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Learn how to make blue “crystal meth” rock candy inspired by Breaking Bad. It’s easier than you think, and the results look AND taste delicious. Perfect for costumes and viewing parties!
💙 How to make blue rock candy
This rock candy recipe is inspired by the television show Breaking Bad. As any viewer knows, the plot revolves around the blue-tinged crystal meth created by chemistry teacher Walter White and his student-turned-partner Jesse Pinkman. The meth is so pure, so potent, that it changes the entire southwestern drug trade and, eventually, the very lives of its creators.
As a fan of both sugar and television, imagine my delight when I found out that the “meth” used in the show is actually rock candy. Too perfect! So way back in 2012, at the height of Breaking Bad mania, I decided to create my own rock candy recipe, modeled after the Breaking Bad drug, for a viewing party with friends. Since it was first posted a decade ago, hundreds of people have made it for parties and Halloween costumes. Here is just a small sampling of the readers who have made it, loved it, and sent in pictures:
Although Breaking Bad is now off the air, this recipe remains a popular one, so it seemed overdue for an update. I’ve revised the post and recipe to make it more thorough, detailed, and helpful for YOU, my budding little Heisenbergs!
How to rock your candy-making
Rock candy is not difficult to make, and even beginning candy makers can do it successfully on their first try. Here are a few things you can do to ensure success:
- Read the recipe before beginning. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised! Once the candy hits a certain temperature things move very fast, and you want to be prepared to act right away, not be stuck reading the next step.
- Use a candy thermometer. More on this below, but it is the #1 tool that will guarantee you success.
- Read the Tips & Troubleshooting sections right before the recipe. Overwhelmingly, when people have trouble with this recipe, it is caused by a few very common mistakes, and knowing what these are in advance will help you avoid them.
🧾 What You’ll Need
Ingredients & Equipment
Here’s what you need to know as you gather your candy-making supplies. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Corn syrup: Light corn syrup helps prevent the sugar from crystallizing. If you are not able to easily find it, golden syrup or glucose syrup is a good substitute. Note that golden syrup has a yellow tinge and is likely to turn your finished candy greenish-blue.
- Granulated sugar: Not all sugar is created equal. Some granulated sugar is made from cane sugar, and some comes from beets. My strong preference is to use 100% cane sugar — in my experience, this gives more reliable, consistent results. If your sugar package does not specify, chances are that it is beet sugar or a mix of both.
- Clear flavoring extract: If getting a blue color, like on the show, is important to you, you’ll want to be sure you’re using clear flavoring extract. Brown extracts like vanilla will give your candy a yellowish tinge. See the Flavoring section below for a list of clear flavoring suggestions.
- Blue gel food coloring: I always make my candy with Americolor Sky Blue gel coloring, and feel confident recommending this brand and color. Liquid food coloring (ie, the type found in most grocery stores) might not produce the color results you’re after.
- Candy thermometer Not optional! A candy thermometer is the #1 tool you will need to make perfect rock candy. You can buy an inexpensive one from the grocery store (like this model). If you will be making candy regularly, it’s worth it to invest in a nicer thermometer. I have and love the ChefAlarm, because it alerts me when I’m nearing my finished temperature.
📋 How to Make Rock Candy
Here’s an overview of how to make this blue rock candy, and full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.
Make the sugar syrup
- Combine water, light corn syrup, and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir until the sugar is moistened and dissolves.
- Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush – this will remove any stray sugar crystals. Sugar crystals in the pan can cause your whole batch to crystallize.
- Once it comes to a boil, insert a candy thermometer. From this point on, do not stir the candy.
Cook and add coloring
- Cook the candy until it reaches 290 F on the thermometer. It should be a light yellowish color.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Let it sit for a minute, until the rapid bubbling stops, then add flavoring extract and blue gel food coloring.
- Stir well until the color is evenly distributed.
Pour and cool
- Pour the hot candy out onto a baking sheet covered with foil. You can spread it into a thinner layer with the spatula if you’d like.
- Let the candy cool completely at room temperature, until it is set and hard.
- Use a knife or kitchen mallet to smash it up into smaller pieces.
- This candy is easiest to eat in large pieces, so some people prefer to leave it in big chunks. If you want to be more accurate to the show, you can crush it up into smaller chunks.
- For optimal awesomeness, I recommend serving this in small baggies at a Breaking Bad viewing party.
😋 Flavoring Recommendations
Clear flavoring is a must if you want your candy to stay clear and blue. You can always use clear vanilla, which is often available at cake and candy supply stores, and some larger grocery stores. It is imitation vanilla, so the flavor isn’t as great as real vanilla extract, but if you want vanilla candy, it’s your best bet.
