This Sea Glass Candy is an easy homemade hard candy recipe that anyone can do with a pot and a candy thermometer. It really does look just like sea glass!
Hard candy is easy to make, and it’s one of those things that everybody should try at least once. This simple process is used for everything from lollipops to cough drops, and it’s kind of nice to know how it’s done. The base is a mix of water, sugar, and corn syrup. You add a drop or two of regular food coloring, and a drop of food grade flavor oil. It gets heated to 300F, or what is known as the ‘hard crack’ stage of candy making. This just means it’s the temperature where the candy cools to the hard candy texture. A lower temperature will result in softer or stickier candy.
The molten sugar mixture is immediately poured out onto a greased surface to cool.
Once hard, it can be shattered into shards, just like glass!
I have to say I was astounded at how ‘glass-like’ this candy was — it’s sharp! I’m sure there’s science behind it, the sugar crystals must be similar in some ways to the grains of sand that melt into actual glass. Anyway, it’s easy, fascinating, and fun. Probably not for real little ones, but teens might enjoy this.
The next step is also fun — you’ll coat the bits of ‘glass’ with powdered sugar, and they’ll emerge looking exactly like sea glass!
I used a dish cloth to buff off the excess sugar and ‘sand’ down the sharp edges for an authentic look. And you’re left with a big batch of hard candy that looks like you just collected it off the beach. What to do with it? Well, that’s where your creativity comes in, you can throw an Endless Summer themed party, (or wedding!) give it as a gift, or just pat yourself on the back for a crossing another culinary feat off your bucket list.
I made only one color but you could play around with all kinds of shades of greens and blues, just like the real thing. Tie them up in little cello bags for favors, or just put out in a candy dish. Remember that hard candy of any kind has a tendency to get sticky in humid weather, so just be aware. I would keep it in an airtight container and plan to use it up fairly quickly.
Sea Glass Candy
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-2 drops food coloring, blues and greens work well
- 1/4 tsp flavored extract, or food grade flavored oil (I used tangerine)
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar , for coating
- Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and water to a saucepan over high heat. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
- Bring up to a boil, while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, stop stirring and let it bubble away until it reaches 300°F (148.8°C) on the thermometer. As it gets close to target temperature, add in the drops of food coloring, but don't stir - it will mix itself in.
- When sugar mixture reaches 300°F (148.8°C), take it off the heat, stir in the flavoring oil, and immediately pour out onto your pizza pan. It will spread out by itself. Be VERY CAREFUL, it is very hot.
- Let the candy sit until fully cooled and hardened, then lay a piece of plastic wrap lightly over the surface and rap it with a hammer to shatter the candy into pieces. Do this slowly so you can try to get the most realistic size for your pieces.
- Working in batches, put the pieces of candy into the powdered sugar and coat well. Use a dish towel to rub off the excess sugar and rub down the very sharp edges.
- Store the candy in an airtight container, or divide up into individual cellophane bags.
- You’re going to need a candy thermometer for this. You should have one anyway, they are a necessity for most types of candy making, an deep frying, too.
- Look for candy flavoring oils in the baking aisle of your supermarket, you might find one or two there. Otherwise, for a wider choice, visit a large craft store like Michael’s, or go online. There are endless choices, from root beer to pina colada.
- Be very careful when working with molten sugar. It is dangerously hot and you don’t want to touch it. Keep away from children and pets.
- I found that for this recipe my 12″ metal pizza pan worked perfectly. The mixture will spread too thinly if you use a very large surface.