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November 24, 2023

Homemade Christmas Hard Candy

Sweeten the Season!

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Cherry homemade Christmas candy in a jar tied with a red plaid ribbon.

SANTA.COM

Get ready to stir up some holiday magic with our Christmas Hard Candy recipe. All you need is a few mason jars and ribbon, and you have a delicious homemade gift. It's time to melt hearts and delight taste buds with homemade sweetness that's as jolly as Santa himself!

Christmas Hard Candy Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 mins

  • Cook time: 15 mins

  • Cooling time: 20 mins

  • Total time: 45 mins

  • Servings: 32

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 2.5 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp cherry extract (or strawberry, raspberry, or other “red” flavor)

  • 1/2 tsp red gel food coloring

  • 2 Tbsps powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

  3. Allow the sugar mixture to come to a boil. Then, continue to boil the mixture without stirring until it reaches 305-310 °F and turns darker in color (this usually takes about 10-15 minutes).

  4. Remove the pot from the heat, and add lemon juice, cherry extract, and food coloring. Stir to combine. 

  5. Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. 

  6. Let cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes until hardened (this can take up to 45 minutes). 

  7. Once cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and break into individual-sized pieces, tossing in powdered sugar to prevent the candies from sticking together. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

A baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ready to make Christmas hard candy.
A baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ready to make Christmas hard candy.
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Step 2

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Melting sugar and corn syrup in a pan of water as part of a Christmas hard candy recipe.
Melting sugar and corn syrup in a pan of water as part of a Christmas hard candy recipe.
SANTA.COM

Step 3

Allow the sugar mixture to come to a boil. Then, continue to boil the mixture without stirring until it reaches 305-310° F and turns darker in color (this usually takes about 10-15 minutes).

Boiling the sugar mixture until it turns darker, as part of a recipe for hard Christmas candy.
Boiling the sugar mixture until it turns darker, as part of a recipe for hard Christmas candy.
SANTA.COM

Step 4

Remove the pot from the heat, and add lemon juice, cherry extract, and food coloring. Stir to combine. 

Adding cherry extract and lemon juice to the melted hard candy mixture.
Adding cherry extract and lemon juice to the melted hard candy mixture.
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Step 5

Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. 

Pouring liquid hard candy mixture onto a baking sheet to harden.
Pouring liquid hard candy mixture onto a baking sheet to harden.
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Step 6

Let cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes until hardened (this can take up to 45 minutes). 

Letting Christmas hard candy cool on a baking sheet.
Letting Christmas hard candy cool on a baking sheet.
SANTA.COM

Step 7

Once cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and break into individual-sized pieces, tossing in powdered sugar to prevent the candies from sticking together. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Adding powdered sugar to the top of Christmas hard candy, then breaking into individual pieces.
Adding powdered sugar to the top of Christmas hard candy, then breaking into individual pieces.
SANTA.COM

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