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Rock Candy {Tutorial}

 

 

Rock candy is always a fun favorite of children, and it’s a fantastic way to disguise a Summer science lesson as a sugary treat! All it takes is a few simple tools, lots of sugar and even more patience!

 

Rock candy ingredients & supplies: Wooden skewers (cut in half), water, sugar, clothespins and glass jars/drinking glasses. The amount of water and sugar you need depends on how many pieces of rock candy you would like to make and the number of jars you have available (I recommend no more than 2 pieces per jar) - the standard ratio is 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water, but we found that we had to add a bit more sugar than our recipe called for. In the end, we used 10 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water.

 

 

To make our batch of rock candy, we started with 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar. Put it all into a large saucepan, because once you put it on the stove it will expand while boiling. I let Sutton mix up the first bit of sugar before putting it on the stove. He was fascinated with watching the sugar dissolve, and it was especially interesting for him to see that we could dissolve even more sugar with the addition of the heat from the stove. Once your pot is on the stove, bring it to a low boil over medium heat, and continue to add sugar one cup at a time until you can no longer dissolve any more of it (making a completely saturated sugar solution).

 

Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.

 

While your sugar is cooling you can prep your sticks. Soak them in water and roll them in a coating of sugar to give the new sugar crystals something to “seed” to. Be sure to let them dry all the way! If they are still too wet when you put them into the hot sugar solution, all of the sugar coating will fall off, and the new crystals will have nothing to grow on.

 

CAREFULLY pour your sugar solution into your glass jars. If you’d like to add food coloring or flavoring to your rock candy, now is the time to do so. We added color, but we kept the flavor all natural (what kiddo doesn’t like the taste of plain sugar?).

 

Slowly insert your sugared skewers into the solution. You can use a clothespin as shown to keep your sticks in place. Smaller mouth jars/glasses work best, but only allow room for about two sticks per jar. Be sure that your sticks are not touching the sides or bottom of the glass or each other! They need room for the new crystals to grow!

 

Set them up in a warm, sunny location where they won’t be disturbed, and wait…

 

…and wait…and wait…and wait (still with me?)…and wait some more…

 

After about a week you will have made yourself a batch of sparkling sugar rock candy!

 

Yummy!

 

So pretty, so tasty and sooooo worth the wait! These would make fantastic holiday gifts to go along with tea or coffee sets (is it crazy that I have Christmas on the brain in July?)!

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Comments

  1. What a great tutorial. I didn’t know I could make these at home. My kids would LOVE to do that.

  2. Awesome! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  3. Do you just pull them out of the jar when after they sit for a week or do you have to cut them out?

  4. I am going to make these! Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I am a new follower and would love it if you stopped by and become mine!

  5. I can’t wait to make these with my kiddos! Thanks for sharing – they look so pretty!
    Stacey @ http://icingonthecakedallas.blogspot.com/

  6. OMG! I Love this!!! I remember making rock candy in science class as a kid! Of course, it wasn’t rainbow and FABULOUS rock candy! I pinned the rainbow rock candy! I am going to feature this post and your blog tomorrow at Friday Found!
    http://www.frugaliciousme.com
    xoxo,
    Tasha

  7. Love this! I’ve seen it before, but you just saved our boring Friday tomorrow. My boys will love doing this and watching them grow!

  8. OMG – I LOVE this! I was seriously JUST looking for a recipe for rock candy because I was thinking about making some because it just seems like the perfect summer treat! I love it and am crazy impressed with your science lesson AND your giant assortment of colors! : )

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this. My daughter loves rock candy and she will be so excited to make it for her lemonade stand!

    Blessings… Polly

  10. Oh, I forgot how simple and fun these are to make! I think I’ll make a batch with my students next year when we study physical properties. Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. Putting this on my kids must do list this summer. So much fun!

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. that looks like so much fun!! Sadly, I don’t have the patience for it :)

  13. That looks so good…never knew how it was done. I will have to give that a try.
    Found you on Skip to My Lou.

  14. lovely….just might have to give it a try!

  15. I am sooo excited to try this with my kids. They will think I’m SuperMom, which is what I’m going for, actually, so thanks so much for the tutorial! I’m your newest follower!