My personal favorite is fruit flavors, since it seems like such a natural choice for hard candy. Here’s a partial list of clear candy flavorings. I like LorAnn because I think the quality, consistency, and flavors are great, but you can of course use any clear flavoring or extract brand that you like. Many of the larger LorAnn bottles are tinted so you can’t tell the color inside, but most of the 1-dram bottles are clear, so you can either view them online to check the color, or order them as an experiment before committing to a larger bottle.
Safely working with hot sugar
Hot sugar can be extremely dangerous — the temperature gets very high (290° F in this recipe!) and because it is a thick and sticky substance, if you accidentally get some on your skin, it doesn’t rinse off quickly, which can lead to serious burns.
Because of this, this is not a good recipe to make with smaller children. It’s also a good idea to have a bowl of ice water handy while the sugar syrup is cooking, so if you’re accidentally burned, you can immediately dunk your hand and stop further burning. And as always, be alert, deliberate, and careful with your movements in the kitchen.
Testing your candy thermometer
It’s important to regularly test your candy thermometer for accuracy. Testing is especially important if you live at a higher altitude, but even at sea level, thermometers can become inaccurate over time. Having an accurate thermometer is essential to successful candy-making.
To test your thermometer, bring a pot of water to a boil, insert the candy thermometer for a minute, and then take a reading. At sea level, water boils at 212° F. If your thermometer doesn’t show 212°, calculate what the difference is. For example, if your thermometer reads 208° in boiling water, you know that you have a difference of -4 degrees in your thermometer. Going forward, you should subtract 4 degrees from any temperature written so that yours is accurate. In this example, if something needs to be cooked to 300° F, you only need to cook it to 296° F on your thermometer to get the right result.
The secret to easy candy removal
This isn’t a necessity like a candy thermometer, but it is a tip that can make your life a little easier! When making hard candy, I like to cover my baking sheets with non-stick foil. Hard candy can be sticky and difficult to remove from regular foil, but non-stick foil is magic, and the candy peels right off!
Other alternatives are to use a silicone baking mat, or spray regular or heavy-duty foil with nonstick cooking spray before beginning.
Here are some common questions/difficulties people have had with this recipe, and my suggestions for how to prevent them.
🍬 More Candies You’ll Love
Now that you’re a candy-making expert, put those skills to good use and try one of our other popular candy recipes!
DIY Candy Shot Glasses
Easy Homemade Lollipops
Breaking Bad Blue Rock Candy
- 1/2 cup water, (4 fl oz)
- 8.25 oz light corn syrup, (3/4 cup)
- 14 oz granulated sugar, (2 cups)
- 2 tsp clear flavoring extract
- Blue gel food coloring, I used Americolor Sky Blue
- Candy thermometer
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray, or use non-stick foil.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and granulated sugar. Place the pan over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Once it comes to a simmer, brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Insert a candy thermometer.
- Continue to cook the candy without stirring until it reads 290 degrees Fahrenheit (143 C) on the thermometer. Watch the temperature carefully–a lower temperature might produce sticky candy, while a higher temperature runs the risk of producing green candy!
- Once at 290, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for a few moments, until rapid bubbles stop breaking on the surface. Add the flavoring and a drop or two of food coloring, and stir everything together.
- Pour the candy onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a thin layer. Let it set completely at room temperature.
- Once set, break it into small pieces. For the complete Breaking Bad experience, place the pieces in a large zip-top bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they are crushed, and place in small baggies to serve.
- Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media:
This recipe works really well! I did some experimentation with it because I was trying to do it without corn syrup, but my attempts failed – corn syrup is definitely the way to go!
Oh my goodness – being a HUGE breaking bad fan myself and seeing as to how the premiere of the final season is this weekend, this is the BEST THING EVER!!
after a few attempts i had to refine the recipe, at 285 degrees i found my candy wouldn’t crystalize, turns out that it actually needs to be 300-310 degrees in order to do so. but in order to avoid overcooking (as it is quite a finite temperature range) when taking the pan off the boil, i had to sit it in a bowl of cold water to cool the pan down and stop the cooking process as residual heat from the pan can continue to cook the candy and potentially overcook it, which then turns it green when adding the blue colouring.
thanks for the recipe though, i now have a new addiciton, but at leasts it’s one i can cook myself 🙂
Hi Rob, Glad you got the recipe to work! My original recipe called for the candy to be cooked to 300 (typical hard candy temperature) but so many people had trouble overcooking it and turning their candy green, I lowered my recommendation. Cooling the pan in a water bath right after cooking is a great call. Walter would be proud! 🙂
I’ll give this a try. Just cooked my first batch and although the look is spot on it was very sticky and nearly pulled a few teeth out! I thought this may be due to the substitutes I was using (had to use glucose as no corn syrup in the UK), but I’ll try cooking to 300* next time. Should this make it less sticky?
Yes, a higher cooking temp should definitely help! Glucose is a great substitute for corn syrup, so I don’t think it’s your ingredients–my guess is that adding a few degrees of cooking temp will solve the problem. Please let me know how it goes!
