Candy Glass is a Great Treat

Around Halloween and Christmas time it becomes evident which parents enjoy a little bit of chemistry and science it the home.  A Haunted Gingerbread House is stepped up a notch when the panes of glass are made of candy.  They look great. They are fun to make.  They can even be eaten if the children are interested.  The Gingerbread House for Christmas can even have some stained glass windows.  Candy glass can be used to make some interesting Christmas tree ornaments as well.

The basic recipe for candy glass is uses these ingredients:
2 cups water
1 cup white corn syrup
3 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Option food coloring
Optional flavoring
cooking spray

Prepare the baking sheet and mold first.  If making cookie cutter shapes, fold non-stick foil over the mold to hold the mixture.  Spray lightly with cooking spray. The baking sheet should be non-stick and sprayed lightly as well.  Be sure to spray at least 10 minutes prior to pouring the syrup.  This gives the alcohol time to dissipate. If there is still alcohol on the sheet or mold there will be bubbles in the candy glass.

A heavy sauce pan in recommended.  Scorching will cause the glass to brown and smell will be most unpleasant. A candy thermometer and constant stirring is the best way to have success with this project.  It is not a quick project, often time the adult ends up doing most of the work to make the raw product.

Mix the sugar, corn syrup, water and cream of tartar in the sauce pan. Bring it to a rolling boil.
Once the mixture begins to boil place the candy thermometer in the pan.  Make sure the bulb is clear of the bottom of the pan.

Keep stirring and boiling until the syrup reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat. Add food coloring and flavoring if desired.  Pour into mold or onto the prepared baking sheet. This has to be done fairly quickly.

The candy can be cooled in a refrigerator for 45 minutes are allowed to air dry for about two hours.

If the candy is simply going to be eaten children seem enjoy flavoring and coloring the candy with unsweetened Koolaid.  For a strong flavor use two packs of Koolaid for each batch of candy.

If this project is to learn about chemistry talk about what happens to the mixture.  What makes the liquid ingredients turn hard? What are some possible uses for this candy? What does heat do to other ingredients? This could easily be turned into a science lesson with sugar benefits.