This old-fashioned Rock Candy Recipe is not only a sweet treat, but a fun, earth-friendly science activity to share with the kids. The sugar crystals will grow over time, but it will take patience, since it can take up to a week for some of the biggest crystals to form.
Tips:If you want to make several different colored pieces of rock candy, use several jars and skewers, and double or triple the sugar solution as necessary.
4 cups - Domino® Certified CarbonFree® Granulated Sugar
2 cups - water
food coloring (optional)
Additional Domino® Certified CarbonFree® Granulated Sugar
32 oz. clean glass jar(s)
wooden skewer or cotton string
wooden popsicle sticks or pencil
Prepare your materials before you begin cooking the sugar solution. Be sure the glass jar is thoroughly clean. If using string, cut 2-3 pieces into approximately 6" strips and tie the ends to a pencil. Lay the pencil across the mouth of the jar and check that the strips dangle into the jar without touching each other and without touching the bottom of the jar. Use wooden skewers to create rock candy lollipops. To suspend the skewers in the middle of the jar, you will need to tie them to the popsicle sticks (twist ties works best). As with the string, be sure that the skewers do not touch each other or touch the bottom of the jar. Set aside your string or skewers on a clean surface.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a gentle boil. Add one cup of sugar at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until the sugar is completely dissolved. Gradually add a few drops of the food coloring, stirring continuously until the coloring is mixed in and all the sugar is dissolved.
Let the solution sit off the heat for 5 minutes. While it is cooling, moisten the strings or skewers in water and roll in granulated sugar so they are lightly covered. This will give the sugar crystals a head start to begin forming. Pour the solution into the glass jar. (Warning, it may still be very hot!) Lower the string or skewers into the jar so that it is sitting in the solution. Loosely cover the top of the jar with foil or paper towel to prevent dust from getting in. Do not seal tightly, since there needs to be ventilation to allow for water to evaporate. Set jar aside where it can sit undisturbed.
In a few hours, you should see crystals forming and continue for several days. The longer you allow for crystals to form, the bigger they will be!