PS Your user name is cracking me up. I thought Walt Jr’s friend is named breakfast?
I just cooked the second batch at 300 and although it is less sticky, its still liable to pull a few teeth out. Could this be the ingredients possibly; I have been using blue food colouring oil instead of the gel, and 1-2 teaspoons of flavouring, as our stuff might not be as potent as you guys have in the US. Could it be that this extra liquid causes it to set less hard, or do I dare cook up until 310* like a few other recipes suggest?
That’s disappointing! 300F should be golden. I suppose it could be the change in ingredients, although if you would have asked I would have thought a small change like that wouldn’t make a big difference. Is it humid/stormy/rainy where you are right now? That could do it. You can definitely cook it higher–the risk is that the sugar will start to take on color and your candy will be greenish. But as far as taste and texture, you can safely take it to 310 or even 315. (Much past that, though, and you’re starting to caramelize the sugar, and while that’s delicious, it’s not really what we’re going for.) Another thought: have you tested your candy thermometer for accuracy? It’s as easy as sticking it in a pot of boiling water, but it’s a good way to know if your thermometer is off by a few degrees, which can make a big difference. Here are full instructions:
Two thumbs up for Cpt Crunch! Eagerly awaiting tales of your candy success and a new clever user name.
I made a batch using your recipe and instructions and it came out flawlessly! I may have overcooked it a little and used too much food coloring, but otherwise it was perfect, and quite tasty. I used 4 drops of the McCormick Neon Blue food coloring and mint extract. I sent this to a friend who is also a huge BB fan with a letter from “W.W.” and he got a kick out of it! Thank you!
Awesome! So glad to hear it worked well with the Neon Blue–and I’ll bet your friend loved the message from “Walt.” 🙂 That’s great!
Blew up my moms glass measuring bowl and spent two hours cleaning shards of glass out of the corn syrup. Cut my feet and burned my hand. My parents were horrified. Luckily I got everything swept up and washed down. DO NOT USE GLASS… :/
General rule of thumb is that kitchen glass, unless specified otherwise, can handle boiling water max. Anything hotter than that and it’s gonna crack or, in worse scenarios, shatter.
Can you just use regular syrup?
Hi Anthony, I’m not sure what you mean by regular syrup–maple-flavored pancake syrup? I haven’t tried it but I wouldn’t recommend it. The brown coloring would make your candy a dark color, and the composition/other additives in the syrup might mess up the cooking. If you do end up giving it a try, please let us know how it turns out!
I used to love making this in high school back in the 80’s. My Mom and I had all sorts of flavors and colors. In any case, time moves on and thanks to YOUR wonderful recipe, I’m making it again!
I made my first batch last night. It wasn’t quite up to Heisenburg standards … but it was a nice first attempt. Next time I need to get it a few degrees hotter. It cracked just fine … but it gets a bit chewy once it’s in the mouth.
I used the cotton candy flavored packet of frosting creations. It has a nice taste and the color is alright. My one warning to anyone going this route, once you take the candy off the heat and wait for the bubbles to stop, stir in the flavoring VERY well. I didn’t mix it well enough so there were dozens of small dark blue “dots” of mix in the candy. It’s not horrible? I just laughed thinking of Walt yelling, “It’s not pure!” haha
Thanks again for the GREAT recipe and tips! I have a picture up at my site and I’ll be making more today or tomorrow!
That is awesome! Thanks for the feedback! I’ve never tried the frosting creations myself, only heard about it from readers, so it’s good to know what works & what could be improved. Also, you can definitely take it a few degrees hotter–up to 300 F should be fine, provided you watch it toward the end so it doesn’t take on color.
I just tried this but it didn’t set properly. It’s hard but not hard enough to smash. Its a bit sticky.
I used a thermometer and took it off the heat when it reached 285. I’ve left it set for an hour and just put it in the fridge 2 mins ago to see if that will help.
It sounds like the candy wasn’t cooked enough. Unfortunately if it’s not hard by now, it won’t get harder and refrigerating probably won’t help things. (The humidity in the fridge might just make it stickier.) If you’re up for trying it again, I’d first test your thermometer to make sure it’s accurate (how-to link below) and then cook it to 295 F this time–if you watch the temperature carefully you should be able to cook it to 295 and get it hard without risking the candy turning green. Good luck!
Yeah it’s currently stuck to my teeth! Looks awesome, but it’s too sticky.
Will be making another batch tomorrow.
Thanks again for posting this online and for replying!
Also Elizabeth, just a last question to ask, I had to use glucose syrup as we don’t have light corn syrup in Ireland.
Would this have anything to do with the sticky-factor?
If so, how much glucose syrup should I use in my second batch? It’s €5 ($7) per pot and it’s one pot per batch so it’s pricey! Would appreciate any advice.
