This easy rock candy recipe lets children observe the crystallization process firsthand while making some pretty delicious treats. Sugar, water, and few more items found at home are all you need to turn your kitchen into a rock candy laboratory.
Gather your ingredients and tools. All you need is water, sugar, a clothespin, a pot for boiling, and a few wooden sticks (or bamboo skewers) to grow rock candy crystals in your kitchen! You can also pick out a food color dye, too.
Bring two cups of water to a boil in a large pot on the stove. Next, stir in four cups of sugar. Boil and continue stirring until sugar appears dissolved. This creates a supersaturated sugar solution. This is also the time to add in any flavor enhancements, such as vanilla or peppermint and so on. Allow the solution to cool for 15-20 minutes.
While waiting for the solution to cool, prepare your wooden sticks for growing the rock crystals. Wet the wooden sticks and roll them around in granulated sugar. Make sure you allow the sugared sticks to completely dry before continuing to Step 4. You’ll need one stick per jar.
Once the sugar solution is cool, add in food coloring to create rock candy of your preferred color. The candy will turn a much lighter shade than the water, so it’s ok to add a lot of color! Leave this step out for clear-colored crystals.
Pour the cooled solution into a glass jar (or jars) and insert the sugar-covered wooden stick into the center of the glass. Make sure that the stick is not touching any part of the jar. If it does, the candy crystals could get stuck to the bottom or to the sides. You can divide the sugar solution across several smaller jars or use one large mason jar, depending on how many sticks of rock candy you’d like to make.
Once in place, secure the stick in place using a clothespin. Cover the top of the glass with a paper towel. You may have to poke a hole in the paper towel for the wooden stick to poke through.
Place the glass in a cool and quiet place. Loud noises and a lot of movement can disturb the crystal making process. Every day, the candy crystals will grow larger. They will reach their maximum growth potential by two weeks. When you have a good amount of rock candy crystals, remove the stick and place it on a sheet of wax paper to dry…before eating!