brought in sea glass candy for a holiday treat, he couldn’t wait to tell us all about it and try making it at home.
With some grownup assistance, this project is really simple, lots of fun and comes together quickly. Plus you get a tasty treat in the end.
Plan to have all of your ingredients, a candy thermometer and a parchment-lined sheet pan all ready to go before you start. We found the trickiest part of this project was moving quickly once the sugar was up to temperature. Because you’re melting sugar to a high temperature, it’s a good plan to have an adult do the melting, then the kids can help out when things cool off.
Making hard candy is pretty simple: combine sugar and syrup and boil to the “hard crack” stage — which is conveniently marked on candy thermometers (at about 310°F). Then we added our flavor and a drop of food coloring (it doesn’t take much. Less is more for the “glass” effect). Then we poured the hot mixture onto the parchment paper to let it cool. We stuck ours in the fridge to move the cooling process along.
Once your candy is hard and set up, the fun begins. Using something hard (like the end of a rolling pin), start smashing. Once you’ve got bite-sized pieces, dust them with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Wipe the candies off with a clean dish towel and you’ve got delicious “sea glass.”
What you’ll need:
— Candy thermometer
— 1 cup sugar
— 1/4 cup corn syrup
— 1/4 cup water
— Confectioners sugar
— 1/2 tsp flavor extract (optional)
— Food coloring
— Parchment paper
— Baking sheet
Directions & Tips:
In a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached to the side, stir together 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of corn syrup and 1/4 cup of water. This will make a small batch of candy — if you want to make a larger batch, simply double the amounts. It’s an easy recipe to adjust, depending on your needs.
Over medium heat, boil the ingredients, stirring frequently. Keep a close eye on your candy thermometer. Boil the mixture until it reaches 310°F, the “hard crack” stage.
Take the mixture off the heat and let cool for about a minute until it stops boiling. If you want to make multiple colors or flavors, pour some of the mixture into a heat-safe measuring cup. Add the flavor and food coloring. The candy sets quickly, so you’ll have to work fast.
Stir and pour the hot liquid into a puddle on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool. We put ours in the fridge to cool it off faster.
Once the candy is set and hard, use something hard (like the end of a rolling pin) to smash it into bite-sized pieces.
Put the pieces in a resealable bag with confectioners sugar and shake. This will prevent sticking. Wipe them off with a clean dish towel and you’re ready to eat.