Hi Nicole, I’m not exactly sure. I haven’t tried this particular recipe with glucose (it is much hard to find glucose than corn syrup here!) but I have made other hard candies with glucose instead of corn syrup, and it’s worked fine. My understanding is that glucose and corn syrup can be substituted on a 1:1 basis, so my guess is that it *should* work fine if you take it to a higher temp so more of the water boils off. That being said, I looked up a recipe for hard candy in an older candy book I have, and the recipe they use is 3 cups sugar, 3/4 cup glucose, and 1/2 cup water. So if you want to experiment you could try adding an extra cup of sugar, and see if the changed ratio of sugar:glucose helps the candy to set. (I do have to emphasize that I haven’t tried this recipe myself.) And again, I would take it to 295 F or even 300 F this time–but not higher, or the candy will start to take on color and you’ll have greenish meth. Also, if it’s stormy, rainy, or otherwise humid where you are, your candy might be soft and sticky, so it’s best to do it on a dry day!
Thank you so much!
So close to giving up! Tried it with the extra cup of sugar and cooking til 295 and its now green!
Waiting til it sets to see if its less sticky than last time.
The only thing I can think of is to cook with the 3 cups of sugar but only until 285.
After that I’m out of ideas!
Ugh, frustrating!! I wish I had glucose handy so I could give it a try and provide some concrete ideas. (I have to order it online, so there’s no chance of getting it anytime soon.) So sorry this has been such a pain. When you do succeed it will be sweet, sweet victory! And all those who don’t have access to corn syrup will owe you a big debt of gratitude for doing all of this glucose experimentation. 🙂
Haha, I can’t believe I’m still doing it.
Right to summarize for everyone, and hopefully it will be of some use to anyone who uses glucose!
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup liquid glucose (PME)
2 tsp flavouring (LorAnn Key Lime)
1/4 tsp colouring paste (SugarFlair Colour)
Cooked until thermom hit 285F
Result: Too sticky, too blue, overpowering smell and taste
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup glucose
1 tsp flavouring
Drop of colouring paste
Cooked until thermom hit 295/300F
Result: Great consistency (although a teeny tiny bit sticky but its basically pure sugar so that’s to be expected!) and great taste but green!!
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp flavouring
2 drops colouring
Cooked until thermom hit 285
Result: Blue, translucent, and good consistency! It’s the best I’ve ended up with so far!
I think I *might* try the original recipe (2 cups sugar) and cook until 290/295… when I buy more sugar! I’m all out!
A local bar is hosting a Breaking Bad finale party for charity and they’ve asked me for 30 bags (15g) which I have all packaged up and ready to go. There’s easily another 10 bags to be gotten out of the batch.
The only thing I’ve found is it got stickier quickly. I’m in my room with the fan on; smashing and spooning furiously!
Thanks Elizabeth for having the patience of a saint! ^_^
Nicole, you are my hero! Seriously, this is awesome. Thank you for doing the recipe testing for me when I could not. I am so glad that you got a batch you’re happy with!! (I was feeling guilty over the amount of glucose you were going through…) If you do end up trying a 4th version, please let me know how it goes! I’ll update the official recipe with a glucose variation once you settle on the one you like best. Do you feel like Walter White yet? SCIENCE!
P.S. I think it’s so great that you’re contributing these for charity!
I hope you will be able to answer to my questions on time 🙂
First of all, thank you for your fantastic sharing of ideas and recipes !
I’ve tried the recipe of the Crystal Meth Rock Candy, and here is the result: sticky and green…
So, knowing that if it’s sticky it means that it’s undercooked and if it’s green, it’s overcooked.. I am confused, I have to say.
I have used a gel food coloring, and as I do not have thermometer (yet!), and that I need the candy for tomorrow, I have used your advice given a bit further up to someone else, to test with iced water.
Do you have any idea what happened?
And what do I have to change?
I have enough to do one more batch, but that’s it !
Thank you so much,
a French-Irish fan x
Hi Benedicte, So sorry for the belated response–I imagine it’s too late to be of much help. It’s so hard to know what went wrong when I’m not in the kitchen with you, seeing how the candy is cooked and what ingredients are used. It’s especially difficult when you don’t have access to a thermometer, so we can’t troubleshoot and be precise about what temperature you’re cooking it to. If it’s soft and doesn’t break easily because it’s too soft and sticky, then yes, it’s undercooked. As to the green color, did you use light corn syrup, or did you substitute something else? Substituting some other syrups, like golden syrup, will give the candy a greenish color. Before you added the food coloring, was the candy colored at all in the pan–like a light yellow or amber color, or was it completely colorless?
Thank you so much for your reply.
You are actually of a big help.
I’ve used Golden syrup, because it’s difficult in Ireland to find light corn syrup ! The candy was amber before I added the food coloring.
And I think that’s the issue here. I’ll buy myself a thermometer and I’ll try again with glucose probably.
My friend liked it even sticky and green… So no worries here, I’ll try again with every precise ingredients.
Thank you again for your help.
