When I was little my mom used to do a lot of science projects with me and my sister. One of my favorites was growing my own crystal candy (or rock candy). I couldn’t wait to wake up in the mornings and see how much my crystals had grown. Then I couldn’t wait to eat them after I thought they had grown enough!
I was shocked to find out that when I talked about doing a rock candy tutorial for our blog, both Lindsi and my husband had never heard of rock candy, let alone made their own! Seriously, who’s never heard of rock candy?? (*Lindsi edit- butting in…I have heard of rock candy before…just never heard of making your own)
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own rock candy (FYI–I doubled the recipe to make 2–one for each of my girls):
- 1 cup of water
- 3-4 cups of table sugar
- clear glass jars
- wooden skewers (cut the pointy tip off)
- clothes pins or something similar
- food coloring (optional)
1) Boil the water.
2) Slowly add sugar small bits at a time.
3) Continue to stir in sugar until no more will dissolve despite more stirring. Your solution will be thick and syrupy.
4) Dip your skewer into the solution then into more sugar. Tap off any excess sugar to that just a small amount coats the skewer. (This step helps to jump start crystal growth)
5) Put a bunch of drops of food coloring at the bottom of your glass jar (optional) then fill them 3/4 of the way full with solution. If you are making only one color of crystals you can add the food coloring to the solution before you pour it into the jars. The more food coloring you add the stronger the color will turn out. One or two drops won’t be enough. I added 4-6 drops.
6) Gently place your skewer into the solution to that it sits about 3/4 of an inch from the bottom. Try not to let a bunch of sugar crystals fall off the skewer or let the skewer touch the bottom of the jar. Use the clothes pin to make it sit in the middle of the jar. If it touches the bottom or the sides of the jar, the crystals will grow on the jar and not the skewer.
7) Set your jar(s) somewhere where they won’t be disturbed. Your crystal rock candy will grow over the next 4-7 days!
8) When you think your crystals have grown enough, gently use a knife to break up the top layer of crust. Make sure not to hit your rock candy while you are breaking up the crust.
9) Pull out your rock candy and let the excess solution drip off.
10) Set aside to let dry for later or enjoy right away!
*Just a reminder, you are working with boiling water so make sure you supervise your children closely!
Did you ever eat rock candy as a kid?