  16. This is so neat. I can’t wait to try it with my kids. I featured this over at Me Making Do.

  17. I love rock candy! I had no idea how it was made. I would be thrilled if you linked this up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2011/07/tuesday-confessional-link-up-party.html
    See you soon!
    ~Macy

  18. Love it – so glad I saw you on Reasons to Skip the Housework! Great idea!

  19. Awesome awesome awesome! Thank you so much! I’m going to follow you right now! I’m stopping by from the Tip Me Tuesday party. I would love for you to link this up to My Favorite Things party! It’s going on all week,
    & be sure to check out my giveaway too!
    Thanks
    ~Iffy~

    http://www.stayathomenation.blogspot.com

  20. I love love love this thanks for such a great tutorial. I am making some soon :)

  21. I’ve been enchanted by rock candy since I was a little kid — this is WONDERFUL! I’m so glad I saw your post featured over on the Homework blog. I can’t wait to try this with my girls!

    New follower and fan,
    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  22. I tried making this once and they were an epic fail. I think the seeding is key! Great tutorial and photos…I’ll have to try them again!

  23. Thanks for linking up to last week’s Tuesday Confessional! You’ve been featured so stop by and grab a brag button!
    http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2011/08/favorites-from-last-weeks-tuesday.html
    ~Macy

  24. @Janice, the seeding is definitely the most important part! We actually had to start these over again since the seeding sugar didn’t stick the first time (wasn’t totally dry when we put it in the hot sugar liquid), but the second time around worked like a charm! :)

  25. How fun! My boys would love this! Can’t say they would be great at the week wait though :( Thanks for sharing!

  26. I’m gonna try this with my kids this week!
    I just linked up to you from my post http://soberchiclifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/08/5-activiteiten-om-te-doen-met-kinderen.html

    Briny

  27. This is so great! I think we’ll make it the first week of school (homeschool) so they’ll have something extra special to look forward to! Thanks. Lisa~

  28. amazing! cant wait to try this :D

  29. Oh-My-Gosh, I totally LOVE making Rock Candy!!! Glad to have seen this post, I think me and the kids will make some THIS WEEKEND – THANK YOU for reminding me of an inexpensive, fun, tasty project!!!
    XoXo~Bless Up Always~XoXo
    Mercy of MB_WOO.MOM

  30. I never knew how these were made, thanks for sharing! They look great

  31. ours turned solid? ugh. The whole glass was one big sugar blob. What did I do wrong?!?!?!?

  32. This is great! I’ve shared this with my mom. She and my little brother are going to try it out. Thanks for sharing ^_^

  33. Trying to make these today. I hope the fact that it’s cooler in the house now won’t hinder the progress. The top of the jars did start crusting over, so I’m afraid we’re headed for the same problem that CAB mentioned above. But we’ll wait and see.

  34. Wow! those look yummy!

  35. Well, I tried this–twice! Neither time was successful. No evaporation ever occurred, and only a small crusting developed on the sticks. I even let them sit for a month the second time! I think we will wait until the summer.

  36. What a great idea:) I am always looking for new candy ideas and this is so pretty, I cant wait to make these for my Christmas baskets. The color seems a little pastel though. I wonder if adding more color would give a denser color (I’m thinking for Christmas, red and green. Have you experimented much with your color density?
    Great Tutorial:)
    MamaZinga @ http://ceeceescrazyworld.blogspot.ca/

  37. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I was so excited to stumble on your tutorial for these. Want to make some for upcoming baby shower-sure hope it works. Loved your paper lantern directions too!
    Thank you so very much!

  38. My boy wouldn’t be able to wait 5 minutes for some sugar so I don’t think he would appreciate these!

  39. Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing.

  40. I’m going to make a bunch of these for my daughter’s birthday party in a month, I should start now incase I mess it up lol!! ThANKS FOR THE POST! i GOT YOU OFF OF i AM MOMMA HEAR ME ROAR. And you will be on mine next!

  41. Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

  42. Please explain what to do when you remove them from the jar. Will they still be wet? Do you lay them out to dry? Wrap them? HELP! It seems the rest of the instructions are missing……..

  43. Mar, I had to wiggle the sticks gently in the container to loosen them as there will be a thin layer of crystallized sugar on top of the remaining liquid. I held the sticks above the containers and let the excess sugar liquid drip off for a moment and then set them on a sheet of waxed paper to dry. They dry quickly, and are ready to eat right away. To store them, I put them in a Ziploc bag, but they didn’t last very long around here! :)

  44. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for this post. It made my heart skip a beat. Not until I saw this did I remember that my mom used to do this with us 45 years ago. She has been gone for 35 years now, and my kids are all grown…..BUT I have grandkids, and my youngest daughter works in a day care center so she would love this. Anyway- Thanks for the memories…………oh ……and the wonderful tutorial!!