Mystery solved! So glad we could figure it out–and that your friend liked soft green candy. 🙂
Glucose is a much better substitute in this case. I haven’t tried it myself, but other readers have. One did several test batches, and this is her recommendation for making this candy with glucose:
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp flavouring
2 drops colouring
Cooked until thermom hit 285
Result: Blue, translucent, and good consistency! It’s the best I’ve ended up with so far!
If you do give it a try, please let me know how it turns out! When I get a little more feedback (or get my hands on some glucose–it’s hard to find here!) I’ll update the recipe with some alternative directions for those who can’t find corn syrup.
Will do I promise ! Thanks a million for your help !
Thanks so much for the recipe! I cooked up a batch of “meth” for the final episode tonight. It was so easy! I have never been one for baking, or candy making, but this turned out just right the first time. I made mine lemon flavored.
My daughter, who is a big time “Superman Geek” , liked it so much, that she wanted some “kryptonite”. So we whipped up a batch using green food coloring, and tilted the baking sheet while it cooled so it would gather in one corner. It was about a quarter to half inch thick, and I broke it into large pieces so it would look like big crystals of “Superman’s Achilles heel”.
So glad that it worked for you–and on the first try! You’re a Walt in the making. 🙂 And I love the Kryptonite idea–how creative! You win best dad award for sure.
Best dad award!?!? I am honored. As a single parent that really means allot. I should mention that I put the “kryptonite” in a Tupperware container and my daughter took it to school the next day. She came home with an empty container and requests from her friends for more, and suggestions for different flavors. One quick question. How difficult would it be to pour into small molds to make it into different shapes? I thought about possibly using it to make lollypops for my daughter’s friends. I think I will be making the local dentists very happy.
This recipe works great for other hard candies! If you’re not worried about getting a specific color (cough*blue sky*cough) you can actually cook the candy a little hotter–between 300 F-310 F) to be sure you get a hard candy that will set quickly, unmold nicely, and not be sticky. The only thing you’ll want to watch out for is the type of mold you buy. Some molds are meant for chocolate only, and can’t withstand the high temperatures of sugar candy. Just make sure the molds mention candy & not just chocolate, and you’re good to go!
I’ve been obsessed with perfecting this recipe for about a week now. Found some useful tips. (At least for me)
1. Use a very thick pot when cooking, and you are much less likely to burn your sugar.
2. Bring your sugar up to temperature slowly. The slower you bring it up, the clearer it will be.
3. If you want candy that is more like glass (that you can actually bite down on) cook your candy to 310f. and stir vigorously with a immersion mixer (mixer, not blender) right after you remove it from the heat. To prevent this from clouding your candy, add 1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar to the recipe before cooking. This will also help if from yellowing.
Awesome–thanks for the tips! I’m sure that other folks will find them super helpful too. I’d love to see a pic of the candy if you happen to have one! One thing–I’m not sure what an immersion mixer is vs an immersion blender–I’ve never heard that term. Can you clarify?
My first attempt, it came out soft and flexible… but a few hours later, I went to go get a piece to eat and it had hardened up much much more, and I was able to smash it up with a rolling pin… so I think I pulled it off the sheet pan too early, and in the process, it got stretched like taffy a little bit and that caused streaking and made it a little cloudy and not as transparent as I had hoped… next time I will leave it on the pan overnight and then pull it off… also I used generic grocery store food coloring, and it had that green tint you mentioned… I will look for the brand name coloring you mentioned, or just add an extra drop to maybe overpower the green tint… I also added orange extract to it, and it tastes delicious! Thanx for the recipe!!
Here are some links to pics I took of the process…
Thanks for the feedback and photos, Scott! Sounds like you have a plan to get perfect candy next time–drop me a line if you need any help or advice.
Just made some more, posted a comment but not sure if went through or not… =) if not, I can repost with my list of mistakes I made the first time and new photos…
Love your work here! We are in BrBa withdrawals, so we hit the kitchen. A lic.per.chef, I use Isomalt (beet based invert sugar) to make my Heisen-Bleu & other sugar art. It’s super easy & very low calorie. If you get isomalt (look at cooking supply or online) recipe is simple:
2 cups dry isomalt powder
1/2 c water
1 drop Americolor Sky Blue Food Color
LAB EQUIPMENT YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
Heavy bottom saucepan
Cookie sheet w/ walls, sprayed lightly w/ Pam
Combine water & isomalt in heavy bottom pan over med high heat. Wipe pan walls with wet brush to remove crystals, and begin to heat without stirring. The crystals will melt pretty quickly; swirl pan GENTLY to combine any unmixed particles, and set up candy thermometer. Heat without stirring until 275F, then add one drop food coloring, & stir just until uniformly colored with a metal or silicone spoon (more stirring creates unwanted air bubbles). Continue to cook until mixture approaches 340F; once it hits 330, be watchful, as it goes fast & will turn brown if overheated. At about 337, remove from heat and set pan into shallow cold water bath to stop cooking, but don’t get any water in mix. Pour immediately into shallow pan with sides that has been sprayed lightly w/ Pam type product & wiped of excess oil. BE SUPER CAREFUL AS THIS THICK LIQUID WILL BuRN YOU BaDLY IF IT TOUCHES YOU! Let cool 10 or more minutes, and crack it like they did on BrBa. Amaze your friends and scare your neighbors; we are handing out little bags for Halloween.
