Old-Fashioned Hard Tack Candy {AKA Rock Candy}

We went on a homeschool field trip recently to a local mineral museum. My boys really enjoyed seeing and learning about all the rocks and minerals.

After we got home, I remembered that my mom used to make a hard candy every Christmas that looked a lot like rocks. I scoured some cookbooks and was excited to find a recipe in my Christmas at Grandma’s cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. {I LOVE all their cookbooks!}

So, we were able to make our very own rock candy. We made our pieces rough cut to look more like the rocks and minerals we saw at the museum, but you can also score them in neater squares if you like. This is also similar to the method for making homemade horehound candy.


homemade Rock Candy

Old-Fashioned Hard Tack Candy

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp desired flavoring
  • 1/2-1 tsp food coloring

Line a 13×9 baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.

Cook without stirring until mixture reaches the hard-crack stage, or 290-310 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in flavoring and food coloring.

Pour hot syrup into the lined pan in a thin, even layer. When lukewarm, deeply score the slap of candy with a knife into squares, or other shapes as desired.When cooled, carefully break along score lines. Wrap individual pieces in wax paper.

Enjoy :)

Get your own Christmas at Grandma’s Cookbook


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