  45. Where can I find flavoring instead of just using food coloring

  46. Where can I find flavoring instead of just using food coloring

  47. Couldn’t you make it with another liquid instead of water…..maybe that’s how you could get a different flavor. Not sure,but an idea.

  48. Couldn’t you make it with another liquid instead of water…..maybe that’s how you could get a different flavor. Not sure,but an idea.

  49. Couldn’t you make it with another liquid instead of water…..maybe that’s how you could get a different flavor. Not sure,but an idea.

  50. Couldn’t you make it with another liquid instead of water…..maybe that’s how you could get a different flavor. Not sure,but an idea.

  51. Im a 17 year old guy and i would even love to make these, great tutorial!

  52. how long should it take for the sugar coated sticks to dry completely before putting them into the jars?

  53. This not only looks beautiful, but tasty too!

  54. Any ideas what to use for flavorings?

  55. We have a problem with ants. Will covering the tops affect the process?

  56. Ivory, I do believe that covering the tops will effect the evaporation process. I’m not sure if it would stop the crystals from forming completely, but it might result in smaller candies. Let me know if you do try it!

    • We used to have an ant problem. If you put the glass jars in a shallow dish or pan with a shallow layer of water, creating a “moat”, the ants won’t go near it-they can’t swim. I don’t think it would hinder the crystallizing process. Great post!

  57. Admiring the commitment you put into your site and in depth information you present.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your
    RSS feeds to my Google account.
    kumlama recently posted…kumlamaMy Profile

  58. What a FUN and SWEET treat to make. I know some people who are learning Patience, and this project has such a nice ending! Candy that is homemade is always the best too! Thank You for the great instructions!!

  59. Can you use oil flavorings or do they have to be an extract?

    • Since the rock candy is water based and requires that the mixture sit undisturbed for several days, I’d be worried that an oil based flavoring would separate during the process. I’d personally stick to extracts just to be safe. If you do try the oil, please come back and let me know how it worked out for you! :)

  60. It seems a bit unhygienic to me, since the jars are sitting for a week uncovered, all manner of dusts and small insects could end up in the solution :/
    Mint recently posted…basecoat-topcoat:

    POLISH OF THE WEEK ROUND UP – O.P.I. -…My Profile

  61. Hi there – love your Tutorial :) With pics – thank you so much for your thoroughness. I have a question, can you reuse the solution or is it finished once you get the two candy pops out of it?

    Thanks so much!

    Kisha
    Kisha recently posted…Men – this is who you AREMy Profile

    • Thanks, Kisha! Honestly, I have never tried to reuse the solution again, so I’m not sure how well it would work. It may take a little longer the second time around since some of the sugar has already been removed from the liquid, or you may end up with smaller pops. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it works! :)

  62. I would like to make these for my daughters wedding, how long would they keep and how would I store them?

  63. This is a wonderful tutorial. Do you happen to know how long you can store them? I was planning on making them for my daughters birthday party and was trying to figure out how far in advance I could make them

    • It will keep practically forever as long as you keep it dry and away from heat! Since it’s just sugar, if you store it in an air-tight container it will last for years!

  64. Talk about being left hanging! There was no mention of what to do or how to do it regarding the correct way to remove the sticks from the jar!! Do u just pull the sticks out after a week? Can u please finish the directions on the recipe??!!

    • Yes, you simply lift the stick out of the jar when it has reached the desired size (after about a week). If you find that the sugar has formed a crystallized layer on the top of the liquid, gently move the end of the stick from side to side to break up the top layer, and then it should just come right out.

  65. I add kool-aid powder after all the sugar mixture cools to flavor/color them.

  66. my kids will love this! pinned and stumbled!

  67. I love this! I just pinned, stumbled and featured you on my FB page! This post brings back so many wonderful memories for me! Thanks for teaching us how to make them!

  68. Nice post.Thanks for share………………

  69. I will be taking care of grands three days a week this summer. Ages 5 and 7… Will start the rock candy the first day they are here. We can watch it grow over fee weeks….what fun! Thank you…

  70. IT WORKS YAY it is easy to make too

Trackbacks

  1. […] colorful rock candies are a fun food experiment from Heidi at Happiness is Homemade that will hold your kids’ […]

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