Sundays will never be the same….
We used this recipe for my son’s Minecraft party to make the precious gems. I was going to make rock candy on sticks but it looked like a PITA. This was cheap and awesome. Thanks!
That is an awesome idea! I’m an old person and am not that familiar with Minecraft, but I know it’s what the kids love these days. So glad the candy worked out!
Elizabeth, thank you SO much for this fabulous recipe.
I made a successful batch with the Duncan Hines coloring and observed that the color is a bit dark, so the next batch I will double before adding a whole packet of color/flavor.
My question to the expert is, can I start the next batch in my sugary-blue pot? Or is it necessary to clean it out first?
I’m making 5lbs worth so I’d like to save time and not have to clean between batches.
So glad to hear that it worked out for you, and thanks for the tip on the Duncan Hines color! Since I’ve never tried that variation myself, I appreciate the feedback.
Sadly, I would not recommend using a dirty pot. My fear is that you might get sugar crystals from the cooked candy mixed into your sugar syrup, and it would change the texture of the next batch or cause it to crystallize. I know cleaning the pots is a pain. My only tip to make it easier is to fill the used pot with water (and any dirty utensils) and bring it to a boil–the hot water will dissolve the hard candy and it makes cleaning up super simple, although it is still time consuming while you wait for the water to boil. If you do end up re-using the pot and it works out, please let me know! I’d be happy to be wrong about this. 🙂
Could you somehow incorporate a liquor into the recipe? Anyone?
I seriously doubt it. Alcohol evaporates at between 140 and 170 degrees fahrenheit. So given the temperature the candy mixture has to reach, it is safe to say that any alcohol you add to it will instantly turn to steam and float away.
I was wondering if wilton sky blue icing color would be ok to use instead of what you reccomend, thanks!
Hi Mike, I haven’t tried it myself, but my guess is that it will work just fine. I’d start with a small amount on the tip of a toothpick, stir it in, and add more if necessary–a little gel coloring goes a long way! If you do try it and are happy with the results, please come back and let me know so I can update the recommended coloring section! Thanks.
Thanks for the reply! I sent an email also so you can ignore that :p im going to make a test batch next weekend and I will let you know how it goes.
This is so awesome! I can’t wait to make this for my brother-in-law’s bday. Thanks so much!!
(sorry if I double posted this, don’t think it went through the first time)
Round 2 was perfect! Color and consistency was perfect!
Mistakes I made first time:
-not enough food coloring…
-didn’t cook it to proper temperature…
-was impatient and turned up to high heat halfway through the process…
This time I used 4 drops of grocery store brand blue, and it was perfect. I was patient and let it get to temperature when it was ready. The difference in how it turned out was amazing, so little changes in your process can have a big effect on the final outcome.
Halloween will be awesome this year! Just got my pork pie hat in the mail yesterday!! =)
Looks awesome, Scott! Thanks for sharing! So glad you were able to get it perfect the second time–Walt would be proud. 🙂
Used this recipe 5 times to prepare for a finale party and to make my other BrBa addicted friends laugh, I used a lemon flavor and three drops of generic regular food coloring.
First I burned it. Brown/blackish. Didn’t read about the water temp method and didn’t have a thermometer.
Second time was slightly sticky but perfect color. Used the water test method. Under cooked.
Third was perfect. The water method worked. I packed up 34 little baggies and stuffed a pink, burned, one-eyed teddy bear for a buddy’s Birthday.
Fourth batch slightly green. Water method. The taste was awesome, because I found a corn syrup with vanilla in it. With the added lemon made it taste like cotton candy.
Just finished my fifth batch for another buddy. Bought a thermometer from Bed Bath and Beyond. Perfect all around. Like diamonds, the color, cut, clarity was perfect. The taste and hardness came out great.
Thermometer makes all the difference!!!
Thanks, this recipe is helping me carve out my sky blue candy empire.
Five times?! That is dedication! So glad that it worked out for you and you are now a crystal meth candy expert. 🙂 Remember that I get 5% of your profits!
5%? You think you can live with that blood money… errrr… cavity money?
My cut has now gone up to 7% due to your sassing back!
