Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Quartz Candy

When your experimental lollipops don't turn out, turn them into candy quartz and say it was on purpose!

I wasn't trying to make these, but I love them so much. My plan had been this: make lollipops using soda cans as molds. I broke up some Jolly Rancher candies and placed them into the molds, and then poured lollipop mixture over them.
My lollipop mixture was a little bubbly so I put the tray into the oven to see if it would even itself out. What I wound up with was a tray of melted sugar and Jolly Rancher in a neat tie-dye pattern. I quickly pulled my molds out of it and stared at my mess.

Not willing to be beat, I waited for it to cool to candy pulling temperature and scraped off chunks of it, kneaded, stretched and formed it into little rock-like bits. They look so pretty in a glass bowl on the table top.

4 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
Flavoring (optional)
Jolly Ranchers candies, in assorted colors
*Second option, food coloring

Grease a cookie sheet (with sides) with your choice of oil. Spread your jolly ranchers out evenly and somewhat sparingly. Quartz crystal is typically pale so the more color you use, the less realistic your candy rocks will be.
Mix your sugar, water and honey in a saucepan on the stove. You want to bring it a boil. Your mixture will begin to thicken and become syrupy. When this happens, begin testing it by dropping spoonfuls into a bowl of water. When the candy forms a firm squiggle shape (between 290F and 300) it is ready to pour over your candies.
*A second option would be to pour your sugar mixture into an empty greased pan and drop in a few drops of food coloring, allowing it to pool and swirl.
If your candies have not melted into the sugar mixture, you can bake it at 375F until they have fully dissolved.

Take your cookie sheet out of the oven and allow it to cool until the candy is cool enough to handle. You have a very short window of about 15 minutes from the time the candy becomes ready until it becomes too hard to work with.  Pull, press, and knead your candy into little  irregular stone shapes.

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