Grandma Miller’s Hard Tack Candy

by on December 13, 2016 » Add the first comment.
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Photos courtesy of Angie Wolford.

Ingredients for 12 batches

  • 11 lb granulated sugar
  • 64 oz Karo syrup
  • 1/4 C water

Ingredients for 4 batches

  • 4 lb granulated sugar
  • 24 oz Karo syrup
  • 1 TBL water

Ingredients for 1 batch

  • 1 lb granulated sugar (approx 2 C)
  • 6 oz Karo syrup
  • 1 tsp water

Optional:  Oil Flavoring and Food Coloring

Step by Step

  1. Mix corn syrup and sugar (corn syrup will help keep the sugar from crystallizing)
  2. Cook on low heat until sugar is completely liquefied.
  3. Use an immersible candy thermometer to monitor your temperature.
    THIS IS WHAT I USE and it works great.  Great for perfectly cooking meats too.
  4. Stir fairly frequently with a wooden spoon.
  5. Stop stirring when everything is completely dissolved.
  6. At 260º add your food coloring, but don’t mix it.  Let the bubbles do the mixing.
    Yellow for lemon, red for cinnamon, black for licorice, blue for… well, you get it.
  7. Increase heat to high and heat until mixture is AT LEAST 300º but no more than 310º
    – This temperature is called CRACK, and it is when the crystals become rigid.  It will boil for quite awhile before the temperature gets to 300º but be patient – the high temperature is necessary, or you will have sticky hard caramel kind of things.
  8. Pour onto a lightly buttered marble slab (or Coreon slab) and use a bench knife to keep the molten from spilling onto the floor.  You can also use a very large silicone mat.  BE CAREFUL.  THIS MIXTURE WILL BURN YOU TO THE BONE

    SPECIAL NOTE:  Alternately, you can use old cookie baking sheets with edges. Don’t use nice new ones, because they will take a beating in a little while.  If you do it this way, let the mixture come to a NON-BOILING STATE before you add the flavor oil.  Mix it in, then pour it onto your baking sheet.

    Another alternative, just use heavy duty aluminum foil.
  9. Pour in flavoring oil and continue to fold the edges to the middle of the mass
  10. AS SOON as it can be handled without raising blisters, use a poultry scissors, cut into strips, then into pieces.
  11. Drop pieces into a bowl with 1 C confectioner sugar
  12. Toss until coated, then sift out and put onto a newspaper to cool.

If you go with the baking sheet method, let it cool completely ON THE COUNTER and then whack it with a small hammer and clean screw driver to shatter the pieces into whatever size you desire.  Discard the dust, and keep only the pieces.

Find more like this: Snacks -n- Treats

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