This recipe is awesome! Over the past fee weeks I’ve tweeked it a little and found some good points. As stated above 295-300 F is about the perfect temp. Also for coloring frosting creations 1/2 packet per batch cotton candy or Blue Raspberry. McCormick Neon Blue also works but the frosting creations flavor and color and are cheaper where I live. Also DO NOT freeze or refrigerate it will RUIN it. And when cooling don’t smash it too early or too late. I’ve done it too soon and had sticky mess and as well as leaving overnight another sticky mess. Still perfecting this the range is between a hour or two after I’ve poured with a fan on it
Thanks for the feedback, Joshooba! Good to know about using half of the frosting creation packet–I’ll add that tip to the list. And yes, send pics along!
Going as Walter this year shaved my head and have my hazmat suit. With a few batches made up. Will send pics soon! Also seal in airtight packaging it will help dry it overnight and then you can re break the bigger chunks…
So I tried this recipe and it didn’t quite work out. However I was able to make an easy fix by reheating the candy for another 10 minutes or so until it reached 250 degrees (f). One technique I was shown to test the solidification process of the candy was to take a spoon and drip a little bit at a time into a bowl of iced water. I continued to use this method while boiling the candy until the mix went from chewy and gummy to immediately glassy in the water. I suggest this for anyone attempting to try this recipe!
On another note it’s a fantastic recipe for a fantastic show 🙂 glad I found this!
So glad you got it to work out, Brandon! The cold water method is definitely helpful, and it could probably save some people the heartbreak of finding out too late that their candy won’t set. Thanks!
Heads up… I’ve been using McCormick brand flavor extracts for all my candy… so far, the orange, raspberry, and lemon were all clear and made fine candy. The McCormick brand cherry extract is NOT clear… it is red… I just assumed it would be clear and didn’t notice till I put it in the mix at the end… made good tasting candy, but mixed with the food coloring, it came out purple…
Thanks for the head’s up, Scott! Dang cherry extract, giving you purple meth…
It likely turns green because cream of tartar is a n acid – most acid make food colourings change colours. Just a thought.
My recipe actually doesn’t contain cream of tartar–unless you were referring to a different recipe? In my experience cream of tartar (or other acids, like lemon juice) are okay in hard candies and don’t influence the color, possibly because they’re present in such small amounts. Maybe if the quantities were larger that would be different!
Hey I made a test batch and it turned out great but it is sooooo hard, Like I made edible glass pretty much hahaha. Is that normal?
Yes, totally normal! It’s a hard candy, sort of like the texture of a lollipop (but without the stick.) Lots of people have trouble with it being too soft or sticky, so congrats–you got it right the first time. 🙂
awesome! Ill post some pics soon of the big cook and the small cook
is it important to use granulated sugar or is regular sugar also ok?
Hi Steve, Granulated sugar is probably what you mean by “regular sugar”–just the plain white sugar most people have in their houses. I’m just in the habit of specifying the type of sugar (brown, powdered, granulated, etc.) Caster sugar should also work, if that’s what you have available.
Great, thanks 🙂
Ok so after even more tests done in the “Lab”I’ve discovered a few more things. If your candy is too soft or sticky leave it in a ziplock overnight. Should be ready to break the next day.The candy can and will cut you just like glass so be safe and wear gloves.And another thing. If you mix the sugar and water first and stir then add corn syrup and sloely bring up the heat. The product will come out much more clear…
Great tips, Joshooba, much appreciated!
I just want to say that this is an awesome recipe. I got it right on the first try and it looks and taste amazing. Thank you for the help.
Yessss I love it when people get it on the first try! Glad to hear it Marc!
How high is ‘medium high’ because my electric stove only has numbers from low and then 1 through 9 and then high.
I was using a candy thermometer, but it seemed like it was taking forever to get up to temperature, so I kept inching it up from 5 until I got between 8 and 9. Then I looked away for about 2 seconds and suddenly the temperature was way over 300 degrees. Needless to say, I ended up with green candy, although it fractured up nicely.
Hi, In this case, I would say to keep it a little above the medium setting on your stove, so perhaps around number 5-6. The cooking and timing are somewhat dependent on your stove (electric or gas, age and heat conductivity, etc) and pan (material it’s made of, thickness, etc.) There are a LOT of variables that mean that every person’s cooking experience will be different. I will say that electric stoves are a little trickier than gas stoves, since you can’t directly and quickly change the heat setting. But I cook on a 20-year old electric stove, so it can be done–it’s just a matter of figuring out your burners and your pans. 🙂
I did a second batch today and this time I used a Paula Deen ceramic saucepan, set the stove at 7 (it is a five year old GE) and watched the candy thermometer like a hawk the whole time. Once it hit 295, I lifted it off the heat, put it on a cool burner and added 4 drops of generic store brand blue, and voila- perfect coloring!
One tip for others who might be concerned about using aluminum foil. You can pour this stuff over a sheet of wax paper, and once it’s completely cooled, it’ll peel off just fine, no muss or fuss with using cooking spray.
Mine came out great. BUT when you put a piece in your mouth, it sticks to your teeth – annoying as hell. It is not sticky coming out of the pan or to the touch, but unless you balance it on the middle of your tongue away from your teeth you get almost a glue factor and you either have to let it melt away or pull it like taffy off your teeth. WHY? (HELP) I don’t want to “Trick” my Treaters!
Carole, that is odd! I’m not sure why yours turned out that way, especially since it’s not sticky to the touch. Mine typically has the texture of a lollipop, meaning if you were to crunch on it some pieces would stick in your teeth, but it’s certainly not cavity-pulling. I’m sorry that it didn’t turn out perfectly, but since it seems to be the right texture to the touch I’m not quite sure what to tell you!
The same happened to me! It looks great and feels like glass to the touch, but when you eat a piece it turns to glue in your mouth. Very tacky and it feels like it might pull a tooth out. I wonder if maybe it’s just very slightly underdone? I was having trouble with my thermometer and was using the water test method, and I wasn’t 100% sure it was there but I didn’t want to risk overcooking. The previous batch I overcooked slightly (and I burned the batch before that!), so perhaps I pulled it a little soon. Anyway, that’s my guess.
Howdy there 🙂
i tried the receipe and i was glad to start it, so everything was ready ( i just added less sugar because its looked like a ton of it ) and it was pretty slow to get to 300 ( i waited like 40 minutes and it was stuck to 180 ) so i decided to turn up the heat to 6, 7 on 10 and than i was waiting carefully and it heated like so faaaast, turned completly brown, everything was a mess, the termometer felt in it ( hope it will work again ) and it was all burned out like caramel ( didnt even reach the 300 )
so what was wrong ? i have no idea 🙁
Sorry to hear the candy didn’t work out for you. One likely problem is that you reduced the sugar. Sugar is the backbone of this recipe, and when you’re cooking the mixture to a high temperature, what you’re doing is evaporating the water and heating the sugar until it is at the precise right temperature to be hard but not burned. Messing with that formula is going to give you some funny results. [And yes, it is a ton of sugar–that’s what hard candy is! Cooked sugar!] Another problem is turning the heat to high–I really recommend keeping it at medium-high, meaning hotter than medium but less than high. High heat is unpredictable and might scorch candy before enough water evaporates.
Finally, it’s a little odd that it was totally burned and still not at 300 F, since sugar caramelizes around 350 F. Have you tested your candy thermometer using the link above to make sure it’s accurate?
Hello there Eliz,
thank you for replying that fast, im really amazed on all the feed back you give to people 🙂 i’ll try it again tonight with the right amount of sugar and what remains of my caramelized thermometer. I was wondering how much time it usually takes to reach the temperature, more like 20 minutes or 2 hours ? that could be an interesting point for the people that made the same mistake as me :3
have a good day !
Yvan, I’m happy to help! If you haven’t tackled it yet, here’s a tip for your thermometer: put it in a pan full of water and bring the water to a boil. This will dissolve all the caramelized sugar and clean your thermometer without any hard work on your part! Plus, you can test your thermometer and make sure it’s accurate: assuming you’re at sea level, it should read 212 F when boiling. If it doesn’t, you know your therm is off by however many degrees and you should take that into account when cooking the candy.
It’s hard to give a precise amount of time because it’s SO different depending on stoves (gas vs electric) and pans (aluminum, steel, copper, etc.) But you’re right, a rough estimate would be helpful! I’ll add one to the recipe. I’d say you should budget around 30-45 minutes for cooking this: so more than 20, but definitely less than 2 hours!
Are you at a high altitude, by any chance?
Hello Eliz 🙂
so im unfortunatly not in altitude ! i tried again and it worked better with the right amount of sugar. But it was getting yellow arround 250, 260 and as it didnt reached the 290 yet i just waited a little bit more and i think i shouldnt have because as you could imagine. Blue + yellow = … green :p anyway it was still a lot of fun to do
Thanks again !
So if you accidentally drop the bottle of color in the mix after it hits 285, you can save it with quick hands, a spoon and cold water but it makes the wife really nervous. Especially when this happens late at night! Minus the excitement, I think I brought it up too fast as it turned a little green.
Ha, good to know! And glad that you emerged from the experience with all digits intact…
Here’s a few pics of me in my Heisenberg costume… the candy made it all the better when I pulled it out of my pocket… =)
Scott, you look awesome!
Thanks for the recipe! It worked great.
Elizabeth our candy won’t dry, it became a humid day and we didn’t know about it, what can we do to make it dry?
Hi Gris, Unfortunately there’s not much you can do! If it was a problem with the candy never setting properly, it might have been undercooked, and you could try another batch, cooking it to a higher temperature. But if it’s just so humid that it stays sticky, there’s no real solution. Sorry about that!
I forgot to post some pics of my costume! Thanks again for the awesome recipe and some advice to all you new cooks… FOLLOW THE RECIPE TO THE T!!!!
Love the costumes, Mike! I especially like that Walt is hanging out with Batgirl. Of course he would! 🙂